Kugluktuk chamber after more tourism
Coppermine Tours now in the works

Doug Ashbury
Northern News Services

KUGLUKTUK (Oct 11/99) - The Kugluktuk Chamber of Commerce is taking a more formal approach in an effort to boost the community's tourism sector.

The move comes through the creation of Coppermine Tours, a new tourism operation owned by the chamber membership.

"Right now we are doing a draft proposal budget. We will submit that to the (Nunavut government) Department of Sustainable Development," Ellie Adjun said.

Adjun is manager of the Kugluktuk Chamber of Commerce and of Coppermine Tours.

Funding is also available through Aboriginal Business Canada.

The proposed new business will offer boat tours, eco-hikes and all-terrain vehicle rentals. The business would also like to include snowmachine tours.

The chamber held a public meeting Sept. 28 to discuss the proposal which includes hiring two part-time staff.

"We're recruiting more members. We're trying to get more aboriginal members," Adjun said.

"This is for the whole community. The idea is to promote Kugluktuk."

Through Coppermine Tours, the community should be able to take a more active approach to promoting its tourism sector. Instead of selling tourism to people who happen to already be in Kugluktuk, Coppermine Tours will be able to promote packages to people from down south, Adjun explained.

Adjun, who joined the chamber earlier this year, said the idea of Coppermine Tours has been in the works or several years.

The goal is to commence training for members of the venture in November.

"We will have certified guides trained in boating safety and hospitality," she said.

Tourism is a big part of the Kitikmeot community's economy and there are people already involved in the tourism sector, Adjun said.

"We sell arts and crafts and we started the soapstone carving project," she said. Under the project, carvers can use equipment supplied by the visitor's centre.

"Tourists can see carvers at work."

Kayakers and canoeists also visit the community during adventure trips.