Why wait for the Aurora Borealis to arrive in the sky above when you can join “Joe the Aurora Hunter” and track them down?
Armed with weather, wind and cloud reports, he offers the unique adventure of driving remote roadways outside Yellowknife in search of Mother Nature’s breathtaking, swirling displays of multi-coloured Northern Lights. Along the way, there’s also plenty of time to chat about Indigenous life, customs and nature in the Northwest Territory.
Dene/Cree Joe Buffalo-Child — along with his daughter, Melissa, and son, John — run North Star Adventures with the goal of offering iconic Northern experiences through local, Indigenous eyes. The small, family-run company offers an impressive, personalized catalogue of Northern excursions. “This is our backyard. We grew up under Northern Lights,” says Melissa, who works as a guide, as well as operations manager. “Yellowknife is our own small town, where we know everyone. We can offer visitors insights and authentic Northern experiences on single day or multi-day trips, year round.”
Head into the bush to search for a wild herd of huge buffalo. Warm up around a wood stove in a traditional trapper’s tent before snowshoeing with your guide to learn to set traps and snares for animals. Storytellers share tales and legends around a fire, while you enjoy delicious traditional foods like fry bread, local fish and perhaps even caribou and moose. Go hiking to a waterfall. Hop on a snowmobile for a Northern Lights experience. Drive on an ice road to visit a remote First Nations’ village. Go ice fishing on Great Slave Lake, then dine on your fresh catch, served in a steaming fish chowder with warm bannock bread.
“We have family all over the region, so we are flexible about whatever experiences visitors want. We can easily create custom trips,” says Melissa. “And since you never know what you’re going to run into in the North, we go with the flow, making every trip a unique experience.”