Honouring our Ancestors
Joe was raised by his grandparents on the south and north shore of the Great Slave Lake and by his aunt and uncle in the Dehcho. Joe is a descendent of the true Yellowknife’s Dene peoples. As a 100% Indigenous owned tour company we take great pride in preserving and sharing our Indigenous culture with you. Joe and North Star strongly believe not just anyone can do cultural tours. Unfortunately there are those out there that will do “culture tours” only to make money, to exploit our customs and traditions for commercial purposes. For us here at North Star, we have always believed our cultural tours are a representation of our customs and traditions, and thus need to be treated with highest of respect. This is the basis of all our tours.
For hundreds and hundreds of years our Ancestors have made many sacrifices and endured many hardships to keep our culture alive by passing it down from generation to generation. We are proud to offer our cultural tours in manner that honours our Ancestors. When you choose one of our cultural tours or you are truly choosing a genuine Indigenous experience! All of our guides are Indigenous and all share the same vision as Joe, to do our tours in a new that rightfully honours and respects our heritage. We are happy to share our culture with you, we are happy to share stories about our land experiences, about our language, about our spirituality and more.
Dene Laws of Life
As a teenager and a young adult Joe was fortunate enough to call the Deh Cho home. He lived with and was taught more life lessons about the Dene way from his aunt and uncle Jim and Celine Antoine. Joe credits his Grandparents and his aunt and uncle for instilling strong family and Dene values in him and these valuable lessons help guide Joe through his everyday life. While on the winter trapline as a young child with his grandparents, living in a canvas tent in -40C temperatures, he was taught what it means to be Dene, to be a good person. He was told by his grandparents to…
“Respect the land”
This means to always treat the land with respect. To always say a prayer and give thanks when travel on the land, when we get food from the land, whether it be a fish in the fishnet or an animal, we say a prayer. This also means not selling the food we get from the land for money, if someone needs food, we give it to them, we share with them, this is the Dene way. Respect the land, don’t throw garbage in the water or land, not to waste meat when we harvest it. Respect the land, means don’t cut down a tree for 30 days use at Christmas then throw it away, the trees in our culture are the “Elders” they have been around for many years. Respect the land, it will take care of us for many years. This is the Dene way.
“Respect Each Other”
This means to help each other. Not to hurt each other, not to think, talk or do bad things to each other, not to wish harm upon another. Respect each other means to always help each other, even a small thing like saying “Hi” or smiling to someone. Respect each other, means helping the Elders, Joe’s grandmother always told him “if you always help the Elders you will live a long happy life.” This is the Dene way.
This means to be kind to yourself, don’t drink, don’t smoke and don’t invite negativity into your life. Respect yourself means to to be kind to your mind, to your body and to your spirit. Take good care of yourself so you are always able to help others. Laugh everyday and think positive thoughts. Life can be tough at times, but try to accept the tough times and move on. Respect yourself, be positive and be thankful for everyday and for everything you have. This is the Dene way.
100% Indigenous owned tour company
We are proud to share our Indigenous culture with you on all our tours. No matter if you choose our City Tour, our Buffalo Viewing Tour or our Aurora Hunting tour you will learn about the tour, about Yellowknife, about the land from the Indigenous perspective. We will talk about the old days, we will share stories with you, we will teach you some of our Indigenous language, offer you traditional snacks to try and more on all of our tours. Feel free to ask us anything about our culture when you are on our tours, we are happy to share our culture with you. Masi Cho!