1. What made you want to get involved with tourism?
I was interested in seeing the world – I travelled the world, then worked in Montreal then moved to Wolf Lake First Nation. Now I am the Manager of Operations for Algonquin Canoe.
2. Please share some background info about your business and/or tourism venture(s).
We provide the youth with job opportunities in various fields such as environmental stewardship, and we are trying to take to care of land, keep it protected and leaving no trace – leave only footprints.
We offer visitors various tour experiences that teach Algonquin history. We also have an intro to canoeing, the Algonquin Bush Walk, and fly fishing and canoe tours on various rivers and streams.
All of our guides are local.
We also have programs for Youth for University Students – They come along to the territory and study plants and watersheds – some are studying the wolves.
3. What is your most popular visitor experience?
Our most popular service is for our canoe and kayak rentals for people to take out on their own.
4. How long have you been in operation for?
5. What were some of the main challenges you encountered throughout the years and share how you’ve overcome them?
Staff… you need to be a jack of all trades to work with us. We also have a mill nearby that has high wages so everyone wants to work there. Keeping staff & training staff is a constant challenge for us.
6. What does it take to run a successful tourism business?
Long hours and dedication. Need to be passionate about what you’re doing.
7. Do you have any stories to share about a memorable experience or encounter you had with a visitor/tourist?
People in general loving our canoeing and kayaking experiences and they way Germans enjoy marshmellows is pretty funny. We get a lot of large canoe groups that start from James Bay and stop randomly at our portage site. It’s interesting to hear about their journeys.
8. Do you have any advice to share with other communities, tourism businesses, and entrepreneurs out there?
The satisfaction of being involved with a successful Aboriginal business is fulfilling – it’s nice to share your culture. That alone is great.
9. Would you like your business to be featured on the Ontariotravel.net site and the ATO site?