Hiking the Canol Trail this summer with Norman Yakeleya

File photo of Norman Yakeleya . (Francis Tessier-Burns/CKLB).

The Canol Trail Hike is happening again in July in the Sahtu. Norman Yakeleya goes on the hike every year, even though he tells himself at the end of the hike each year, that he’s not doing it again as he looks at the four or five toenails he’s lost due to the hike.

That said, the Canol Trail Hike is a yearly event put on by the Sahtu people with the assistance of Norman Yakeleya.

“This is a 50 mile hike with 50 pound packsacks on the back and it is in God’s country of course, the Canol Heritage Trail”

The trip starts in Norman Wells where the community organizers put together all the gear and food needed for the long hike. It ’s also where they welcome the youth who’ve been selected to go on the Canol Trail Hike. The crew spends a few days training the youth about first aid and prepares them for the hike ensuring proper footwear and adjusting their 50-pound packsacks that they will have to carry on the hike.

This year’s hike is starting a mile 50 and goes to mile 25 and then finally to mile 0. This year, organizers have set up an elder’s camp where youth can ask questions and learn more about the lands they are hiking and camping on.

CKLB Radio spoke with Norman Yakeleya about the Canol Trail Hike.