1st female hunting guide in Cambridge Bay an inspiration to family, Inuit women – North

“Not only guys can hunt, girls can hunt too.”

Pamela Nakashook out on a hunt. (Submitted)

Pamela Nakashook is the first certified female hunting guide in Nunavut’s Kitikmeot region. The 21-year-old, from Cambridge Bay, recently received her Level 1 guide licence — she was the only woman among 14 men in the course.

“And I finished in the top three,” she says proudly.

Nakashook always had a connection to the land. The youngest of 11 children, she says she was the only one of her siblings interested in hunting.

“I was getting teased growing up for wanting to hunt instead of wanting to do girly stuff. I was told by my brothers that I can’t do this and I can’t do that.”

But her father, who she calls her “best friend,” had other plans.

“I was convinced to from my dad,” she says. “I was inspired by him, I loved it out there and he talked me into hunting.”

In the course, trainees were taught how to build igloos, how to navigate, how to keep their international clients warm, fed and comfortable, and received safety training.

Nakashook, in light blue, with the group of male hunters in her course. ‘She’s probably got more time out on the land than a lot of people here,’ says Bobby Greenley, with the local hunters and trappers organization. (Submitted)

‘I look up to her,’ says father

Her father, Willy Nakashook, is bursting with so much pride that he grabbed the phone during his daughter’s interview with CBC.

“To me, she’s so special. I know she looked up to her dad but also, I look up to her,” he said. “I’m a proud dad.”

Willy started guiding when he was 14 years old. He takes clients, many of whom are Americans, out on the land to hunt muskox, polar bears, wolves and caribou.

Willy and Pamela Nakashook during a father/daughter hunt. She caught her first polar bear and first wolf that day. (Submitted)

“It is really touching for them and for me too, to see these people loving our country, our land and the food,” Willy says.

But he says with the guiding industry booming in Cambridge Bay, there was a desire for female guides, so he encouraged his daughter to take the course.

“I told her you should consider trying guide training. She’s one of the most special women in this world,” he says.

He says she’s small, at only 5’2″, but she can tough it out on the land.

“I hope that in this whole world, in Nunavut, she can make inspiration for other Inuit women to try and be a guide.”

Nakashook with her two-year-old daughter. ‘I…

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