By Dave Baxter, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

David Daley says he has watched over the last year as the pandemic has devastated his business and his mental health, and turned his home community of Churchill into a “ghost town.”

“Mentally I’m just done,” Wapusk Adventures long-time owner David Daley said on Thursday morning from his home in Churchill. “We’re in trouble, we are in real financial trouble like anyone else in business up here.

“Imagine if someone said to you ‘go home and you are not going to get a paycheque for 16 months, and you’re going to have to borrow your way out of it.”

As owner of Wapusk Adventures, Daley said he offers wilderness activities and experiences year-round like dog sledding, snowshoeing, Northern Lights watching, and electric biking, and he said his clients come from around the globe.

Along with these experiences, Daley said he also offers Indigenous cultural experiences, and that is a big part of what the business tries to do.

“Indigenous tourism is an experience,” he said. “It’s a cultural experience, we talk about our connection with the animals and our connection to the land, and I’ve seen people leave here affected by what they have learned, and tell me it has changed their perspective.

“It’s a beautiful thing to share, because Indigenous culture is all about sharing.”

But over the last 16 months Daley said the pandemic has brought his business to an almost complete standstill, as he said he typically brings in more than $250,000 a year, but only brought about $10,000 in the last year.

This item is reprinted with permission from the Winnipeg, MB, Winnipeg Sun. For the complete article, click HERE

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