A videographer in Inuvik, N.W.T., working for the Inuvialuit Communications Society captured the annual reindeer crossing at Swimming Point on the Mackenzie River this weekend.

The crossing takes place when a team of spring herders moves the reindeer from their wintering grounds at Jimmy Lake to their calving grounds on Richards Island.

To get there, they cross the Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk ice road over the east arm of the Mackenzie River.

David Stewart was there with a video camera.

Photographer Zoe Ho was one of many locals who drove an hour and a half out of Inuvik to watch the event. 

Reindeer Crossing

This weekend, the 3,000 strong reindeer herd outside of Inuvik made its annual crossing of the Mackenzie River over the Inuvik-Tuktoyaktuk ice road. (Zoe Ho/Inuvialuit Communications Society)

“Totally beautiful and moving, especially to see the 3,000 strong herd and the relationship of the animals to their herders,” she wrote on Facebook.

The point where the reindeer cross is known as “swimming point” because the reindeer used to make the crossing in summer.  

The reindeer herd is Canada's only free range reindeer herd and the northernmost free-range herd in North America.

It was originally a government initiative, started with animals from Norway via Alaska in the 1930s.