True North Calling

For this northerner, starting a business takes perseverance, sacrifice and 3,000 reindeer

"At 16, I jumped on a plane for the very first time and came North. I just feel like I'm where I'm supposed to be."

Kylik Kisoun Taylor started a tourism company to show people northern culture and help herd wild reindeer.

Taking Risks – Kylik Kisoun Taylor

6 years ago
Duration 2:44
Meet Kylik Kisoun Taylor, a father of two who runs his own tourism company in Inuvik, N.W.T.

Kylik Kisoun Taylor is the next generation of Northerners, marrying old-world traditions with modern day business savvy. Being a mix of European, Gwich'in and Inuvialuit decent, gives him a toehold in two very different worlds. Growing up in Northern Ontario with his Scandinavian father meant hunting, dog sledding and trapping.

Then at 16, he went back to Inuvik to visit his mother and never left. 

I just feel like I'm where I'm supposed to be.-Kylik Kisoun Taylor, Inuvik

There he met Clara, who has become a second mother to him, taught him everything he knows about living and surviving in the North. Now, 15 years later, he's the biggest tour operator in Inuvik.

Clara, though, is not surprised by Kylik's success: "When he starts something, he finishes," she says. "I just can't say enough how proud I am of him."

Next Steps - Clara

6 years ago
Duration 1:28
Clara has known Kylik for the past 15 years since he first moved to Inuvik and she's taught him everything he knows.

For Kylik, the fact that his business is booming means more than personal success. He needs to do well to support the family he had to leave behind in Ontario. His youngest daughter Imogen was diagnosed with Level 3 autism a couple of years ago. Inuvik, due to its small population and lack of resources, can not provide the support that Imogen needs. 

His wife Alanna describes their situation as tough on the whole family. "He's gone for a very long time. Four months at a time."

Taking Risks – Kylik's Family

6 years ago
Duration 1:54
Meet Kylik's family, who had to move from the Northwest Territories to Ontario to get treatment for their daughter Imogen's autism.

But the call of the North, the desire to preserve and promote his culture and the promise of a herd of reindeer 3,000-strong gives Kylik hope that he's made the right decision to start a business in Inuvik. 

Living off the Land - Inuvik from above

6 years ago
Duration 1:07
Breathtaking aerial views of Inuvik, Northwest Territories and its 3000 plus herd of reindeer.

In the end, he hopes it will unite his family. "[The separation is] temporary. We do have a plan to be together," he says.

Catch a glimpse of life in Canada's North on True North Calling, Fridays 8:30/9NT on CBC