Kylik Kisoun Taylor has always felt a strong connection to the wide-open spaces of the Beaufort Delta and the traditional lifestyle of the Inuvialuit people, though his childhood was very different.
The first time he returned North, he viewed the world of his ancestors for the first time through the eyes of a tourist. It was a perspective that would eventually open doors to his own tour company.From the Beaufort Delta, Kisoun Taylor grew up in southern Ontario where the landscape is carved with roads, skyscrapers and the bustle of urban life.
As he returned to his roots, Kylik fell in love with the history, culture and majestic beauty of the Beaufort Delta region and he dreamed of being able to spend his time on the land.
At age 20, when Kylik founded Up North Tours – now called Tundra North Tours and in its 10th year of operation – he was years ahead of when he believed he would fulfil that dream.
Wading into the volatile tourism industry at such a young age was serendipity for Kylik, whose natural compulsion to share his world with visitors hurtled him down the path of tour operator.
Kylik had his start in tourism working for Rapid Travel, a travel agency in Inuvik. In the window of the business, a sign welcomed visitors and many tourists would come in looking for boat tours. At the time, no one was offering such a service on a consistent basis.
Someone less ambitious or lacking Kylik’s passion for sharing the region’s beauty with others might have sent those visitors on their way with an apology, but that isn’t in Kylik’s nature.
Kylik went across the street to ITI (the Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment) and got a boat licence and borrowed a boat. Eventually these excursions evolved into what Tundra North Tours is today.