First day on the ice road

Ice road. Inuvik, Northwest Territories, Canada. Photo: Eilis Quinn, Radio Canada International.Inuvik, Northwest Territories, Canada

Weather: Sunny and -37C

Inuvik and the ice roads around it have been featured prominently on the History series Ice Road Truckers.

And since arriving in the Northwest Territories I’ve had more conservations about the show and its effects on NWT than about pretty much anything else.

Some people think the show is great for tourism and showing off the Northwest Territories and its communities.

Others say the danger and drama on the show are hyped up and could discourage people from visiting places like Inuvik.

As one woman told me on my first day here ‘Dangerous!?! I drove to Tuk (Tuktoyaktuk) on the ice road with two small children when I was eight months pregnant. Do think I’d do that if it was so perilous!!?!?!’

Today, I went on the ice road for the first time.

And now that I’ve seen it for myself, I have to admit, it doesn’t seem so scary after all, does it?

Write to Eilis Quinn at eilis.quinn(at)


Eilís Quinn, Eye on the Arctic

Eilís Quinn is an award-winning journalist and manages Radio Canada International’s Eye on the Arctic news cooperation project. Eilís has reported from the Arctic regions of all eight circumpolar countries and has produced numerous documentary and multimedia series about climate change and the issues facing Indigenous peoples in the North.

Her investigative report "Death in the Arctic: A community grieves, a father fights for change," about the murder of Robert Adams, a 19-year-old Inuk man from Arctic Quebec, received the silver medal for “Best Investigative Article or Series” at the 2019 Canadian Online Publishing Awards. The project also received an honourable mention for excellence in reporting on trauma at the 2019 Dart Awards in New York City.

Her report “The Arctic Railway: Building a future or destroying a culture?” on the impact a multi-billion euro infrastructure project would have on Indigenous communities in Arctic Europe was a finalist at the 2019 Canadian Association of Journalists award in the online investigative category.

Her multimedia project on the health challenges in the Canadian Arctic, "Bridging the Divide," was a finalist at the 2012 Webby Awards.

Her work on climate change in the Arctic has also been featured on the TV science program Découverte, as well as Le Téléjournal, the French-Language CBC’s flagship news cast.

Eilís has worked for media organizations in Canada and the United States and as a TV host for the Discovery/BBC Worldwide series "Best in China."

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