"...I had spent an hour or two in Deline back in 2014, as an American diplomat posted to Canada. It was July and the lake was ice-free, endless and flat to the horizon. During my three-year tour, it was the sole time I needed a translator, because many Deline elders speak only their own language, North Slavey.
This past November, I returned to Deline to learn more about the community’s relationship with the lake, to witness the interplay of culture, language, wilderness and isolation that makes this area so distinct.
It was late afternoon when the small plane dipped through a thick, low-lying cloud layer and I saw boreal forest — part of a vast biome that stretches across northern North America and Eurasia — as far as the eye could see. The plane descended toward a slender strip covered in white, Deline’s single runway. It was a short drive from the airport to the hotel where I was staying, the community-owned Grey Goose Lodge. For such a tiny community, Deline has more tourist infrastructure than I expected, including a small handicrafts store in the hotel and an ambition to welcome the growing number of tourists who travel to Canada’s north for a winter and wilderness experience...."