Notes from the Field – Thoughts and Reflections by Schnaars Uvino

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When I think of Great White Bear Tours, I think of Polar Bears and auroras.

I think of tourists on the adventure of a lifetime. 

I think of the enthusiasm and joviality on the tourists’ faces. 

It is clear that they are having an amazing time – without a worry in the world. Great White Bear Tours is so involved and committed to sharing local experiences with the tourists – from meeting artists to participating in cultural talks and exposing them to scientific research. 

A wonderful memory that still clings to me, is the smile on Hunter’s face the first time he held a tree swallow while with Great White Bear Tours. Each time I look at this photograph, the wonder and amazement on his face provides me with a wealth of inspiration. 

Another memory that will never escape me, is when the owners (Marilyn and Don) of Great White Bear Tours took it upon themselves to make a generous contribution to a local research project that was just getting started. This spontaneous act of generosity funded all costs for nest box workshops for the Scouts, the Girl Guides, and everyone in Churchill for three years. The people of the town feel that they are part of this project – and they are. The town looks forward to these annual workshops, and as a result of Great White Bear Tour's funding, we have installed over 260 nest boxes. They also generously allow research to take place on their properties and have supported many researchers in the area. 

The unique skill sets of the entire Great White Bear Tours family and team help to ensure their resilience. Although successful from the start – they never stopped improving, adding features, and expanding their offerings. Their custom-designed and built Polar Rovers have raised the standard of housing and the complete tourist experience within the greater Churchill area. The majority of their team return season after season, with little turnover. This enhances the customer’s experience and speaks well of the “employer-employee’ relationship. Much of their business is conducted with other Churchill businesses, which enhances Churchill’s survival. The owners are deeply invested in the land and community and offer amazing support to local clubs and schools. 

In all, Don and Marilyn are responsible, creative, and independent problem solvers. Resiliency is a critical feature in this beautiful, remote landscape and I can say – without a doubt – that they are truly resilient. 


– Longtime Friend and Churchill resident – Schnaars Uvino