James Pokiak, born on one of the Arctic Islands, is Inuvialuit. He lived the traditional lifestyle as he was growing up in Tuktoyaktuk. As a young adult, he hunted and ran trap lines with his brothers or community elders. He and his children have guided canoe trips, and whitewater rafting trips on northern rivers. James has been actively involved in hosting big game hunters for over thirty years. Hunting clients from around the world have successfully bagged caribou, muskox, grizzly bear, and polar bear in the Tuktoyaktuk hunting area.
Maureen Pokiak came up from Saskatchewan in 1974 to teach in Tuktoyakuk where she met and married James. They have 3 children who have families of their own.
The Pokiak family have lived out at bush camps for several years, fishing and hunting caribou for food and trapping marten and foxes for income. They own and operate OOKPIK TOURS & ADVENTURES in Tuktoyaktuk to provide community and cultural tours to Canadian and international guests visiting the community. Today, they live year round in Tuktoyaktuk but continue to rely on food from the land as fishing, hunting geese, hunting caribou and other big game play a large part in their yearly activities.
Providing "on the land" Arctic experiences is a new venture for the Pokiak's, but with their experience and background in traditional knowledge and land skills they are ready to try this new challenge.