Caribou Legs to meet with premier

Caribou Legs has a big meeting scheduled with Premier Darrell Pasloski on Monday. The Gwich’in ultra runner arrived in Whitehorse Tuesday after running all the way from his hometown of Inuvik, N.W.T.

Caribou Legs has a big meeting scheduled with Premier Darrell Pasloski on Monday.

The Gwich’in ultra runner, whose real name is Brad Firth, arrived in Whitehorse Tuesday after running all the way from his hometown of Inuvik, N.W.T.

Firth ran as part of a campaign to urge the Yukon government to protect the Peel watershed.

In January the government opened up 71 per cent of the region to new mineral staking. Two of the involved First Nations have since filed a lawsuit in Yukon Supreme Court over that decision.

Firth has brought letters for Pasloski from the people of the Mackenzie Delta in N.W.T.

He said in an interview Thursday that he has been promised 15 minutes of face time with the premier on Monday.

“I’m just going to let him know that what he did was the wrong the decision and I hope he goes out there and fixes it. I think he betrayed many, many people, and I just want to let him know how I feel.

“I couldn’t have picked a better cause. The Peel watershed is an important issue and I’m just grateful to serve it and to use my running gift in a good way.”

The run from Inuvik took almost four weeks, and it certainly had its challenges.

Firth almost got stuck in a blizzard on the Dempster Highway just north of Eagle Plains.

The conditions finally got the best of him and he jumped in his support truck to drive the rest of the way.

It was in the nick of time. The blizzard was so bad that, just after they arrived at Eagle Plains, the road was closed behind them.

“It was challenging. I wasn’t expecting those kinds of conditions on the Dempster. But I absorbed everything that the Dempster gave me, I ate it all up.”

Firth treats running like a job, he said.

“It’s just like work. It’s the same thing. You’ve got to get out there every day and pound the pavement.”

But the toughest part may have been the final leg, the last 75 kilometres from Fox Lake into Whitehorse, said Firth.

“I knew the finish line was down there, and I just had no energy left in the tank.”

He was increasingly being distracted by people stopping him the road to cheer him on, he said, and kept losing focus.

But he made it, with a little help from his friends.

Joseph and Danny Kaye, two brothers from Inuvik, got a surprise on Tuesday when they were pulled out of class and onto a plane so they could finish the run with Caribou Legs.

They had started the run with him, and someone in Inuvik thought it was important that they finish together, too, said Firth.

Air North held up the plane so that the boys would make it.

“They were really excited, and they didn’t know what was going on. They just knew that they were going to meet up with me on the highway at the end there.”

The boys met up with Firth about 20 kilometres out of town, and ran with him the rest of the way.

“They sure pulled me through, and they carried me the last 20 kilometres when I had no energy.”

When he arrived at the totem pole at the bottom of Main Street, there were about 100 people waiting for him, he said.

“It’s just another day, just another goal accomplished.”

Yukoners can celebrate Caribou Legs’ arrival with him tonight at a feast and dance beginning at 6 p.m. at the Kwanlin Dun Potlatch House. Admission is by donation, with proceeds going to Firth’s campaign for the Peel.

There will also be a rally in front of the Yukon Legislative Assembly on Monday. Yukoners are invited to join Caribou Legs at the Kwanlin Dun Cultural Centre at 11:45 a.m. and walk or run to the legislature for the rally, which begins at noon.

At the end of the month Firth will fly to Vancouver and begin the next leg of his journey. He hopes to run all the way back to the Yukon and end up back in Inuvik. That run is also in support of the Peel.

“I really look forward to coming back and running through on the next leg of this running series,” said Firth. “I love the Yukon, I wish I could live here. Whitehorse rocks.”

Contact Jacqueline Ronson at

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Dawson the dog sits next to the Chariot Patrick Jackson has loaded and rigged up to walk the Dempster Highway from where it begins, off the North Klondike Highway, to the Arctic Circle. (Submitted)
Walking the Dempster

Patrick Jackson gets set for 405-kilometre journey

Liberal leader Sandy Silver speaks outside his campaign headquarters in Dawson City following early poll results on April 12. (Robin Sharp/Yukon News)
BREAKING: Minority government results will wait on tie vote in Vuntut Gwitchin

The Yukon Party and the Liberal Party currently have secured the same amount of seats

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
YUKONOMIST: The Neapolitan election

Do you remember those old bricks of Neapolitan ice cream from birthday… Continue reading

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Exposure notice issued for April 3 Air North flight

Yukon Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley has issued another… Continue reading

Crystal Schick/Yukon News file
Runners in the Yukon Arctic Ultra marathon race down the Yukon River near the Marwell industrial area in Whitehorse on Feb. 3, 2019.
Cold-weather exercise hard on the lungs

Amy Kenny Special to the Yukon News It might make you feel… Continue reading

Today’s Mailbox: Rent freezes and the youth vote

Dear Editor, I read the article regarding the recommendations by the Yukon… Continue reading

Point-in-Time homeless count planned this month

Volunteers will count those in shelters, short-term housing and without shelter in a 24-hour period.

The Yukon’s new ATIPP Act came into effect on April 1. Yukoners can submit ATIPP requests online or at the Legislative Assembly building. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News file)
New ATIPP Act in effect as of April 1

The changes promise increased government transparency

A new conservancy in northern B.C. is adjacent to Mount Edziza Provincial Park. (Courtesy BC Parks)
Ice Mountain Lands near Telegraph Creek, B.C., granted conservancy protection

The conservancy is the first step in a multi-year Tahltan Stewardship Initiative

Yukon RCMP reported a child pornography-related arrest on April 1. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press file)
Whitehorse man arrested on child pornography charges

The 43-year-old was charged with possession of child pornography and making child pornography

Team Yukon athletes wave flags at the 2012 Arctic Winter Games opening ceremony in Whitehorse. The postponed 2022 event in Wood Buffalo, Alta., has been rescheduled for Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, 2023. (Justin Kennedy/Yukon News file)
New dates set for Arctic Winter Games

Wood Buffalo, Alta. will host event Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, 2023

Victoria Gold Corp. has contributed $1 million to the First Nation of Na-cho Nyak Dun after six months of production at the Eagle Gold Mine. (Submitted/Victoria Gold Corp.)
Victoria Gold contributes $1 million to First Nation of Na-cho Nyak Dun

Victoria Gold signed a Comprehensive Cooperation and Benefits Agreement in 2011

Most Read