Susan Chaffee — girl guide

Chaffee wrote a book about her experience working as a guide. (Supplied by Inclusion NWT.)
- Advertisement -

Listen here:

When Susan Chaffee first travelled to Lutsel’ke, along the east arm of Great Slave Lake, she worked as a dishwasher at a remote tourist camp.

But she had grander ambitions.

She wanted to be the first female guide along the East Arm of Great Slave Lake.

- Advertisement -

“I told him that I said I want to be a guide and ‘I’m gonna do everything what you guys do? I want to teach me how to guide, so Al Simon, he’s the one that taught me how to guide, how to fly fish and everything. And he told me that he says you’re going to be the number one guide. Even beat all the boys.”

Susan Chaffee

Being the only female in a male dominated world was tough.

But so was Chaffee.

“So I said that’s it. They’re gonna bully me. Well, I’m gonna bully them too. So when they get mad at me, I get mad … And I don’t like anybody going in my boat. So he did and he thinks can get away with it and I got mad. I went over there and I grabbed him right out of my boat. I threw him right in the lake.”

Susan Chaffee

Chaffee spent a number of years acting as a guide for tourists and the occasional celebrity, including Johnny Cash.

“I didn’t want to be indoors. Because when I flew over the land I fell in love with it … So from a dishwasher to a laundry girl, I went on to a mechanic, electricity, painter, laying rugs, and Laying pipes.”

Susan Chaffee

- Advertisement -