Skip to content
Home » News » Community Health Representative from Tulít’a & Walk to Tuk

Community Health Representative from Tulít’a & Walk to Tuk

The NWT Recreation and Parks Active Communities Director, Nuka de Jocas interviewed Tulít’a’s Community Health Representative, Rena Chapple, about her experience with Walk to Tuk over the years. Here’s what she had to say.

(Nuka) First off, can you tell people what your name and profession are?

(Rena) Okay. My name is Rena Chapple. I am from Tulít’a, born and raised. My role in my community is CHR, the community health representative. 

What does a Community Health Representative do in their community? 

Usually, I do a lot of health prevention. I work with nutrition, healthy eating and just being around the community. I help nurses navigate our community, and I work on different community programs, with the school, the preschool and just everybody in general. 

Rena (third from the left) and her Walk to Tuk team in 2014

When was the first time that you heard of Walk to Talk? 

Oh my gosh, I heard about Walk to Tuk quite a long time ago. I was just looking at a poster in my office, and it dates from 2015, but I’ve been doing it for a lot longer than that. Every time the NWTRPA has the Challenge come up, I usually join in and I’ll be a team captain. Then I have some participants in Tulít’a that sign up. And usually, we get about 20 people interested. And with the team, we usually have some children who walk with us.

In your opinion, what do participants from your community think of Walk to Tuk? 

I think they enjoy it. They look forward to it and they always remember that title: Walk to Tuk. Last year, they changed the title and participants didn’t love the name. But now they’ve got the name back. They said, oh good because we remember the title: Walk. to. Tuk. They look forward to doing the event. Last year, I did not do it just because I had a lot of things on my plate and things were just busy with me. So this year I thought, no: I’m going to join. But I’m so glad they’re bringing it back again. Walk to Tuk, everybody remembers. Participants also loved the T-shirts. 

One of the objectives of Walk to Tuk is to create a fun opportunity to exercise during the long winter months: have you seen people take that to heart? 

Yes, I find that when people go out and exercise, it’s all about making it fun. So they go out and share that feeling. They do it on their own schedule, but they always give me their times and what happening in our community. 

We had another team in the community who joined the challenge: so, it was their group and our group. At the end of the challenge, we met together, had a pizza and refreshments, and we walked together. And then they talked about, “Oh, we did this, we walked here”. We pull people out to come and exercise. I like that when I go walking with people, the conversations you have with each other, and you’re doing exercise and bettering their health. Sometimes people say:  “Oh, gee, I never walked, and I feel so good that I did this”. And to see them having a conversation as they walk and then building that relationship with each other. I like that. It gives you something to do! I do walk with elders, too. They often don’t go out. And then when they do walk and exercise, they feel good. They say, “Oh, I really had a good rest”. My work is seeing that they are getting good exercise and working towards their health.

getting good exercise and working towards their health.

Did you have any interesting experiences with elders during Walk to Tuk? 

Yeah, I do! I get to learn my language and I get to learn the conversation they have with each other and about their history. I mean, they talk about themselves way back when they were young. They used to do all these exercises, like going on the land, chopping wood, and all that. And what inspires me is they’re older and they still do the exercise: they still go out, taking care of their health. 

I’m curious, if I were to walk with you in Tulít’a, what would we see on our walk together? 

It all depends. We do have a walking trail. You’ll see some nice trees, you’ll see our beautiful Bear Rock, and then you can see the Bear River and you can see the Mackenzie River. I guess just being out there and seeing the scenery. I enjoy the outdoors because it seems like you get to see everything. You get to see birds flying and you see animals like squirrels or sometimes you see chickens and stuff. Nice if you take the path, but if you take the community roads, it’s a lot different. It’s much safer. I take the elders down by the river when I take them out for a walk and you see the Mackenzie, you see the trees and the mountains. And when we’re down by the river, you could see the ice flowing down and stuff like that. So, you get to see a lot of nature. 

Do you have anything else you would like to add, maybe for people who are hesitant to participate in Walk to Tuk? Would you have any advice for them, maybe why you have participated so much?

My advice for them is that sometimes people have a hard time getting motivated. Just try to say that we’re not going to walk for too long. Say that “we will walk for maybe 10-15 minutes” or that we will have nice conversations. I would say: “we’re going to have this person that’s going to be with us”. I also find that when you have people who have their kids walking with them, I’ll ask other people to join us with theirs. I often mention that Elders are coming, and that will encourage people to come too. Or I always find that when you use other people, for example, they’ll just get up and say, okay. And I always say, it’s good for your health too. And I don’t know, I just try different ways to get them out of the house. We’re in a group and we have a few people who can get them motivated to get out.  Always say, “it’s for your health, it’s for you, it’s for yourself” and stuff. And for myself, when I exercise, I try to use myself as an example. I’ll say to myself: “I have grandkids”. I want to live up to 80 years old and 80 years old and still go and still have time to play with my grandkids. Because kids, they got a lot of energy and you have to keep up with them, right? So I use my grandkids to motivate me. 

Register now here for Walk to Tuk!