Meet Tindi, the 12 IKC Mascot

We are excited for you to meet Tindi, the 12 IKC Mascot!

Tindi is a twin otter, an aircraft able to service remote areas without ground access, such as the Canadian North. Twin otters are a specific type of bush plane developed and made in Canada which first flew on 20 May 1965 and are still in production. They are versatile passenger/cargo twin-engine planes that are a stalwart for accessing the very remote Canadian Arctic and Sub-Arctic. They are capable of landing on short natural ground strips using tundra tires in the summer, a significant requirement to access very remote areas. In the winter, the twin otter can land on frozen lakes using wheel skis and/or skis, and in the summer using float-equipped aircraft. Tindi is an essential necessity in the Canadian North.

Tindi means “big lake” in one of the local First Nations languages Tłįchǫ Yatiì (or Tli Cho) and refers to Great Slave Lake (469 km long) which is the second-largest lake in the Northwest Territories and the tenth-largest lake in the world (by area). Bush planes first landed in the north in 1929 starting a new charter air industry, and twin otters became the backbone of the mining cycle. 

As the area became more accessible, the gold boom began leading to the opening of the Con and Giant Gold Mines in 1938 and 1948, respectively, along with a number of other smaller mines. During the gold boom, Yellowknife located on the northern shore of Great Slave Lake became the centre of economic activities, was named the Capital of the Northwest Territories in 1967 and is the gateway to the Canadian North. Not long after the diamond rush started, all the gold mines had closed down by 2004.

12 IKC Tindi story

In 1980 a new generation of aviators arrived, including the Arychuk family, who in 1988 started a little bush airline called Air Tindi. After some tough early years, the Canadian Diamond Rush began in the 1990s, and Air Tindi grew bigger and busier servicing the diamond industry from early exploration to ongoing mining. There are now three operating diamond mines near Yellowknife.

Air Tindi is the only airline to service diamond exploration and mining through the full history of the Diamond Rush, and more. Yellowknife, the diamond capital of North America, is the perfect place to hold 12 IKC, and allows the conference an opportunity to celebrate ‘30 Years of Diamonds in Canada’.

12 IKC Acasta - web image final

Air Tindi, best known for the eight twin otters currently in its diverse fleet, enthusiastically supported using the name “Tindi” for the 12 IKC mascot which as you can tell, is a twin otter. They will be providing charter flights for the 12 IKC Field Trips (FT01 and FT05). In 2018 Air Tindi celebrated 30 years of operation (Braden 2018, The Air Tindi Story: Flying the Burgundy Tail for 30 Years. Published by Air Tindi).

12 IKC Tindi story

Tindi is depicted during a Sub-Arctic midnight sunset with inukshuk-like reflections on the lake below and black spruce trees on the land. During the 12 IKC in July 2024, there will be no true darkness as the sun sets for a brief period of time. This photo was taken during the July 2023 site visit to Yellowknife, and we hope you will get to enjoy similar views during the conference.