Join our Science Questers as they learn about birch bark canoes and pilot Don Todd, who has flown on every continent except Antarctica.

ISA: Have you ever wanted to be a pilot? Fly over your territory and help your people or maybe you could fly anywhere in the world. Don Todd is a pilot and he’s flown throughout Indigenous lands. He’s also flown in Africa to bring food and medicine for people in need.

DON: (Language greeting) I’m Don Todd and I’m here to tell you a little bit about flying and aviation and about my life. I am a professional pilot. I started as a dock boy on the fuel plane when I was 17. And I gained my experience in the Northwest Territories. When I qualified, I got a job in Inuvik when I began flying a twin engine aircraft as a co-pilot. But I love flying in the north, especially in the summertime when the weather’s good and the sun is 24 hours. Any time of day or night, if a flight came up we’d have to go. That was, that was interesting. I got to know the Inuit people very well and especially enjoyed going to their community and visiting them when they’d come to the aircraft. After a few seasons of flying in Canada, I decided that I’d like to see the world so I traveled, I got an airplane ticket to Africa. I really enjoyed the African people. They are very welcoming, very big smiles, very kind and friendly and the children, they’re very natural. They like to play, like to laugh a lot. So they really are my family was integrated well amongst them and I felt at home with them.

DON: Our ancestors were great navigators and navigating means going between one part of the world or one part of the earth to another part of the earth and be able to get there and find your way. Well pilots have to do something, they have to go between this point where they take off to where they have to, to land and they have to get there without wasting any time so it’s important to be able to know how to navigate. If you have a wish to become a pilot, you could do it, but there’s some challenges ahead of you. One of them is that you have to get through high school. The most important ones would be math, geography, English, and science as well. If you studied those and got good marks in them and you finished your high school, it’ll make it much easier to become a pilot, go on to become an airline pilot and in, in that case I would recommend, consider going to university, get qualified with a degree, and then you could become a pilot.