Pharma: Is Your Brand Surviving or Thriving? Lessons From Polar Bears and First Peoples of Canada

 Just back from sub-arctic Churchill, Canada, also known as the “Polar Bear Capital of the World,” we had an amazing opportunity to not only see these magnificent animals ‘up close and personal’, but to also meet and talk with some of the First Peoples (which include the First Nations, Inuit and Metis) who shared their interesting history and stories.

Churchill is a small, northern town in the Canadian province of Manitoba and is located on the shore of the Hudson Bay, where the polar bears descend from October to mid-November as they wait for the Bay to freeze, so they can go back out and hunt for ringed seals. The only way to reach this remote settlement is by prop plan or a 40-hour train journey from Winnipeg. (We flew on none other than ‘Calm Air’.)

The first thing that we were told as we were greeted in Churchill: “ At this time of the year, there is every possibility of a polar bear wondering into town, and remember,  they haven’t eaten since July!… In other words, the bear warnings posted around town are not for show or to give tourists a frisson! [We also learned two important lessons should you come face-to-face with a polar bear:  1) do not run and 2) do not play dead.]

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