The Inuvialuit Region of the Canadian western Arctic continues to support a variety of land-based activities as part of the regional mixed economy. Tourism development, one of the newer elements of the mixed economy, has potential to conflict with beluga whale hunting, one of the traditional activities. The paper asks the question: can local employment be created through nature-based tourism development in Inuvik, Aklavik, and Tuktoyaktuk in the Inuvialuit Region in ways that support the local mixed economy and minimize conflict with the traditional sector? Results of interviews with Inuvialuit elders and tour operators indicate that both parties regard tourism as a desirable employment option and a creator of economic benefits, with relatively few economic drawbacks and relatively little environmental concern. The problem, however, is that tourism also brings with it social impacts and cultural drawbacks that are, in the Inuvialuit view, mostly related to (a) intrusiveness of tourists, especially in relation to the beluga hunt; (b) representation of the aboriginal hunt in a negative light; and (c) commodification of culture. On the balance, nature-based tourism development has the capability to support the local mixed economy, subject to resolving the conflict between beluga whaling activities and tourists. Fundamentally, however, the conflict is between Inuvialuit lifestyles and values versus the values and expectations of tourists.