Well, here we are. The cusp of Christmas and New Year’s. Before long, 2020 will be merely a memory we do our best to avoid.
This edition will be our last printed Inuvik Drum for the year, which means I have been your reporter now for just over a year.
I want to take this time to thank the people of Inuvik for the support, assistance and friendship you have offered. It’s not easy leaving a world you’ve existed in for several decades and starting over in a totally new one. So thank you for being so welcoming.
While I don’t have a point of reference to compare it to, we all know this year has been highly unusual, with lock downs, border closures, isolation restrictions, cancelled festivals and the ouster of a cabinet minister.
But through it all, the North has demonstrated a resilience that should be the envy of the world. While we see protests erupting down south, here it seems most have accepted the restrictions as an annoying but needed means to protect our Elders and communities.
And truly, our vigilance is paying off in that we are able to celebrate Christmas together, albeit keeping to small gatherings.
After schools were closed in the initial outbreak, parents and teachers came together to do graduation ceremonies at high schools across the Delta. Now, every student has a laptop in the event of a worst-case scenario.
So I feel this Christmas we should all count our blessings and reflect on this year and how we’ve adapted to it. We’ve shown that, even while keeping a heightened sense of safety during a pandemic, that we can still have fun.
Tsiigehtchic was still able to host a baseball tournament and its annual Canoe Daze without incident. Similarly, up here our premier wrestling league Totally Arctic Wrestling was able to put on a private show within the restrictions to the delight of the town.
It didn’t happen on its scheduled date, but we were able to hold our annual Midnight Sun Fun Run — a few hardcore runners took that a step further and completed the 24-hour “World’s Toughest Mudder” race earlier this month. The rest of us mere mortals are signing up for the annual Walk to Tuk this January.
Speaking of January, the town is preparing to host a modified Sunrise Festival. While the usual activities such as the opening ceremonies, taste of Inuvik and bonfire are not possible under the current rules, I’m confident the minds that brought us a drive-in showing of Jurassic Park have ideas in the works.
Lastly, I need to say the Town of Inuvik’s staff do not get nearly enough credit for the effort they’ve put out this year in trying to keep the community spirit alive. From concerts to keeping the Arctic Market alive, while managing the isolation centre for part of the year and still maintaining much of the usual services, town staff have gone over and above the call of duty to keep Inuvik moving.
But we all deserve a pat on the back for our efforts to cope with 2020. Let’s hope our next year together can drift back to so-called normalcy.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays all. See you in 2021.