People from Inuvik

The Inuvik Cool Attitude

The Inuvik Cool Attitude

October, 2015

“It is like a little Toronto with all its variety”- Ruth

Beyond the line of the Arctic Circle lies a little town by the name of Inuvik. It is an important town because it is the commercial hub of the northern most part of the Northwest Territories in the second biggest country in the world, Canada.

In Inuvik there is an airport, a library, a couple of restaurants, a few hotels or inns as well as a big supermarket. Inuvik is surrounded by spruce landscape, then Tundra and in between the Mackenzie River delta. In summer they have weeks of constant daylight, in winter it stays dark for quite a while. This beautiful town at 68° North is home to several communities.

It was a bit of an adventurous bike ride to get up here (read more in Cycling the Dempster Part 1 and Part 2), but it was absolutely worth the effort! When we arrived to Inuvik we were lucky enough to witness and take part of two important events in the area. The first was the world famous Great Northern Arts Festival which exhibited the art work of more than 100 different artists and so many pieces I just stopped counting. In the evening there were also live performances from local talents including a band performing music with throat singing, producing a sound I had never heard in my life, as well as an introduction to the Northern Games.

Exhibit of the Festival

Exhibit of the Festival

If Only I Could afford Them

If Only I Could afford Them

Polar Bear Dancing

An Amazing Polar Bear Dancing,

The other event was the signing of accords between the Canadian government and the Inuvialuit, a big community of First Nation people. The accords granted them much more liberty to make autonomous decisions concerning their land and their ways. We had the fortune to be present in that event and we were even able to dine together with the locals and politicians and witness the celebrations which included singing, dances and lots of laughter.

Celebrating Autonomy

Celebrating Autonomy

Celebrating Autonomy

Celebrating Autonomy

It is hard to explain how interesting this town is without being there, a town that sees the sun 24 hours a day in summer and the stars almost every night for the rest of the year. A town that is illuminated constantly by the northern lights, gets excited and ready for hunting season in spring and picks berries in late summer. A town that might have -50 degree celsius days in winter and 25 degrees in summer. A town that celebrates the return of the Sun in January. A town like no other, a town where art flourishes and where its inhabitants fight to keep their old ways alive and radiant by nurturing their culture onto the minds and spirits of the little ones. So the closest we will ever get to share the true spirit of this town is by presenting you to the people who make this town awesome. Tasting Travels is proud to present a small but meaningful recognition to them, the inhabitants of Inuvik.

People from Inuvik

Mary-Anne

Mary-Anne

Mary-Anne (33)

Works in the Tourism Information Center (Western Arctic Tourism and Parks). Born in Aklavik, moved to the Bahamas and then Ontario when she was little and lived in Inuvik since she was 10 years old.

What do you like most about living in Inuvik?

The community living.

What is your favorite thing to do here in winter?

I’m not a winter person. I like to watch Netflix in winter.

What is your favorite thing to do here in summer?

Hiking.

What would you like our readers to know about Inuvik?

It is a place where you all look out for each other, where you help each other. No matter if it is a towny or a visitor.

Dreven

Dreven

Dreven (8)

Son of Mary-Anne, born and raised in Inuvik.

What do you like most about living in Inuvik?

The woods.

What is your favorite thing to do here in winter?

Visit the cabin and learn about hunting.

What is your favorite thing to do here in summer?

Sleep.

What would you like our readers to know about Inuvik?

It’s awesome.

Ruth

Ruth

Ruth (55)

Gwitch’in elder (although she has a very young spirit to me) who likes to pass on her traditional knowledge. Born in Aklavik, grew up in Inuvik. Has eight children and eight grandchildren.

What do you like most about living in Inuvik?

How many people live here. It is a little community, people are open, and you will meet lots of people and also a big variety of people. If you move up here and you decide not only to meet people from back home, you have the chance to meet and befriend so many different types of people. It is like a little Toronto with all its variety.

What is your favorite thing to do here in winter?

Going for walks and going sliding with my eight grandchildren.

What is your favorite thing to do here in summer?

Picking berries (also in fall), teaching my grandchildren leaf-hunt (insects and leaves). It’s our land and they should learn how to do those kind of things.

What would you like our readers to know about Inuvik?

When you come – meet the locals! If you stay for a while, they would take you out to their camp or fishing or berry-picking. Just befriend them!

Donna, Meeka and Delma

 

Donna (52), Meeka (32) and Delma (8 Months)

Three generations-family

What do you like most about living in Inuvik?

Donna: My family is here. It is our home!

Meeka: Yes, this is where we grew up!

What is your favorite thing to do here in winter?

Donna and Meeka: Eating good food like Muktuk (whale) and watching movies. Work hard, pay bills, get out of town, maybe go to Edmonton.

What is your favorite thing to do here in summer?

Donna and Meeka: We like to go out to all the events outside and enjoy the daylight.

What would you like our readers to know about Inuvik?

Meeka: Come and see the midnight sun!

Donna: Come, visit us, we’ve got lots to offer!

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John Andrew and his Aunt

 

John Andrew (25)

Carver, exhibits his work at the Great Northern Arts Festival. Grew up in a family of carvers. Born and raised in Tuktoyaktuk, moved to Inuvik three years ago.

What do you like most about living in Inuvik?

I can sell my work at the Great Northern Arts Festival!

What is your favorite thing to do here in winter?

I can travel.

What is your favorite thing to do here in summer?

The Arts Festival!

What would you like our readers to know about Inuvik?

Come and visit the Festival!

Donald

Donald

Donald (62)

Born in Aklavik, moved to Inuvik in 1958 when the town started. Sweeps the streets for a living. Refers to himself as ¾ Scotsman and ¼ Indigenous.

What do you like most about living in Inuvik?

We used to have the town very separated. East with running water and all that, and west without. People were separated by religion and heritage. So I grew up believing that we were all different. But then they put us all together in school and I found out we’re actually all the same. And we still are.

What is your favorite thing to do here in winter?

I used to like winters but now I am old and I ache in winter. Now there’s not too much going on here in winter. Once the company bought a multi-thousand Dollar Machine for sweeping. It lasted 54 hours here in winter. Now I’m back on the bobcat and a brush.

What is your favorite thing to do here in summer?

Hang out and enjoy the 24 hours daylight. When I was little (9), they chose me to go down South for a few weeks of school exchange and I couldn’t believe that there was not 24 hours of sunlight during summer!

What would you like our readers to know about Inuvik?

You’ll have to come and find out!

Mc Donald Family

The McDonald Family

 

Brian and Pam McDonald

They own and operate one of the best food trucks I have ever been. Brian is a Native to Inuvik and his family goes way back. The restaurant they own is named after Brian’s mom Alestine and the school bus they use as kitchen was actually driven through the ice road from Tuktoyaktuk. During the summer Brian’s and Pam’s kids also work at the truck serving the best fish n chips north of the Arctic Circle. They are very friendly and kind people, so hopefully if you are around Inuvik you can pay them a visit (look out four our sticker somewhere on their bus).

Baseball Crew

Baseball Crew

Baseball Crew (Several)

I did not have a chance to talk to them, but as they say images speak more than words, and it is obvious that these kids were having the time of their life playing the ever so popular game of baseball.

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Wink

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Batter Up!

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Style Above Else

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Ready for Action

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Home Run

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Bicycle Brings People Together

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Who could withstand the Sumo?

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  1. Truly very interesting and lovely People we met up North!!!

  2. Janet Potter says:

    Great article and pictures. I worked and lived in Inuvik May/07 to May/10. It was a wonderful experience and I think the greatest place to live in the north. The people are wonderful and always friendly. I was lucky that my job was serving the public, and would get to see many familiar faces every day. I miss you all very much. Janet

  3. Jesse Tuesday says:

    That must have been amazing to pull into Inuvik after all that riding. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Hi Jesse,
      It felt sooo good to have reached the End of the Dempster and a place full of people and culture and to rest those bikes. But I still hope we can be back some day!

  4. Pingback: I think it’s clearing up: Roadtripping Yukon and cycling the Yellowhead Highway - Tasting Travels | Tasting the cultures of the world by bike

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