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Satellites and multiculturalism define opportunities in Beaufort-Delta

Inuvik Drum Editor Stewart Burnett

opinion - Inuvik Drum Editor Stewart Burnett

It’s a busy month for an economically quiet town. Everyone sees the satellites around Inuvik but not everyone knows what they’re doing.

Next week, the Landsat Technical Working Group will meet for the 26th time, bringing scientists and ground station specialists from more than 30 countries together to discuss satellite imagery data collection. The program spawned out of the NASA space mission.

With the Mackenzie Valley Fibre Link expected to be up and running by this paper’s printing date, that information will make it to the Internet much faster.

Inuvik is situated perfectly for this imagery, and the business of studying changes on the Earth’s surface isn’t likely to boom and bust like some others.

Globally, the satellite industry is larger than $208 billion, according to 2015 revenues.

The town should be doing just about everything it can to encourage more investment here, though no doubt they’re big and expensive projects.

This weekend, the Arctic Image Festival is celebrating Northern photographers. The group also hopes to revitalize the downtown core in the long run and provide a service for local shutterbugs through professional-quality printing.

Some of the photographers in this town are incredible, and their work deserves to be on display.

Not a lot of media makes it out of the North. Some southerners would be surprised to know about the talent that resides here.

Archiving the people and places of the Arctic has long-term historic value, in addition to promoting the area as a media destination.

Multicultural event shows pride in diversity

Inuvik just held its third annual multicultural night, complete with dozens of cultures on display and people of all backgrounds mingling and celebrating what makes theirs unique.

Fundamental to the greatness of Canada is the ability to have so many cultures intermix while maintaining a core set of values.

It’s a point of national pride that we can eat shawarma for dinner, listen to hip-hop on the way home and go to bed with a dreamcatcher in the window, all without a thought of that being anything but being part of the Canadian identity.

The subject can get a bit touchy these days but no one should stop celebrating and sharing culture.

The Beaufort-Delta is a place that is a generational home to some, and a temporary home to many. It attracts people from around the world.

For a town most people outside the North wouldn’t be able to place on a map, it’s been touched by an incredible number of people. The sharing of culture only enriches the town and its population.

We can be Gwich’in, Inuvialuit, African, American or whatever else, and we’re all still Inuvikian and Canadian.