A picture drawn and coloured by nine-year-old Lilly Sanderson for the Inuvik RCMP’s colouring contest. Artists 12 and under have until 5 p.m. May 22 to put an entry in for a draw to win a new bicycle.
(Courtesy Lilly Sanderson)

Children in Inuvik are taking to their pens and crayons to thank essential services as two weeks of recognition line up in May.

National Police week runs from May 10-16 and National Nurses week runs from May 11 to 17.

To help celebrate the town’s first responders, nurses, grocery workers and other essential services, Inuvik RCMP is hosting a colouring contest to help youth express their gratitude that will conclude in a draw for a new bicycle.

“Kids up to age 12 can submit a drawing that recognizes all the hard work being done in Inuvik thanks to the front-line workers,” said organizer Cst. Stephanie Leduc. “Kids can print a picture and colour it if they choose or they can draw their own.”

Deadline for entries is Friday, May 22 at 5 p.m. and all drawings can be dropped off at either the customer service desk at Northmart or at the RCMP Detachment. A draw will be held after the deadline to determine the lucky winner of the new bike, donated by Northmart.

Leduc explained the idea came about as part of the year’s slogan for Police Week, “One Uniform. Many Specialties,” which highlights the many hats police officers — and nurses and others — wear in the North, ranging from coaching baseball and hockey, volunteering with school programs, working with Elders to learn on the land skills, and delivering activity bags and baking supplies.

“We usually host a community BBQ to celebrate with the community, but unfortunately due to Covid-19 we were unable to,” said Leduc. “I really wanted to do something to engage the kids. This week is also National Nurses Week. I thought it was fitting to create something to celebrate everyone.

“My hope is that kids draw, colour or create something to celebrate an essential service. My hope is that parents engage with their kids as they draw or colour and talk to them about essential workers means and what giving thanks means.”

Mayor Natasha Kulikowski thanked the town’s RCMP services for the work they have done over the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as expressing her gratitude to the town’s emergency service workers and peace officers, who have been doubling as support staff for the airport and isolation centre up until recently.

But she had special thanks for nurses who face the pandemic head-on.

“We always appreciate the work nurses do, especially right now when on the front lines,” she said. “Thankfully not facing COVID-19 in Inuvik since our one case. We appreciate all the work they put into keeping us safe and healthy.”

Eric Bowling

Breaking News Reporter and Digital Editor for NNSL, Eric operates out of Inuvik in the Beaufort Delta. He's four years into his Northern adventure and is eager to learn more about life in the Arctic Circle....

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