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Night of celebration showcases multicultural life of Inuvik

Bonny Ebele and Emmanuel Ndumu, both from Africa, take part in Inuvik’s third annual multicultural event, held on Saturday, May 27.
- Stewart Burnett/NNSL photo

It’s a town of just over 3,000 people, but Inuvik has the world on display in the many backgrounds of its residents.
The third annual multicultural night brought people together and encouraged vibrant displays of their culture Saturday, May 27.
Emmanuel Ndumu, originally from Cameroon, has been in Inuvik for six months and in Canada since 2015.
“We are projecting the culture of Canada as a multicultural society,” Ndumu said. “That is why we are proudly bringing people together so we can enjoy different cultures and know at the end of the day we are one people, doing one thing, and we strive under the flag of Canada.”
Inuvik is a multicultural community, he added.
“We have people from Asia, Filipinos, the Inuvialuit population, the Gwich’in population, the Denes, we have French Canadians, we have Caucasian Canadians, and we even have people from Africa, like myself. We have all come together to enjoy this part of Inuvik that is also a part of Canada.”
The multicultural night is important for showing that people might have different ways of doing things, but at the end of the day they are all respected as individuals, he added.
“Personally, I love Canada,” said Ndumu. “I love Inuvik, because when I come I see all this culture, I see all these people, I love them and I see them, I eat their food, and I try to see their differences, how it tastes differently.”
Trudy Marks is originally from Germany, “near Cologne,” she said, to make it easier for the geographically-challenged Drum reporter.
She’s been in Canada since 1975 and moved to Inuvik in 1985.
“There are so many people from a different country here,” said Marks. “It’s so interesting in a small town like this. You never expect it.”
It’s nice to keep the memory of your home country alive even when you are now a Canadian, she added.
Caroline Mutua, originally from Kenya, has been in Inuvik for 10 years.
Last year, the event had almost 55 cultures on display, and she estimated it was a similar number this year.
“People who are very far from back home, they come here because of work and this is the only way sometimes we get together, having fun, we dance, we bingo, we get to eat different cultures,” she said.
Inuvik is a town that everyone is calling home right now, and meeting people from all over the map is a cause for celebration, she said.