The Inuvialuit Regional Corporation (IRC) hosted cultural events alongside its annual hockey tournament Friday, Feb. 16 and Saturday, Feb. 17.

A young drum dancer, centre, tries out some moves during the IRC Cup cultural day drum dancing. Samantha McKay/NNSL photo

Peggy Day who works on the IRC wellness team, was one of the cultural event organizers, along with the rest of the wellness team.

Day said the first cultural event was a free country food feast prepared by John and Sally Day.

“We had all of the traditional food, it was a big hit,” Day said. “As soon as we opened the doors, people were flooding in. Some people had never tried these foods before, so it was a good way to introduce our foods.”

Muktuk, donuts, reindeer soup and moose stew were all on the menu.

“It was so nice to see the elders sitting around and enjoying a meal together and telling stories,” Day said. “It’s so important to do these kinds of events and eat together to keep us all intertwined … it just makes you feel proud of your culture.”

Brian Rogers came in to run a sealskin keychain sewing workshop, which Day said was also popular.

Danny Gordon and Annie Gordon also came to run tool making workshops. On Friday, they taught ulu-making skills, and on Saturday, they made fish hooks.

Josephine Felix, left, Debbie Gordon-Ruben and Jeanette Elanik danced the afternoon away. Samantha McKay/NNSL photo

“We had lots of teens taking part in the tool making,” Day said.

Arctic sports and Northern games were also part of the events.

In the evening, there was an old time dance on Friday, and drum dancing on Saturday.

“All the feedback we received, people were telling us that this was such a good idea,” Day said. “It was all really good. Since the cup is an IRC event, we thought we should have some cultural activities to go with it. I think everyone is going to expect them every year now because they were such a success!”

Day said the IRC will likely hold cultural events alongside next year’s IRC Cup as well.

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