After about one and a half years as editor of the Drum, I’m leaving the paper but staying in Inuvik, because it’s a great town. I notice a lot of former mayors, GNWT employees and even Drum editors tend to stick around.

The talented Samantha McKay is taking over the paper.

In my time as Drum editor, here are a few things that stick with me:

  • One question is all it takes for GTC president Bobbie Jo Greenland-Morgan to give 40 minutes of quotes. She makes the job easy.
  • Children here have a love for mascots that is almost uncomfortable, but that might be my bias speaking, after growing up feeling terrorized whenever Polkaroo came on TV.
  • Vince Sharpe will never – wittingly or not – learn to use his microphone at council meetings. Deputy mayor Steve Baryluk will always turn it on for him, which will always elicit a laugh from director of Community Services Lise Saumur in the audience.
  • Elementary students love being in the newspaper and will line up for the opportunity, but that interest quickly fades as they age, and most senior high students are far too cool for the local reporter. The ones who aren’t are the coolest to me, though.
  • Kurt Wainman doesn’t have to say anything to show his opinion at council meetings. Leaning way back in his chair and staring into the abyss of the ceiling says it all.
  • Alana Mero has a lot of good ideas about which jokes and comments the local press should and shouldn’t report.

Inuvik was something like the 10th community I’ve reported in. What surprised and struck me was the friendliness of people here.

Reporters can often feel like the town nuisance, calling you early on Monday and pressuring you to respond by deadline or showing up while you’re playing badminton and trying to take a sweaty photo of you on the spot.

But Inuvikians, more than anywhere I’ve reported, seem to welcome local news coverage and go out of their way to help you get what you need.

I don’t know what it is about the town that harbours such friendly locals and draws like-minded transplants. Maybe all the natural gas fumes from the ground.

Thank you for welcoming me, and I hope to see Inuvik boom again.

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