Last week we featured a story on the Humans of Inuvik project, asking people to describe an important life lesson, an inspiring figure, an entertaining story or to simply share what they love about the community.
To help encourage more people to submit pieces to the project, I’ve decided to put forward a submission of my own.
First off, I’m supposed to list my greatest inspirations and role models. This is a tough one, largely due to the volume of literature I draw from. To keep it to news reporting, my early inspiration came from watching fictional news reporters like April O’Neil of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Tintin, from The Adventures of Tintin. Both characters just kept on going no matter what or how much was thrown at them. In my teens, larger than life writers like Hunter S. Thompson who were willing to speak truth to power no matter what, helped propel me into this field. These days, my colleagues and my competitors who keep pushing the boundaries, digging for stories, continuing to do amazing work at their respective publications and stations, are sources of serious inspiration.
What do I love about Inuvik? Another big question. And, there’s a lot. This last week I was enjoying the warm October air while delivering the Inuvik Drum by hand. The streets were quiet and empty, except for one man walking along with a compact boom box, blasting classic 90s hip-hop off the walls of Mackenzie Street. The steady beat was entrancing, the chill feel around the town so mellow — it all made for a nice trip down memory lane.
We have a lot of freedom here in the north that people piled high in cramped circumstances down south can only dream of. And it’s great to see people always finding ways to get creative with it. From the mind blowing drone photography captured in the area to the wild hiking adventures luring us into the vast natural spaces, there’s no limit to the number of ways to re-invent oneself.
Philosophically speaking, life in the north has sparked serious self-reflection. Obscene shipping costs mean most people only come up with the minimum, leaving many of their distractions down south. It’s hard to hide from yourself up here. So I’m grateful for a place to examine myself and see both the good and bad.
What I love most about this community is the support people offer one another. As I have navigated my car issues previously mentioned in this space, people have offered their time, expertise and equipment to help without any expectation of compensation — many refusing my attempts to even pay for time when we didn’t get the results we wanted. One fellow I’ll single out in particular, Brandon Villeneuve, spent several hours troubleshooting my car’s computer and I highly recommend you look him up if you’re having issues with your onboard computer.
The people who care in this community, care a lot. Volunteers put together functions for all of us on a near weekly basis. People are ready to help out on seemingly a moment’s notice.
That is what I love about Inuvik. This community has a spirit that should be the envy of Canada.