The Y2K adventure
A chance to start the next century where we began

Richard Gleeson
Northern News Services

NNSL (Dec 13/99) - The doom and gloom of what has come to be known as the Y2K problem is starting to overshadow the upside of losing power for the first week of the new millennium.

What better way to start the 21st century than to step back into the 17th century for a little while?

What about it, Patricia McNeely of Fort Good Hope? Are you up for the fun and adventure of a week of lights-out starting January 1?

"I never really thought of it that way," confessed McNeely of Fort Good Hope. "No, I don't think it would be any fun, especially with little ones in the house."

The kids would love it! Think of them quietly making candles, hauling in toboggan loads of snow and ice to be melted down for water and helping with the fishing nets.

"I don't know," said Sarah Kuptana of Holman. "We'd have to prepare. You'd have to work more. We're so used to having electricity."

That's the best part of it. It would be such a dramatic change. Overnight, no more TV, video, radio, lights, computers, telephones, ovens, toasters, stoves -- back to surviving on our wits in the harsh Northern climate, just the way all Northerners used to.

Holman's favourite disc jockey, Jamie Kimiksana, said he's too busy enjoying himself to worry about the Y2K blues. Kimiksana is better known as Uncle Buck, host of the local radio station CKHI's afternoon Uncle Buck Show.

Asked if he wouldn't appreciate the week off a Y2K meltdown would give him, Kimiksana said, "My radio equipment is pretty ancient. I don't have to worry about that."

Northern writer, poet and photographer Rene Fumoleau of Lutsel K'e said some people are better equipped to live the Y2K adventure than others.

"If you live in a small house with a wood stove, it would be okay."

Fumoleau said his Lutsel K'e neighbours are in that boat but he certainly isn't. He lives in a four- unit complex -- "I have never lived in such luxury," he said.

"It would be a disaster for society -- we all are used to heating systems, communications systems, running water..."

OK, OK, I get the point! But it's so obvious it must be wrong.

At least one person in the NWT thinks the lights going out for a week wouldn't be ba.

Winnie Cadieux of Enterprise said there's been talk of a big New Year's Eve party in her South Slave community -- "That way we'll all be together and keep warm."

Cadieux said if the lights go off for a week, it's not going to change her lifestyle too much -- "We don't turn the lights on anyway, we like to be kept in the dark."