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NNSL Photo/Graphic

Josh McDonald, left, and Gloria Nasogaluak are the new recreation programmers in Fort Liard. They plan to offer activities -- ranging from sports and games to arts and crafts -- for people of all ages. - Derek Neary/NNSL photo
Something for everyone

Derek Neary
Northern News Services

Fort Liard (June 25/04) - Fort Liard had gone a year without a recreation programmer, but now the community has two.

Gloria Nasogaluak and Josh McDonald, both recent graduates of Aurora College's two-year recreation leaders program in Inuvik, started their jobs last week.

Dianne Gonet, Fort Liard's mayor, said the hamlet is able to afford both positions because it had saved money with the job vacant for so long.

In addition, she said the municipality applied its GST rebate from the federal government towards the additional recreation staff member.

She also credited senior administrative officer John McKee for being a marvellous money manager.

Previous attempts were made to fill the position, but they fell through on a few occasions, according to Gonet.

Fort Liard's community action committee will help guide the new recreation programmers, she noted.

She said the committee is emphasizing healthy lifestyles and it wants youth participation in devising schedules and activities.

To that end, Nasogaluak and McDonald visited each class at Echo Dene school last week to introduce themselves.

They asked students about their preferences and found out that soccer, recreation games such as predator, camp-outs and ball hockey were at the top of the list.

Summer multi-sport camp

McDonald and Nasogaluak also volunteered to help out with Aboriginal Day activities, are lending a hand with Canada Day events, will be helping to set up a summer multi-sport camp and will establish a monthly recreation calendar.

Nasogaluak said activities will be for young and old and will include arts and crafts.

"I enjoy working with the youth and I have respect for my elders," she said.

The couple decided to take the jobs for the change of scenery -- there are no trees in Inuvik -- and because they are able to work together.

"This community has been very welcoming," said Nasogaluak. "Everybody's been very nice."

McDonald said the social aspects of recreation interested him in the profession.

"I have a passion for having big gatherings where people are having lots of fun and seeing smiling faces," he said. "It makes for a more healthy community."