NNSL Photo/Graphic

Canadian North

Home page text size buttonsbigger textsmall textText size Email this articleE-mail this page

Seniors want more human history

Paul Bickford
Northern News Services
Published Monday, June 25, 2012

An effort is starting to create a historical record for Enterprise.

The Enterprise Senior Society, which is launching the initiative, held the first public meeting to discuss the idea with community residents on June 18.

Some historical data is already available in various forms about the community, including information gathered for a land-use plan in the 1990s.

"That information doesn't really go back to day one," said Shari Dives, president of the Enterprise Senior Society. "It doesn't give us necessarily the names of the people who were here and their accomplishments and what they were doing."

All the human history is basically gone, she said. "We would rather have the human element."

Dives said the idea is to gather stories, documents, pictures and memorabilia, and combine them to form a history of the community from its beginnings in the 1950s through its years as a settlement and now a hamlet.

The Enterprise Senior Society has obtained a $24,000 grant from the New Horizons for Seniors Program of the federal Department of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada.

It is still undetermined how that money will be used, although one suggestion at the public meeting was to hire a researcher to compile the historical information.

The public meeting attracted about a dozen people.

Dives said a meeting of the society's board of directors will now be held to decide the next steps for the project.

The society already has an idea for where collected documents will be stored - the library of the new Enterprise Community Centre.

"We have the library already," Dives said. "That would be our first jumping off point."

Other space would be considered to house artifacts, possibly in display cases at the community centre or the hamlet office.

Dives said the society would also be interested in obtaining the knowledge, documents, stories and photos of former residents now living elsewhere in the NWT or anywhere.

Her husband, Jim Dives, another member of the society, noted there are many former residents of Enterprise living elsewhere, along with people who may have temporarily worked in the area.

"The amount of knowledge we have based here is a dwindling resource," he said.

Jim Dives said one of the goals is to identify the founding residents of the community. Peter Groenen, another society member and the senior administrative officer with the Hamlet of Enterprise, said it is hoped the project will record the community's history before it's lost.

"Because there are not many people in Enterprise that have been here over 20 or 30 years," he said.

Jim Dives noted, while the Enterprise Senior Society has begun the project, it only has seven members and will need help from other people, adding, "It's a community project."

E-mailWe welcome your opinions. Click here to e-mail a letter to the editor.