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News Briefs: Monday, July 2, 2012
One dead in crash in Wekweeti

A person is dead following a motor vehicle crash in Wekweeti early Saturday morning, according to a press release from the Behchoko RCMP.

Police were unable to release any further details about the incident or the deceased.

"The investigation is still under way," said Sgt. Wes Heron, media relations officer for the RCMP.

- Miranda Scotland

Missing 17-year-old last seen in Tulita

Police are searching for a 17-year-old girl who was reported missing Thursday.

Nicole Edith Horassi was last seen June 24 in the area of Lower Road in Tulita wearing blue jeans, a white tank top and grey coloured ankle boots, according to a press release from RCMP.

Horassi is described as having long brown hair, brown eyes and a slender build. She is aboriginal and stands approximately 5'7".

Police are asking anyone with information to call the RCMP Tulita Detachment at 867-588-1111 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

- Miranda Scotland

Former teacher chooses judge and jury

Former Inuvik schoolteacher Hugues Latour has chosen to be tried by a judge and jury.

Latour, who appeared in court by video Tuesday, is charged with two counts of possession of child pornography and two counts for the making of child pornography.

Latour is expected to appear in Yellowknife territorial court by video on July 3 at 1:30 p.m. to set a date for trial in Inuvik. The accused has requested that the trial and preliminary inquiry be held in french.

- Miranda Scotland

Hit and run in Inuvik

A collision involving a pedestrian has resulted in driver being fined.

At approximately 3:10 p.m. on June 26, a 41-year-old woman was crossing with the light at the intersection of Mackenzie Road and Veteran's way when she was struck by a Chevrolet Venture minivan.

When police attended the scene, the driver of the van had left, said Sgt. Peter Pilgrim of the Inuvik RCMP.

The woman was taken to hospital and released later that day with minor injuries.

The driver of the van has since been issued a fine for failing to yield right of way to a pedestrian.

- Laura Busch

Power flickers on students' awards


Students at Chief Jimmy Bruneau Regional High School were recognized for their achievements in academics, social responsibility, Tlicho language, and extracurricular activities last Tuesday. The awards ceremony took place at 1 p.m. after a community barbecue and a "fun day" where students circled through a multitude of activities and games around the school.

Patti Turner, principal of the school, said intermittent power moved the awards show from the gym to the cafeteria, where there's more natural light. She said a talent show also had to be postponed until next year since music equipment couldn't be relied upon.

"We'll probably do one next year," said Turner. "We usually do two per year."

- Lyndsay Herman

Tlicho immersion kindergarten doubles


The Tlicho Community Services Agency planned to launch a Tlicho immersion kindergarten class this fall and registration was so high, they had enough students to establish a second Tlicho immersion kindergarten class.

"We're going to have two 15-student class sizes, just to keep it small and more personal," said Rita Mueller, chief executive officer of the Tlicho Community Services Agency. "It's surprising actually, I was really happy that many people came."

Mueller said the agency was able to find another Tlicho immersion teacher, Josie Bishop, within the current staff to join teacher Therese Mantla and education assistant Celine Whane as the first Tlicho immersion educational team. With the new immersion program and a new school principal, Carolyne Whenham, Mueller said she is very excited for the 2012/2013 school year.

- Lyndsay Herman

Deadline for input on business licence


Residents of Enterprise have until July 4 to provide feedback and comments to the hamlet office on a proposed business licence for the hamlet.

On May 7, council passed first and second reading of a bylaw that would, if finally approved, create a business licence.

Third reading will take place at the council meeting on July 9. Currently, businesses in Enterprise are licensed by the GNWT.

- Paul Bickford

Sing-along at Fort Smith public library

Thebacha/Fort Smith

A family event - 1-2-3 Sing with Me - is planned for July 11 at Mary Kaeser Library in Fort Smith.

It will be presented by Fort Smith singer Karen Zaidan, the Healthy Families initiative of the Fort Smith Health and Social Services Authority, and the NWT Literacy Council.

The free sing-along, which is set from 10:30 a.m. to noon, is for parents and their children under six years of age.

There will also be dancing, story time and crafts.

The goal is to encourage language development and early literacy through songs and movement.

- Paul Bickford

Summer students take charge


Plans for Canada Day celebrations are in the hands of two talented Ulukhaktok youth this year. Kayla Kaoeloak and Micah Okheena were hired by the Ulukhaktok Community Corporation for the summer and part of their job description was planning activities for July 1.

"Our summer student Kayla, she planned for Aboriginal Day celebrations which was (July 21) and that went very well," said Victoria Akhiatak, corporate manager for the Ulukhaktok Community Corporation, who added the pair planned a barbecue on the beach for Canada Day.

Akhiatak said the barbecue was expected to include a cake-decorating contest, bicycle races, homemade boat races, sandcastle building and plenty of food.

- Lyndsay Herman

Backup plan a hit

Ikaahuk/Sachs Harbour

Rain couldn't dampen the fun of Aboriginal Day activities in Sachs Harbour on June 21.

"A lot of people showed up," said Doreen Carpenter, recreation co-ordinator for the Hamlet of Sachs Harbour. "We had a community barbecue outside the (Sachs Harbour Community Complex). It was supposed to be down on the beach but the weather wasn't great that day so we had it in the complex and outside the complex. It got really nice so it turned out really good."

Carpenter said the whole town turned up for the activities, which included a barbecue, card games and an Arctic sports demonstration put on by youth in the hamlet. Attendees also watched old videos about Sachs Harbour which showed drum dancing and told old stories, she said.

"We had planned to do traditional events like tea boiling, fish filleting, goose plucking but with the weather, it was too unpredictable ... so (those activities) will be put in with our Canada Day events on July 1," Carpenter said.

- Lyndsay Herman

Finance, food and fun

Tetlit'Zheh/Fort McPherson

The Tetlit Gwich'in Tribal Council hosted its annual community assembly on Wednesday. The purpose of the assembly was to "look for direction from the members" and review financial documents from the year, said Roberta Alexie, receptionist for the Tetlit Gwich'in Tribal Council.

Alexie said the council planned to provide food, the opportunity for members to spend time together, and invited everyone can help plan for the year ahead. She said she estimates about 50 or 60 people will attend the much-anticipated one-day event.

"Everybody comes together," said Alexie. "It's just like Aboriginal Day, only with financial statements."

- Lyndsay Herman

Community corp. on the land


Families and youth will have ample opportunity to be out on the land this summer with camps run by the Ulukhaktok Community Corporation.

"We'll be holding a family summer camp where families who don't have transportation will get the opportunity to go out on the land for a summer caribou hunt," said Victoria Akhiatak, corporate manager for the Ulukhaktok Community Corporation. "We're in the planning process."

Akhiatak said the family camp will most likely happen once all of the ice is gone.

The community corporation is also gearing up for two other camps for children and youth during either the second or third week of July, said Akhiatak.

"In these five-day camps out on the land, they will be learning to hunt seals and muskox and set out fish nets and they'll also be learning to prepare and butcher the animals and also to revitalize the language," she said. "The kids are excited about it."

- Lyndsay Herman

Mood swinging weather


Temperatures were fluctuating in Tuktoyaktuk last week, said Peter Brooks, observer and communicator for the Tuktoyaktuk Community Aerodrome Radio Station.

Brooks said the ice is gone at least as far as eyesight from Tuktoyaktuk's shores but the mosquitoes are out with a vengeance.

"(There is no ice) that I can see, but there could be some further out near the ocean but I can't see it," he said. "Our ocean that I can see is wide open now."

- Lyndsay Herman

Interim president for college

Thebacha/Fort Smith

Jane Arychuk has been appointed interim president of Aurora College while it continues a competitive hiring process for the position. Education, Culture and Employment Minister Jackson Lafferty made the three-month appointment in consultation with college's board of governors.

It will be effective as of July 3.

"We are pleased to announce that Ms. Arychuk has accepted the position," said Lafferty in a June 26 news release. "She brings a strong background and professional experience in education."

Arychuk was most recently the director of community education for Behchoko with the Tlicho Community Services Agency. Prior to that, she worked at Aurora College as a vice-president and director of the Yellowknife Campus.

Sarah Wright Cardinal resigned as college president on June 13 to pursue a doctoral degree.

- Paul Bickford

Losing hair to fight cancer


About a dozen Resolute residents are now bald as they got their heads shaved to raise money for cancer.

RCMP Cpl. Maria Chartrand had her head shaved on June 21 as part of Cops for Cancer to raise money for the Canadian Cancer Society. She was originally the only one set to lose her hair that day but 12 people got their head shaved in support.

"We raised $2,100 and I was anticipating $1,000 so I'd say a perfect success," she said. "Most of the people, in support, they shaved their head. They didn't go get sponsors."

It was the first time she did it in Resolute, having done it twice in Yellowknife.

- Jeanne Gagnon

Recording artist turns EDO


Recording artist Lucie Idlout has done less singing and more calculating lately as she is Iglulik's new community economic development officer.

Idlout started her new position with the hamlet in February, replacing Ruben Maktar.

Idlout said she decided to take on the new challenge because she has been spending more time applying for grants than she has spent writing music.

"I love it here. It's probably the smartest choice I've ever made," she said.

She added it's her first time living in Iglulik. She moved from Iqaluit.

"I think there is a lot of initiatives we can take on to make the community more financially healthy," she said. "Just taking the resources already in place and expanding on them."

Idlout, originally from Pond Inlet, has recorded two albums and has toured Canada and Europe.

- Jeanne Gagnon

Cameras for communities


Community groups have a rare opportunity to get their hands on some decent cameras courtesy of the Embrace Life Council, which has 25 digital SLR cameras and four hi-definition video cameras available. The cameras were left over from a pilot project for youth the council ran, and are no longer being used.

"We're looking for individuals who work with organizations or groups in the community who under normal circumstances wouldn't be able to afford to purchase a camera for their group but could use one for the work they're doing," said executive director Jenny Tierney.

The still cameras are Canon Rebels in good condition, and will be delivered ready to use. Groups are being asked to pay for shipping from Iqaluit.

The council has received lots of applications already, and will start deciding who will get the cameras this week, so interested groups should apply as soon as possible.

- Casey Lessard

Sea ice breaking up earlier than usual

Ikpiarjuk/Arctic Bay

It's not easy travelling on the sea ice in Arctic Bay this year.

"It's a bad year for cracks - lots of them, fairly wide and fairly early," said economic development officer Clare Kines. "There are cracks every year that make travelling more of a challenge, but people are saying this year they've seen them earlier and wider apart earlier."

The difficulties come as many members of the community are out on the land camping, he said.

"We were out this weekend and there was a tricky one out in Admiralty Inlet that was a bit of a challenge to get across," he said. "I was just out to Victor Bay and the cracks normally run off the point that sticks out, but there's one out there that runs perpendicular to what they normally run."

- Casey Lessard

Canada Day plans in Kugluktuk


Kugluktuk planned to celebrate Canada Day with sports, a parade, a barbecue and a polar bear swim.

The activities were set to start at 12:30 p.m. with a half-hour parade from the recreation complex to the baseball diamonds, with prizes for the best-decorated truck, bicycle or ATV, said Jessica VanOverbeek, the hamlet's recreation co-ordinator. There were to be hot dogs and hamburgers on the barbecue, and cake for anyone with a sweet tooth. Planned afternoon activities included baseball and four-on-four basketball tournaments as well as bike and foot races for children, said VanOverbeek.

"Last year, there were over 300 people who came and probably another 100 people who come and just dropped by at different places or different times," she said. "People are starting to get excited and ask about it. It should be a good one this year. Lots of stuff for people to come out and show their red and white and celebrate Canada."

There was also to be a polar bear swim, said VanOverbeek, noting four people participated in that event last year.

"It's kind of warm. (Community members) were swimming already last week or so. I don't know if it's going to be much of a polar bear dip but it's still chilly," she said.

- Jeanne Gagnon

Kivalliq airport improvements


The Kivalliq has seen a number of improvements at community airports that will continue this summer.

The airport equipment garages constructed at Repulse Bay and Whale Cove this past year will be finished this summer at a combined cost of about $1 million, while Chesterfield Inlet received an upgrade to its airfield lighting and will see improvements made to its terminal building.

Rankin Inlet will see $27 million worth of improvements at its airport this summer, with the majority going to improve the tarmac and terminal building.

Baker Lake will receive $6 million in airport improvements, while Arviat is receiving a new plough truck and maintenance vehicle.

- Darrell Greer

Youth leading kids for the summer

Kimmirut/Lake Harbour

Four Kimmirut high school students are spending the summer keeping children occupied as supervisors for a community day camp.

The 30 children spend half of each day inside and the other half outside until August 24, hamlet recreation co-ordinator Martha Ikkidluak said. They stay busy with hikes and other activities from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.

"They're watching the kids, playing with them, going on hikes or playing sports," she said.

Funding for the program is provided by Kakivak Association, which allows the program to be free for parents.

- Casey Lessard

Dean's list

Baker Lake/Vancouver

Kyle McLean of Baker Lake was placed on the Dean's List at Capilano University in North Vancouver, B.C., last month.

Students named to the Dean's List must maintain a grade point average of 3.67 or better in a full program of studies.

The designation will be recorded on McLean's transcript as a permanent record of his accomplishment.

McLean, who took kindergarten to Grade 9 in Baker, enrolled in Capilano's motion picture production program in 2010 after graduating from Oak Park High School in Winnipeg, Man.

- Darrell Greer

Turbine woes

Kangiqliniq/Rankin Inlet

The blades let go from the 12-year-old wind turbine in Rankin Inlet last month.

The Qulliq Energy Corp. has announced the cause of the blade failure is unknown and no plans are currently in the works to repair the turbine.

The windmill was the latest in a series of pilot projects began in the 1990s that all met with failure.

- Darrell Greer