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News Briefs: Monday, Sept 17, 2012
Youth program opens

Youth between 16 and 24 may now submit applications to the 2012-2013 NWT Youth Ambassador Program through the Department of Municipal and Community Affairs. Those accepted to the program in the past have participated in the 2011 Royal Visit, Arctic Winter Games, Canada Winter Games, and the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. The deadline to apply to the program is Sept. 28.

- Lyndsay Herman

Camping season closes

This past weekend was the last weekend territorial parks were open and providing services to campers. Most parks closed on Saturday or Sunday, however parks in Inuvik closed at the end of August. Contact NWT Parks with the Department of Industry, Tourism, and Investment for more details on park closures.

- Lyndsay Herman

Brake to run again

Brad Brake intends to run again for the mayor's position in Fort Smith.

Brake previously sought to become mayor in 2009. However, he lost to current Mayor Janie Hobart, who is seeking re-election.

The municipal election is set for Oct. 15.

- Paul Bickford

Alzheimer's coffee break

On World Alzheimer's Day, Sept. 21, seven Fort Smith businesses and the Royal Canadian Legion will be joining forces to raise money for research into Alzheimer's disease.

The businesses - Anna's Home Cooking, Berro's Pizzeria, Kelly's, Northern Store, Pelican Boardroom Restaurant, Rapid Corner Store and Rusty Raven - will donate the day's proceeds from coffee sales to the Alzheimer's Society.

The Royal Canadian Legion Branch 239 will match all the funds raised through the coffee sales.

- Paul Bickford

Bridge completion nears

Construction on the more than $200-million Deh Cho Bridge project is set to conclude by November, according to Earl Blacklock, spokesperson for the Department of Transportation.

"We're closing in," said Blacklock.

Workers still need to finish paving the bridge, installing the guardrails and putting down the membrane surface, which will protect the bridge superstructure from weather and water damage.

"That isn't to say that there aren't things that could happen to impact that. If we were to have night and day biblical rains between now and then it won't happen," said Blacklock. "So there is always something when you're dealing with a capital project that could affect the timeline."

- Miranda Scotland

Wellness program moving in Res

Deninu Ku'e/Fort Resolution

The Community Wellness Program operated by Deninu Ku'e First Nation (DKFN) in Fort Resolution is moving to a new home.

The program's two community wellness workers are relocating to the former Nuni (Ye) Development Corporation building from the complex housing the offices of DKFN and the Hamlet of Fort Resolution.

The Nuni building was most recently used as a temporary youth centre while the new Fort Resolution Youth Centre was under construction.

The Community Wellness Program is expected to be in its new location by this week.

- Paul Bickford

Registration for Fort Smith activities

Thebacha/Fort Smith

Residents of Fort Smith will have the opportunity later this month to sign up for various fall and winter activities.

The annual community registration is set for Sept. 29 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Rec Centre.

People will be able to register for various activities at the Rec Centre and with many other organizations, such as minor hockey and the ski club.

Community groups and organizations can book a table by contacting Fort Smith town hall.

- Paul Bickford

Watercolour workshop at museum

Thebacha/Fort Smith

A workshop on watercolour painting will be held later this month at Fort Smith's Northern Life Museum.

The workshop - titled Adventure in Watercolours: The Basics - is set for Sept. 24 and 25, from 7 to 9 p.m. each evening.

It will be presented by Denis Bell, an artist from British Columbia.

The topics will include brushes, paints, papers, techniques, colours, attitude and more. Most supplies will be provided.

More information of the workshop, including the cost per participant, is available from Northern Life Museum.

An exhibit of Bell's work began at the museum on Sept. 15 and will run until Sept. 26.

- Paul Bickford

Running for a cause


The hamlet of Tuktoyaktuk scheduled its annual Terry Fox Run for Sunday, Sept. 16.

The charity event was open to anyone in the community willing to walk, run or bike for a good cause, said Annie Loreen, evening event program supervisor at Kitti Hall.

"It's for a good cause - to try and beat cancer," she said. "And it's an opportunity to get outside before winter."

The run was scheduled to travel to the tank farm located about five kilometres away, said Loreen.

- Laura Busch

Learning on the land

Tetlit'Zheh/Fort McPherson

Chief Julius School is scheduled to be closed this week as students and teachers take their learning out on the land.

The culture week will see students from grades 4 to 12 travel to Midway Lake and younger students make day trips to Eight Mile, said Sheena Snowshoe, programs manager for Tl'oondih Healing Society, which is helping organize the on-the-land program.

Students from Grade 7 and up will take part in hunting, berry picking, wood and water gathering activities among other experiences, said Snowshoe. Students from grades 4 to 6 will learn about traditional medicine, cooking and sewing, as well as participate in storytelling activities with elders, she said.

The younger group is expected to learn similar lessons to the grades 4 to 6 students, although they will be closer to the community.

Learning on the land at an early age is important, said Snowshoe.

"It's for the knowledge," she said. "Some kids, they don't get that. Kids want to be taught (bush skills) and there are a lot of youth out there who like being out on the land. They like hunting."

- Laura Busch

Special delivery for youth


Members of the Youth Council in Ulukhaktok enjoyed a special delivery before holding their annual general meeting on Aug. 31.

The 30 participants kicked off the meeting with KFC that was flown in by Aklak Air and Tim Hortons courtesy of First Air - a rare treat in the hamlet.

During the meeting, five new members were elected: Phylicia Kagyut, Adrian Kagyut, Alex Akhiatak, Brendan Kanayok and Jeremy Kuneyuna. Youth aged 13 to 25 may sit on the council, who are tasked with planning and finding funding for youth programs and events in the hamlet, said Donna Akhiatak, administrator for the council through the Ulukhaktok Community Corporation.

"It gives them skills if they want to try for future organizations, and it prepares them for job skills," she said.

- Laura Busch

Welcome for new teachers

Ikaahuk/Sachs Harbour

Inualthuyak School scheduled an orientation dinner to introduce the all-new teaching staff to the community on Sept. 17.

"It's an introduction to the teachers," said board member Doreen Carpenter. "They need all the support they can get for the whole year."

One full teaching position was cut from the school for the 2012-13 school year, leaving two full-time teachers and one half-time Inuvialuit-language assistant and one half-time classroom assistant, said Carpenter.

Two of the new teachers, Tanis Simpson and Beverly Amos, are originally from Sachs Harbour, she said. Also being welcomed was new principal Terry Davidson.

The community feast was to get underway at 6 p.m. at the school and is open to everyone, she said.

- Laura Busch Iron mine project gets green light


The proposed Mary River iron mine on north Baffin Island is closer to reality after the Nunavut Impact Review Board stated the project should proceed in accordance with recommended terms and conditions.

In its 356-page final hearing report released on Sept. 14, the review board is recommending to the federal government the project can move forward to the regulatory stage. The final hearing report was submitted to John Duncan, the minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development.

The report also outlines a number of recommended terms and conditions, including limiting the number of ships traveling the shipping route during open water season

The review board completed its environmental review of ArcelorMittal's Baffinland Iron Mines Corp.'s proposed Mary River iron mine, railway and deep sea port.

The proposed project includes a mine, railway transportation of iron mine from the site to a proposed Steensby Inlet deep sea port, operation of open water shipping at Milne Inlet, year-round marine shipping, air traffic and ongoing exploration.

- Jeanne Gagnon

Rankin Inlet man found dead

Kangiqliniq/Rankin Inlet

A 44yearold man is dead following a fishing trip gone tragically wrong in Rankin Inlet last week.

David Tattuinee had left Rankin on an all-terrain vehicle during the morning of Sept. 12 to attend to some fishing nets at Quakoviq on the Diane River. When he did not return later that day, family members initiated a search and found his ATV on one side of the river and an overturned boat on the other.

The Rankin Inlet RCMP were notified and local searchandrescue members were called out to begin searching for the man.

After Tattuinee's boots were found, divers were called in and located his body on Sept. 13 in the Diane River about 10 to 15 miles outside of Rankin.

In consultation with the coroner's office, it is believed Tattuinee succumbed as a result of hypothermia and accidental drowning.

- Darrell Greer

Nine hunters safe

Kinngait/Cape Dorset

Nine caribou hunters from Cape Dorset are safe in Coral Harbour after encountering ice in Hudson Bay.

The hunters' two 7.3-metre boats became stuck in heavy ice between Coats Island and Coral Harbour, about 52 kilometres away, on Sept. 8, stated Carol Launderville, a spokeswoman with the department of Fisheries and Oceans. She added the hunters had a satellite phone, a CB radio and a SPOT beacon, and had made it to shore on the uninhabited island awaiting help from the Canadian Coast Guard.A Hercules aircraft from Winnipeg dropped food and a marine radio to the group on Sept. 9, stated Launderville. She added the following day, the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Pierre Radisson provided them with fuel and supplies.

The hunters had chosen to remain on the island as they plan to reach Coral Harbour when the weather improved, stated Launderville.

The Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Trenton, Ont., which organized the rescue effort, confirmed the nine hunters had reached Coral Harbour in the evening of Sept. 10 and are safe.

- Jeanne Gagnon

South Camp Inn sold


Resolute's South Camp Inn has a new owner.

Atco Structures and Logistics, which already owns the Narwhal Hotel, bought the South Camp Inn from owner Aziz Kheraj, the company announced on Sept. 13.

The deal sees the Alberta-based company acquire the majority of the assets of 953731 NWT Ltd., which includes a fleet of construction equipment as well as the South Camp Inn and Airport Hotel. Atco Structures stated it will also hire the nine employees affected by the deal.

"Purchasing these assets provides us the additional capacity to support the growing demand for operational support services in northern Canada," stated Harry Wilmot, president and chief operation officer at Atco.

Atco has been a presence in Resolute since 1970, operates the community's Narwhal Hotel and provides logistical services to the Polar Continental Shelf Program.

As for Kheraj, he said he's staying in Resolute.

"I'm ready to retire so I sold it and retired," he said. "Life continues on."

- Jeanne Gagnon

The Octopus stops at Pond Inlet

Mittimatalik/Pond Inlet

A 126-metre yacht carrying two helicopters and seven smaller boats arrived in Pond Inlet on Sept. 9 and was to stay until around Sept. 13, according to the community's economic development officer.

"We've had a few people come ashore," Colin Saunders said. "They're busy visiting the visitors' centre and checking out the arts and crafts and stuff but it's been a relatively quiet visit."

The Octopus is owned by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, and is rented out. Saunders said the boat, boasting a full recording studio and carrying two helicopters, one in the bow and one in the stern, is quite the sight to behold.

"It's a gorgeous ship. It is an absolutely stunning vessel," Saunders said. "I've seen it before but they don't come up very year. Last time they were up here they were bringing Man vs. Wild's Bear Grylls up here, and that was a couple years ago - they (Man vs. Wild) did the Northwest Passage in a Zodiac."

- Tim Edwards

Fall programs to start soon

Ausuittuq/Grise Fiord

School just started in Grise Fiord and the town has been quiet, but Meeka Kiguktak, the community health representative, said there will soon be some activities for residents.

"I'm sure some programs will start anytime this fall," said Kiguktak. "Our community justice outreach worker, she does some proposals to start muskox wool-making. I'm sure I'll be doing cooking classes again and parka-making, but that's probably going to start the next couple of weeks or so."

- Tim Edwards

Kimmirut hosts Le Boreal

Kimmirut/Lake Harbour

A French cruise ship stopped in Kimmirut for close to four hours on Aug. 28, according to economic development officer Qapik Ikkidluak.

Le Boreal, called a 132-cabin "mega-yacht" on a website run by its owners, Compagnie Du Ponant, stopped in the community before moving on to Glasgow Inlet.

"They went around town, bought some carvings," said Ikkidluak. "At the end, we held a show at the Akavak Centre with Inuit games demonstrations, drum dancing, throat singing and a bone game demonstration."

- Tim Edwards

Community encourages residents to embrace life

Kugaaruk/Pelly Bay

Kugaaruk School students and the community were scheduled to walk around the hamlet to mark World Suicide Prevention Day on Sept. 10.

The event, which took place in the afternoon, included students making posters and attending various presentations, said principal Michael Bartley.

"We're going to be together and enjoy life as a community," he said. "All over Nunavut, there are issues we really need to address. The big one is that idea of really enjoying life and seeing how special it is. I believe events like this can help us all understand to respect each other and help each other, you know no putdowns, no bothering, just help each other and really enjoy life."

- Jeanne Gagnon

Vet to make visit

Kangiqliniq/Rankin Inlet

Animal health professionals with the Tuxedo Animal Hospital in Winnipeg, Man., will be making their annual visit to Rankin Inlet this coming week.

The team is scheduled to provide animal health care in Rankin from Sept. 19 to 22.

Appointments are necessary to see the team, and pet owners can contact Page Burt at the Nanuq Lodge to make sure their beloved furry friend has its spot booked.

- Darrell Greer

More cruise shipsthan planned

Ikaluktutiak/Cambridge Bay

There were five cruise ship visits to Cambridge Bay this summer, three more than originally planned.

As scheduled, the Hanseatic visited the Kitikmeot community on Aug. 23 as did The World on Aug. 30, stated Vicki Aitaok. But she added the Akademik Ioffe stopped by on Aug. 24 and Aug. 28 and the Clipper Adventurer was rerouted due to ice and visited on Sept. 3.

"It was great news, for sure, that we ended up with five (cruise ships). We were very pleased. We had plenty of notice," she said. "It wasn't an extra strain."

The community held an artist market for passengers but sales were disappointing, said Aitaok.

"I think it was just the economy that they didn't spend," she said. "We had certainly lots of things for them to purchase. More to offer and they spent less."

Only the Hanseatic asked for a cultural performance, stated Aitaok. She added for the passengers of The World, the community did a welcoming ceremony at the Gravel Pit in cabins and tents and elders were performing traditional tasks, such as fur preparation.

"We were asked to engage with passengers and have interactive displays but the passengers preferred to stand back, watch and take photos rather than participate in actually scraping skins, making bannock or filleting the fish," stated Aitaok via e-mail. "It was a wonderful morning at Gravel Pit nonetheless and the elders were very proud."

- Jeanne Gagnon New boat arrives

Uqsuqtuuq/Gjoa Haven

The Gjoa Haven Hunters and Trappers Organization recently received quite the item on sealift: a boat to harvest country food while simultaneously creating employment.

Earlier this month, the organization purchased an approximately 12-metre vessel from Quebec, featuring a motor, cabin and open space in the back, said HTO manager William Aglukkaq. He added the HTO had purchased one vessel about 20 years ago but due to poor maintenance, it was ruined. Aglukkaq said he and two others took the boat for a test run on Sept. 6.

"This is our little own campaign against ... poverty so we can supply more country food to the community," he said. "The community is all excited about the new boat. It's the biggest vessel in the community now."

The boat was named The Gjoa after the community and the Roald Amundsen ship, he added.

Aglukkaq said people are signing up to become captain or deck hands.

- Jeanne Gagnon