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Lutsel K'e plans big competitions
Handgames tournament, fishing derby expected to draw participants from NWT and south

Kassina Ryder
Northern News Services
Published Monday, July 15, 2013

Lutsel K'e is hosting what organizers are calling the community's largest fishing derby and handgames tournament ever and they said they hope events will attract participants from across the territory and Canada.

James Marlowe, events co-ordinator, said the goal is to draw Dene from other communities in the NWT, as well as from the Yukon, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. While the events are expected to attract Dene visitors, Marlowe said "anyone and everyone" is invited to Lutsel K'e to participate in the events.

The fishing derby will take place on July 25 and the tournament is set for July 26, 27 and 28. The is sponsored by the Lutsel K'e Dene First Nation band and membership.

"We were trying to have something happen in the community where we can have a large gathering and invite other people to participate," he said. "We want to show the outlying communities that Lutsel K'e has the best trout fishing in the world, so that's why we're sponsoring this fishing derby."

Marlowe said with handgames tournaments gaining in popularity over the past several years, Lutsel K'e wanted to establish itself as a tournament hotspot.

"This is the first time we're hosting such a big tournament ... We thought it would be a good time to have a tournament in our community. We always go out to other communities for similar tournaments," he said.

Fishing derby prizes are worth a total of $20,000, which are divided into seven categories.

The first-prize winner will receive $7,000, second place will receive $5,000, third place is $3,000, fourth is $2,100, fifth is $1,200, sixth is $900 and seventh place is worth $800.

"We're going to hand out a boundary map so people can know where the fish are," he said.

In addition to prize money, Marlowe said the derby will also bring community members together.

"It's also to interact youth and elders to go out in a boat and fish and enjoy themselves," he said.

The derby will take place from noon until 8 p.m. The next day marks the start of the handgames tournament, which is open to men and boys. Marlowe said the teams will be made up of a mixture of both older and younger participants.

"We want to have younger people learn the handgames ... and how to play it, that's why we include the young people in the tournament," he said.

Marlowe said a camping area is being set up to accommodate visitors, which is included in the registration fee for the tournament.

Camping areas will include firewood, water and picnic tables, as well as fish and meat to those who request it.

"We would be providing a breakfast, lunch and supper for all the participants of the tournament," he said.

Marlowe said Lutsel K'e is a dry community, so alcohol is not permitted.

"Drugs and alcohol are not allowed, we would like to stress that," he said.

While the two big events are the primary focus of the weekend, Marlowe said there will be plenty of other activities to keep everyone entertained, such as drum dances and canoe races.

While there are no numbers on possible participants just yet, "the word is out there," said Marlowe.

Marlowe said anyone looking for more information can contact the Lutsel K'e band office.

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