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News Briefs: Monday, July 8, 2013
Dene National Assembly begins

The 43rd Dene National Assembly is scheduled to be held July 8 to 12 at East Three School in Inuvik.

Monday and Friday are set to be travel days. From 9 a.m. onwards on Tuesday and Wednesday, chiefs and leaders from Dene communities and businesses are expected to make presentations and give reports on what is happening in their area.

Thursday's discussions have been set aside as a time for Dene elders to voice their concerns about the land and how it is changing.

- Laura Busch

Beach audits to be performed

The Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment (ITI) is contracting the Life Saving Society of Alberta and the Northwest Territories to perform an audit on two beaches in the NWT.

The beaches at Yellowknife's Fred Henne Territorial Park and Hay River Territorial Park will be reviewed over the next two weeks. The audit will look at the use of lifeguards, beach size and access, park numbers and usage, signage and supervision.

This audit comes after a seven-year-old boy drowned at Long Lake in Fred Henne Territorial Park on June 27. There are currently no lifeguards stationed at either beach.

- NNSL staff

Enterprise paving contract awarded

At its July 2 meeting, the council of the Hamlet of Enterprise awarded a paving contract to Hay River's Carter Industries Ltd.

The project, which will involve the paving of almost all residential streets in Enterprise, is set to begin on July 15 and be completed by Sept. 30. The work is valued at approximately $1.7 million, and will include road preparation, ditching and paving.

- Paul Bickford

Suspicious fire in Fort Liard

Police are asking for the public's help solving a fire at an abandoned house at the corner of Mountainview Road and Cottonwood Road in Fort Liard in the early morning of July 6.

The Fort Liard Fire Department responded to a call to the abandoned building at about 2 a.m. After the fire was initially extinguished, it re-ignited at about 7 a.m. This time, the structure was allowed to burn because "damage was extensive," stated an RCMP news release. The cause of the fire has yet to be determined, and there were no suspects as of press time.

"We have very minimal leads to go on," said RCMP spokesperson Barry Ledoux.

The fire is being considered suspicious, said Ledoux.

- Laura Busch

No bison deaths due to anthrax

There have been no cases of anthrax in the Mackenzie or Slave River Lowlands bison herds yet this year, according to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

Judy McLinton, spokesperson for the GNWT Department of Environment and

Natural Resources, said aerial surveillance has been taking place on both herds since June and researchers have not reported any anthrax cases.

Last August, more than 400 bison carcasses were found in the areas around Fort Providence and Behchoko, known as the Mackenzie Bison range.

More than 300 of those were found near Fort Providence, in the Deh Cho region.

The animals, which were primarily found on the highway, were all members of the Mackenzie herd.

A survey done in March 2012 counted about 1,440 bison. More than 30 per cent of them died during the outbreak.

McLinton said surveys will continue through the summer.

- Kassina Ryder

Chief re-elected at Smith's Landing

Smith's Landing

Smith's Landing First Nation held an election on July 2.

Andrew Wandering Spirit was re-elected chief over two other candidates - Frederick Daniels and Elizabeth Stirrett.

Wandering Spirit received 51 votes, compared to 33 for Daniels and 15 for Stirrett.

Four councillors - Thaidene Paulette, Geronimo Paulette, Agnes Cheezie and Dianne Benwell - were also elected from a field of five candidates.

Smith's Landing First Nation has its reserve land in northern Alberta just south of the NWT/Alberta border. Many of its members live in Fort Smith.

- Paul Bickford

Wrigley band manager leaves community

Pehdzeh Ki/Wrigley

D'Arcy J. Moses is the acting band manager in Wrigley, after the departure of Brad Enge this spring, News/North has learned.

Moses said while he couldn't comment on specifics, Enge left the community near the end of April.

"I know it was sudden," he said of Enge's departure.

Wrigley's chief, Tim Lennie, resigned on April 10. Elsie Hardisty is now the acting chief.

Moses was the community's band manager in 2007 and its acting SAO in 2009. He was living in Vancouver when he was contacted about filling in the position and arrived in Wrigley in May.

He said he will stay in the position until a replacement is found.

Moses said an election for chief and council could be held later this month.

"Basically, the community is in hold mode," he said.

- Kassina Ryder

Resident caribou hunt proposed


The GNWT has issued a proposal to allow resident hunters access to a single bull caribou tag for the 2013-14 hunting season.

If the proposal is approved by the relevant wildlife management and renewable resources boards, resident hunters will be able to purchase tags to harvest one bull from either the Bluenose East, Beverly or Ahiak herds.

- Laura Busch

More help for building trades

Thebacha/Fort Smith

A half-dozen students have graduated from the Building Trades Helper Program at Aurora College's Thebacha Campus in Fort Smith.

The students were treated to a barbecue lunch on June 27 to celebrate the completion of the course.

They completed a 12-week program, which prepared them for entry-level employment opportunities in the construction industry.

They learned basic construction, renovation and maintenance tasks. The skills will enable them to assist trades people, such as carpenters, electricians, plumbers, drywallers, painters and mechanical contractors.

All students who completed the course are from the Fort Smith area.

- Paul Bickford

Fire ban in effect for Enterprise


Due to hot, dry and windy conditions, an open fire ban has been put into effect until further notice within the boundaries of the Hamlet of Enterprise.

The ban was initiated on June 25. All fires, including ones in approved fire pits, are prohibited in the ban.

A notice from the hamlet pointed out the fire hazard is extreme in the North Slave and South Slave regions, according to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

The Town of Fort Smith also instituted a fire ban on June 24, the second time it has done so this summer.

- Paul Bickford

Family Fun Nights beginning in Smith

Thebacha/Fort Smith

Family Fun Nights are running throughout July and August at the Fort Smith Rec Centre.

They will take place on all Tuesdays from July 9 to Aug. 27 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. each night.

Family Fun Nights will feature water games in the pool on July 9 and Aug. 13, ball hockey on July 16, bike rodeo on July 23, fun run and relay races on July 30, traditional games with Peter Daniels on Aug. 6 and 27, and tag and small area games on Aug. 20.

- Paul Bickford

Bible school for youth


Aklavik Baptist Church was scheduled to host its first Vacation Bible School on July 2.

The event was to take place every night during the week, right through until July 6, beginning at 6:30 and 9 p.m.

The youth will be learning lessons from the Bible, singing songs and playing some games.

"The theme of the week is the might of God," said Pastor Larry Noland on July 2. "We will be focusing especially on stories from Moses."

The week-long event was to finish with a presentation by the children to the parents, during which there was to be a slide show, and the children were to sing some of the songs they learned.

Noland said he was expecting around 30 youths per day.

"This is the first time we've done this here and we're looking forward to it," said Noland.

- Cody Punter

Oceans Day this week

Ikaahuk/Sachs Harbour

Sachs Harbour was scheduled to host its annual Oceans Day on July 5. The event, which is organized by the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation in conjunction with the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans and other community government organizations, was to kick off with a barbecue down by the beach.

"Oceans Day is an important and fun event that celebrates the importance of the Arctic Ocean to coastal communities," said Kayla Hansen-Craik, oceans support person with Fisheries and Oceans in Inuvik.

Throughout the day, there was scheduled to be a harpoon throwing contest, a sand castle building contest, tug of war, as well face painting and arts and crafts for the younger children.

The organizers of Oceans Day also held a T-shirt logo design competition. The winning design was to be unveiled at the event was to be printed on T-shirts and handed out to members of the community.

- Cody Punter

Swearing-in ceremony

Tsiigehtchic/Arctic Red River

Incumbent Chief Phillip Blake was officially sworn in at a ceremony at Tsiigehtchic's hamlet office on July 2.

"It's a great honour to be chief again, because there's a lot of work to be done," said Blake.

"It gives me a chance to finish what I started."

Father Chilaka Magnus from Inuvik blessed the gathering and the new council and an RCMP officer administered the oath of office.

Members of the community were also invited to the ceremony, and about 35 people showed up. MLA Frederick Blake was also in attendance.

Chief Herbert Blake from Inuvik addressed the council and the audience and talked about the importance of treaties in the region as well as the history of the people. He also said he hoped the two councils would be able to work together.

- Cody Punter

Let the games begin

Tsiigehtchic/Arctic Red River

Three boats were to travel up the river to Fort Good Hope to compete in Dene traditional games and handgames, which were being held together last weekend.

Two girls and two boys were to compete in the traditional games in categories such as stick pull, leg wrestling, pull-push as well as a few other categories. Contestants had to compete in all categories.

In a separate event, there were to be six boys competing in handgames.

On July 2, recreation co-ordinator Bobbie Jean Van Loon said she hoped everyone won but that the boys from the handgames team are experienced.

"Our handgames boys have a really good chance of winning," she said.

- Cody Punter

Canada Day barbecue


The community of Paulatuk celebrated the nation's birthday on July 1, which they kicked off with a barbecue, featuring hamburgers and hot dogs donated by the Paulatuk Community Corporation, while fisher Steve Illasiak donated dry and fileted fish for all to enjoy.

After eating, the community sang the national anthem before playing games for the rest of the afternoon.

The young children took part in relay races, flag football and capture the flag. There was also an animal muk game, where people split into groups of two and get 20 seconds to pose and make calls that resemble a particular animal, with the first group to laugh losing.

There was a batting contest held for the women of the community, which was won by Donna Ruben.

The event was supposed to go late into the night, but there were too many mosquitoes and people went home early.

- Cody Punter

Chopper window broken

A 35-year-old man was arrested by RCMP in Pangnirtung after a helicopter was damaged at the airport.

"There was considerable damage, over $5,000," said Cpl. Yvonne Niego.

Mounties were called to a complaint of an intoxicated man on airport property at about 6 p.m. June 28.

The helicopter, owned by Universal Helicopters Newfoundland Ltd., was to provide transportation to a group of scientists conducting research in Auyuittuq National Park.

A rock was thrown through the front window of the aircraft, said Geoff Goodyear, president and CEO of Universal Helicopters.

The incident cost the company "many thousands of dollars," he said because, besides the cost of the window itself, the company had to order replacement glass and send an aircraft engineer to Pangnirtung to make the repairs.

As a result, the Bell 206LR Long Ranger helicopter could not be used for five or six days, not only costing the company money in lost contract work, but also making in the aircraft unavailable for any rescue missions, Goodyear said.

Although there is no security at many small airports in Nunavut, Goodyear said, "These types of incidents are very rare. People understand the value the aircraft have to the community and, by and large, they treat them with respect."

The man was being held in custody and is facing several charges, including mischief over $5,000. He is to appear in court in Iqaluit on July 16.

- NNSL staff

Celebrate Nunavut Day


Communities across Nunavut are holding special events July 9 to mark Nunavut Day, which marks the 20th anniversary of the date the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement came into effect.

A full schedule of events are planned for Iqaluit, including a 10 a.m. airshow at the airport, an 11 a.m. Canadian Forces fly by of downtown Iqaluit, a 12 p.m. ceremony at the Igluvut Building followed by a feast, barbecue, games and music starting at 1 p.m. Events continue through the afternoon until a closing exhibition from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the cadet hall, followed by an Inuktitut Film Festival at the Astro Theatre from 7 p.m. until 11 p.m.

- NNSL staff

Man found dead, woman arrested


On June 29 Iglulik RCMP responded to a call regarding a sudden death in the hamlet.

An adult male was found dead and both the Iglulik RCMP and V Division Major Crimes Unit were investigating the death as a homicide, police said.

An Iglulik woman was arrested in connection with the death and has since been charged with second-degree murder.

She is scheduled to appear in court on July 16.

- Danielle Sachs

Youth facing 40 charges


Rankin Inlet/Baker Lake

A youth is facing 40 charges for property-related offences he allegedly carried out in two Kivalliq communities, according to crown prosecutor Leah Winters.

The teen, who cannot be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, is charged with numerous counts of break and enter, theft and breach of conditions for incidents that occurred between March and May.

He is accused of breaking into Kativik Ltd. and the Royal Canadian Legion branch in Rankin Inlet.

He was taken into custody for those crimes and later released on conditions, which required him to reside in Baker Lake. While in the community, the teen is alleged to have broken into the First Canadian Store. He is facing seven charges related to crimes in the area.

- Miranda Scotland

School of conferences

Provincial and territorial education ministers descended on Iqaluit July 4 and 5 for the 101st meeting of the Council of Ministers of Education Canada.

This was the first time the collective group had met in Nunavut and the goal was to discuss lifelong learning - from early childhood to post secondary education.

The meeting is being hosted by Premier Eva Aariak, who is also education minister.

- Danielle Sachs

Historic slides shown

Igluligaarjuk/Chesterfield Inlet

A former Chesterfield Inlet resident returned to his birthplace earlier this month to put on a presentation.

Marc Patry, whose father was a doctor in the community decades ago, shared slides of the hamlet taken during the 1950s and 1960s as well as a movie.

Few people showed up to the first open house, but more turned up near the end of the weekend, according to David Kattegatsiak, the hamlet's economic development officer.

"It was a good turnout," he said.

- Miranda Scotland

Volunteers bring science fun

Qikiqtarjuaq/Broughton Island

Four members of Actua - a charity which provides hands-on experiences in science, technology, engineering and mathematics - were in Qikiqtarjuaq last week for a science camp, said recreation co-ordinator Eena Kooneeliusie.

Students aged eight to 12 took part in the four-day event with the Ottawa-based volunteers.

- Myles Dolphin

Help for flood victims

Ikaluktutiak/Cambridge Bay

Two Cambridge Bay residents got together with the community to raise more than $800 for Alberta flood relief over the Canada Day weekend.

Ellie Mala and Jamie Lee Maghagak held a chili and bake sale at the Co-op on June 29. All proceeds went to the Red Cross Relief Fund for flood victims and raised $851.75.

Based on the success of the first sale, Mala and Maghagak are planning a second one in the near future.

- Danielle Sachs

Visitor brings miniatures

Igluligaarjuk/Chesterfield Inlet

A student from the University of Oxford made a visit to Chesterfield Inlet earlier this year to spark discussion about the role of miniatures and models in Inuit life.

Astrid Knight brought pictures of the art pieces from Cape Fullerton with her and hosted open house sessions.

According to a project summary she provided to the hamlet, Knight's goal was to "learn more about the kinds of Inuit values and knowledge associated with miniatures and models, and about what changes have occurred in the production, use and distribution" of these pieces over the past century.

Knight's findings are to be used in an anthropology thesis.

- Miranda Scotland

Youth centre revamps

Uqsuqtuuq/Gjoa Haven

A fresh coat of paint is in the works for the Gjoa Haven Youth Centre. Volunteers spent the weekend cleaning up around the outside and painting the inside, giving the old centre new life, said Moses Totalik, president of the Snowy Owls Youth Society.

Volunteers started painting and cleaning on July 3 and have been working for four hours each night.

- Danielle Sachs

Canada Day celebrations

Kimmirut/Lake Harbour

Close to 150 Kimmirut residents showed up for Canada Day celebrations on July 1, said recreation co-ordinator Martha Ikkidluak.

Residents took part in a dress-up contest, a bicycle decoration contest and ate food prepared on a barbecue.

"It was a sunny, beautiful day," Ikkidluak said.

- Myles Dolphin

Hamlet puts students to work

Salliq/Coral Harbour

The Hamlet of Coral Harbour recently hired four summer students.

Three of the youth have been assigned to the recreation department while the fourth is working for the hamlet office.

The students responsibilities include helping with maintenance work and planning activities for children in the community.

- Miranda Scotland

Barbecue on Hamlet Day

Ikpiarjuk/Arctic Bay

Arctic Bay had its Hamlet Day on July 2. The community celebrated with a barbecue and games near the community hall. The hamlet also had its cleanup day on July 4.

- Myles Dolphin

Economic plan being developed

Igluligaarjuk/Chesterfield Inlet

Discussions regarding an economic plan for Chesterfield Inlet are ongoing in the community.

Over the past few months, consultants have met with local business owners, Arctic College students, elders and residents who are unemployed to identify opportunities for development in the community.

An open house was held in December, with plans for another in the near future.

David Kattegatsiak, the hamlet's economic development officer, said the community members had much to add to the discussion.

Community recommendations include looking into preserving heritage sites in and outside of Chesterfield Inlet, building a visitor centre and museum, upgrading infrastructure, such as the arena and the hamlet complex and providing training programs.

Once the consultations conclude, a new economic development plan will be created and submitted to council for approval.

- Miranda Scotland