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Monday, February 24, 2014

Internet goes down Contract awarded for arena repairs

Fort Smith town council passed a motion Feb. 19 to award a $1.77-million contract to CAB Construction to repair fire-damaged areas of Centennial Arena, complete code upgrades as required by the fire marshal, install LED lighting and repair the slab in the Zamboni room.

The arena was damaged by a fire in May of last year.

- Paul Bickford

Acting SAO named for Hamlet of Enterprise

Melinda Lenoir was named the acting senior administrative officer (SAO) for the Hamlet of Enterprise at a special meeting of council Feb. 20.

Lenoir, the finance officer for the hamlet, will remain in her new position until an interim SAO is named.

The previous SAO, Terry Testart, left that position Feb. 7.

On Feb. 12, a co-management agreement was announced between the hamlet and the Department of Municipal and Community Affairs (MACA). Under that agreement, MACA and the council will work together to find an interim SAO and eventually hire a full-time SAO.

- Paul Bickford

Honour a volunteer

Nominations are open for the the Department of Municipal and Community Affairs' NWT Outstanding Volunteer Awards Program which recognizes the voluntary achievements and contributions made by people in NWT communities.

Territorial winners receive $500 to give to a volunteer organization of their choice as well as a certificate.

Anybody can nominate an individual or a group whose voluntary work strengthens and enriches northern life in four categories: youth, individual, elder or group.

For full details visit the MACA website.

- NNSL staff

Hunter rescued

Yellowknife hunter Aljohn Catholic was fortunate to have employees from Avalon Mineral's camp at the Necholacho rare earth project come along when they did on Feb. 19

Catholique was hunting when he ran into snowmobile trouble and was stranded on his way home to Yellowknife from Fort Reliance.

The three Avalon employees - Randy O'Keefe, Mickey Lafferty and Robert Sayine - loaded the caribou Catholique had hunted into a sled behind their Snowcat and took him back to Yellowknife.

See next week's edition for more in-depth coverage.

- NNSL staff

Rangers receive certification


Twelve Canadian Rangers in Paulatuk received certification on Feb. 17 after their annual two-week exercise.

"It's a two-week exercise with six days in class and the rest on the land," said Donna Ruben, a corporal with the Rangers.

The in-class portion involved land and navigation, mapping and GPS while the on-the-land part involved search and rescue, preparing a landing strip for either a plane or a helicopter, a range day and a traditional hunting day.

"It's pretty much the same every year," Ruben said.

Based on the scores given on the range day, there is a "top shot" named every year. This year the honour went to Ranger Francis Ruben.

The next exercise is a summertime patrol set for August.

- Erin Steele

Enterprise Senior Society holds AGM


The leadership of the Enterprise Senior Society remains unchanged after the organization's annual general meeting on Feb. 13.

No elections were held at the meeting.

The executive remains Amy Mercredi as president, Al Flamand as vice-president and Rhonda Flamand as treasurer. The directors are Jim Dives and Florence Thomas.

- Paul Bickford

Making traditional harpoons


A group of Junior Rangers in Ulukhaktok have been making harpoons so they can get a sense of how their ancestors hunted.

Adam Kudlak, the Canadian Ranger in charge of the group, along with his brother and cousin, have been meeting with about 12 to 15 youth every Tuesday to create toggle harpoon heads and corresponding handles.

"I'm just trying to show them what kind of lifestyle their grandparents used to live and what they used to hunt before firearms were introduced to the North," said Kudlak.

Once the tools are complete - Kudlak estimates this will be in about two weeks - he intends to take the Junior Rangers out onto the ice.

"We'll have them situated standing over the breathing hole, waiting for the seal to come around and see if one or a few of the Junior Rangers can harpoon a seal," said Kudlak.

He added he would like to teach the Junior Rangers how to make a sealskin rope once they catch a seal, and this summer how to make a tool bag out of the skin of a fish.

- Erin Steele

Upcoming trapping course


Youth in Tuktoyaktuk will soon have an opportunity to learn about trapping if they choose.

Although still in the organizational stages, the youth centre is working on organizing a fox trapping course for the end of February or the beginning of March.

"It's just to teach them. Teach them trapping," said youth co-ordinator Sophie Stefure.

"It's losing it around the North and there are lots of foxes and people do trap around here so it will be good for the younger people."

The course will be available to youth 19 years and younger.

"For some of them it would be their first time. For some of the kids they have their own trap lines, some of them go out with their parents, their grandparents, uncles, cousins. Some of them do have a little bit of know how and some don't," she said.

Fox trapping season ends

March 15.

- Erin Steele

Fort Smith Trade Show set for May 3

Thebacha/Fort Smith

The ninth-annual Fort Smith Trade Show has been set for May 3.

The show will have a temporary location this year as a result of a fire in May of 2013 at Centennial Arena. It will be held in the gym and curling rink of the Fort Smith Rec Centre.

Thebacha Business Development Services and the GNWT's Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment have once again teamed up to present the trade show.

Fifty booths are available to allow organizations, craftspeople and businesses to network and promote their goods or services.

- Paul Bickford

Travel for Dene games

Tsiigehtchic/Arctic Red River

Both the senior class and intermediate class at Chief Paul Niditchie School travelled to Inuvik for the 2014 Northern and Dene Games Summit this week.

An estimated 12 students, accompanied by principal Darcy Douglas, travelled there to participate.

The games took place Feb. 17 to 19 at East Three Secondary School.

There are a variety of events for students to participate in, including the leg wrestle, one-foot high kick, and two foot high-kick, airplane, stick pull and snow snake.

- Erin Steele

Thebacha Loppet set for March 1

Thebacha/Fort Smith

The 40th annual Thebacha Loppet - a skiing and snowshoeing event between Fort Fitzgerald, Alta., and Fort Smith - is set for March 1.

A loppet is not a race, meaning no official times are recorded. However, some competitive individuals keep track of their times.

The 2013 loppet attracted 111 people to ski or snowshoe all or part of the 27-km route. There were 86 skiers and 25 snowshoers.

Last year was the first time that snowshoers were included in the event, which is presented by the Fort Smith Ski Club.

Although the Thebacha Loppet officially began in 1972, there have been two years when it was cancelled due to cold weather.

- Paul Bickford

Sun and satellites don't mix


Northwestel advises that the biannual sun transit advisory period has arrived.

The natural phenomenon disrupts satellite communication services when an orbiting satellite passes directly between the satellite receiver on the Earth and the sun. This is a normal occurrence that happens twice every year as the sun crosses the Earth's equatorial plane, the company stated in a news release.

Customers can expect communications interruptions or degradations from Feb. 21 until March 7, between the hours of 2:22 p.m. and 3 p.m., EST.

- Laura Busch

New SAO in Pangnirtung


Pangnirtung's long search for a new senior administrative officer (SAO) has finally come to an end.

The hamlet recently hired Karen Mellor, who arrived in the community on Feb. 18, according to interim SAO Ed Murphy.

Mellor will take over from Murphy, who had served as interim SAO since Nov. 4 following the departure of long-time SAO Ron Mongeau. The new SAO will be tasked with finding a solution for the community's estimated $1.5-million deficit.

The hamlet is also searching for a permanent director of finance. Rikki Butt took over as interim director of finance in October and is expected to remain in the post until the end of February.

- Myles Dolphin

Communities vote on booze

Arviat/Chesterfield Inlet/Kugluktuk

Adult residents in three communities are heading to the polls on Feb. 24 to decide whether or not their community is ready to lift restrictions on alcohol.

Arviat, Chesterfield Inlet and Kugluktuk will each vote on a plebiscite that proposes to move their community to an unrestricted system.

Before the vote, Arviat was a dry community, while Chesterfield Inlet and Kugluktuk were restricted communities where alcohol shipments had to be vetted through an alcohol education committee.

Restrictions can only be lifted if 60 per cent of those who cast ballots in a community vote yes.

- Laura Busch

Tourism training in Pang


Pangnirtung residents interested in becoming cruise ship attendants and interpreters can attend a training course offered at the Parks Canada office from Feb. 25 to 27.

The training will prepare people to guide and present the community to visitors, but the skills picked up can easily be transferable to other tourism-related industries.

Participants will receive a certificate of completion upon finishing the three-day course.

Sign up can be done at the Parks Canada office or by contacting the community's economic development officer.

- Myles Dolphin

Things to do after school

Ikaluktutiak/Cambridge Bay

A new after-school program is set to kick off soon in Cambridge Bay, thanks to funding received by the hamlet from the Recreation and Parks Association of Nunavut.

Thanks to those funds, a high school student has been hired to help facilitate the program, and will work alongside recreation co-ordinator Enuk Pauloosie to deliver after-school activities at the arena or gymnasium.

The program was ready to roll out in the last week of February, said Pauloosie.

The winter break from schools was a busy time at the community hall and arena gymnasium, which were open every day, he added.

- Laura Busch

Generators turned on


The Qulliq Energy Corp. asked the community of Arviat to conserve power - and residents with personal power generators were asked to use them - during a three-day period earlier this month when a number of electrical and mechanical issues with the generators were identified in the community.

A team from Rankin Inlet and Iqaluit was flown to Arviat to assist with the repairs.

- Darrell Greer

Students looking for placement

Ikpiarjuk/Arctic Bay

The Inuujaq School in Arctic Bay is currently looking for positions to place students taking a work experience course.

Students receive credit for every 25 hours they complete at their placement.

Unpaid work during school hours is covered by Government of Nunavut insurance.

Preferably, students would be at their placement between 2:30 and 5 p.m., said teacher Ryan Guinness.

The school is trying to find approximately 10 positions.

- Myles Dolphin

Hip-hop and you don't stop

Kugaaruk/Pelly Bay

Students in Kugaaruk enjoyed a week-long hip-hop class at the beginning of February.

According to recreation co-ordinator Charles Zwennes, almost all of the students at Kugaardjuq School participated in the program hosted by Toronto-area dance instructor Jennifer Linkson.

While it was her first time in the community, this was not Linkson's first time to Nunavut. In 2011, she travelled to Cambridge Bay and Kugluktuk to host similar week-long workshops with the aim of starting a dance crew in each community.

"The kids had a lot of fun," said Zwennes on the most recent workshop in Kugaaruk. "It was a good program, hopefully she comes back again."

- Laura Busch

Meeting about fish


The Government of Nunavut's Department of Environment held a public consultation on Feb. 20 in Iqaluit to hear ideas and concerns from residents regarding the future development of the fisheries industry in the territory.

The event was held as part of the Nunavut Fisheries Strategy Renewal process.

The original strategy, conceived by the GN in partnership with Nunavut Tunngavik Inc., was completed in 2005 and served as a blueprint for Nunavut's fisheries development.

"The renewed strategy builds on these successes and identifies new opportunities that help Nunavut's sustainable fisheries industry continue to prosper," stated a news release on Feb. 20.

- Myles Dolphin

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