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Monday, April 11, 2016

Tsiighetchic man charged with manslaughter

A 54-year-old Tsiighetchic man charged with manslaughter after police found a dead man at a residence in the hamlet earlier this week, appeared in a Yellowknife court on Thursday. Wayne MacDonald was charged after police responded to a report of a disturbance at a home in the hamlet and found a adult male who was not breathing on April 4. MacDonald is scheduled to appear April 19, when defence lawyer Serge Petitpas expects court will determine the date for a bail hearing.

- Evan Kiyoshi French

Aklavik to honour ski team

Aklavik will be honouring the surviving members of the famous NWT ski team that had successes in the 1970s and 1980s.

The members included Sharon Firth, Roger Allen, Harold Cook, David Cook, Anita Pettersen and coach Anders Lenes, some of which were from the hamlet. The event takes place April 15 where team members will speak to youth at the Moose Kerr School.

The following day will have a community feast, presentations to guests followed by a dance.

- Shane Magee

Vehicle seized in alcohol bust

A vehicle was seized as part of a bootlegging bust in Fort Liard on April 2, according to an RCMP press release. Two individuals were charged with unlawful sale of liquor and sale of liquor to an intoxicated person. Police seized all property relating to the crime, including the vehicle. Police are asking anyone with information to contact the Fort Liard RCMP or Crimestoppers.

- Kassina Ryder

Inuvik-Tuk highway reaches construction milestone

Construction crews working north from Inuvik and south from Tuktoyaktuk on a new all-weather highway have met in the middle.

The first layer of embankment material joined sides April 7, according to press releases from the federal and territorial governments.

Once completed, the $300 million highway will be an all-weather link joining the Beaufort Delta to the rest of the country. The highway is expected to open to traffic in fall 2017.

- Shane Magee

Winter roads closed


The Mackenzie Valley winter road system is officially closed, according to the GNWT Department of Transportation, along with the Trout Lake access.

The department made the announcement on its social media account on March 31.

The closure includes the Deline access.

Ice crossings in the Deh Cho were still operational as of April 4, including the Liard crossing to Fort Simpson, the Wrigley crossing and the Nahanni Butte ice crossing.

- April Hudson

Premier visits Deh Cho

Deh Cho

Northwest Territories Premier Bob McLeod was expected to be in Fort Simpson on April 8 to meet with Grand Chief Herb Norwegian.

McLeod will also be visiting Fort Liard this week, with meetings scheduled for April 7.

Nahendeh MLA Shane Thompson said the Fort Liard trip will have the premier meeting in regard to the Acho Dene Koe First Nation's land claim process, followed by a public meeting to hear community concerns.

The Fort Simpson leg of the journey will not include a public meeting.

- April Hudson

Looking for red-winged blackbirds


Environment and Climate Change Canada researchers are asking Tlicho residents to share information about red-winged blackbirds, according to the Tlicho Government website.

Researchers are hoping residents can help identify nesting areas that are near roadways. They plan to take one egg from the nests in May and June, which will enable them to study their structure.

- Kassina Ryder

Alcohol seized in Liard

Acho Dene Koe/Fort Liard

Two individuals have been arrested for illegally selling alcohol within Fort Liard, according to a news release from RCMP.

The individuals were not identified by RCMP, who stated in an April 4 news release police seized alcohol from a vehicle three days prior, after investigating the illegal sale of alcohol in the community.

The individuals were charged with unlawful sale of liquor and sale of liquor to an intoxicated person.

RCMP seized the vehicle as well as all property related to the offence.

A photo of the seized liquor provided by police shows 11 bottles of vodka, five with mini bottles of rum attached.

- April Hudson

April a busy month at Chief Jimmy Bruneau School


Teachers from Chief Jimmy Bruneau School are scheduled to visit parents on April 21 and 22 to discuss their kids' progress, according to the school's newsletter.

Students will only attend school for half the day.

On April 29, parents and families are invited to the school for a parent open house and lunch.

A career fair is being scheduled for April 20 and a retreat is being organized for the Grade 3/4 class to take place the weekend of April 23.

Students will travel to Trapper's Lake Spirituality Centre.

- Kassina Ryder

A little spring fling

Lli Goline/Norman Wells

The annual Spring Fling took place in Norman Wells the weekend of April 1, according to a calendar of events on the community's Facebook page.

Festivities were expected to kick off on April 1 with youth olympics at Mackenzie Mountain School and a fireworks show scheduled for 10 p.m. that evening.

The next day was expected to feature a pancake breakfast, a scavenger hunt for kids and an adult dance at the community hall at about 9 p.m.

Northern Games were scheduled to take place on April 3, as well as a traditional cookout.

- Kassina Ryder

Hunting muskox in Ulukhaktok


Helen Kalvak School students were expected to head out on the land for a muskox hunt on April 6, said principal Richard McKinnon.

About six high school students were expected to make a round-trip journey of about 250 to 300 km.

McKinnon said students spent time before the trip learning how to properly pack for the hunt, including checking satellite phones and GPS units.

They will also leave a travel plan at the school.

Two of the students will try and take two muskox using a bow and arrow. McKinnon said the trip is a partnership between the school, the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation and the local community justice committee.

Any meat harvested will be distributed to elders.

- Kassina Ryder

Sushi night in Tsiigehtchic

Tsiigehtchic/Arctic Red River

Tsiigehtchic residents got a chance to make their own sushi during a healthy cooking night at Chief Paul Niditchie School on April 5, said Alison Cardinal, the Gwichya Gwich'in Band's assistant wellness co-ordinator in charge of youth and prenatal programming.

Residents were encouraged to come out and make sushi and spicy mayonnaise together.

The cooking class was scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.

- Kassina Ryder

Tsa Tue Biosphere Reserve announced

Deline/Fort Franklin

The Tsa Tue Biosphere Reserve was officially designated on March19, according to a news release from Parks Canada.

It is one of 20 new UNESCO Biosphere Reserves announced this year. The reserve includes a historical site made up of two peninsulas on Great Bear Lake, according to Parks Canada.

The area is culturally important to the Sahtu people.

- Kassina Ryder

Fort Smith fire protection meeting

Thebacha/Fort Smith

The GNWT held a public meeting in Fort Smith on April 7 to discuss the danger of wildfires.

The meeting was to be hosted by the forest management office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

The topics will include the 2015 fire season and the upcoming fire season, the FireSmart program to protect properties from fire, and community wildfire protection plans.

The meeting was held at Roaring Rapids Hall.

- Paul Bickford

Gameti carnival postponed

Gameti/Rae Lakes

Gameti's spring carnival has been postponed, said recreation co-ordinator Juanita Bekale.

The carnival had been scheduled to take place the weekend of April 8.

Bekale said a number of other events were also scheduled to happen that weekend in other Tlicho communities, so she decided to hold the carnival later in the spring.

She said she still needs help from volunteers.

- Kassina Ryder

Seal skin mitten workshop in Smith

Thebacha/Fort Smith

A sealskin mitten workshop is planned this month at Northern Life Museum and Cultural Centre in Fort Smith.

The workshop will take place from April 15 to 17.

Participants will get to try using traditional materials, such as sealskin, rabbit fur, moosehide and sinew.

Each participant will leave the workshop with a pair of sealskin mittens with rabbit fur trim.

- Paul Bickford

Museum breakfast for memberships

Thebacha/Fort Smith

People renewing their memberships or signing up for the first time can get free breakfasts from Northern Life Museum and Cultural Centre in Fort Smith.

The annual membership breakfast will take place from 9 to 11 a.m. on April 9.

Individual, senior, family and business memberships are available.

- Paul Bickford

Time to renew fishing licence


The Paulatuk Hunters and Trappers Committee is reminding non-Inuvialuit residents that they need a fishing licence to fish in the Paulatuk area.

The reminder is being distributed on behalf of the committee, as well as the Fisheries Joint Management Committee, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

Anglers can apply for or renew their fishing licences at the Paulatuk Hunters and Trappers Committee office.

- Kassina Ryder

Open Sky calls for contributors

Lidlii Kue/Fort Simpson

The Open Sky Creative Society in Fort Simpson has announced the dates for its annual festival, which will take place this year from July 2 to 3.

The festival marks Open Sky's 16th annual event.

The organization has put out a call to artists, musicians, performers and vendors from around the Northwest Territories to submit applications in order to be a part of the festival.

An e-mailed announcement from the organization notes "both new entries and alumni are welcome."

Application forms are available on Open Sky's website or by contacting the society.

- April Hudson

Mounties make drug and booze bust


Responding to information that illegal drugs and non-permitted alcohol were headed into the community, RCMP in Kugluktuk investigated and seized marijuana and alcohol April 4.

This is the third seizure of alcohol or drugs in two weeks in the community.

In this case, a large amount of marijuana and several bottles of alcohol with a street value totaling approximately $9,500 were seized.

An unnamed individual was arrested and released on charges of possession for the purposes of trafficking an illegal substance and for possession of liquor under the Nunavut Liquor Act.

The suspect is scheduled to appear before the Nunavut Court of Justice on May 9 in Kugluktuk.

"Kugluktuk is hosting the Nattiq Frolics this week and (RCMP) would like to remind those coming from communities that Kugluktuk is an alcohol-restricted community and therefore any non-permitted alcoholic beverages will be seized," stated RCMP in a news release. "The safety of the community is of the utmost importance and the Kugluktuk RCMP continues to work with the other government partners in order to keep the community safe."

RCMP welcomed further information related to this or any other crime.

- Michele LeTourneau

Clawback ends on child benefit


The Government of Nunavut will no longer claw back the National Child Benefit Supplement (NCBS) from social assistance calculations effective April 1.

The GN previously treated the federal benefit as income and decreased the amount paid out in monthly social assistance payments.

"This positive change ensures that Nunavut's low-income families receive the full value of this important federal program," stated Family Services Minister George Kuksuk in a news release.

"My department is committed to ensuring that Nunavut's social assistance program supports those who need it most. With the new NCBS exemption, our government increases the financial support it can provide to families, further supporting opportunities for recipients and their children to grow and succeed in their communities."

The Department of Family Services expects the exemption to impact approximately 2,500 families, providing low-income families with up to $6.8 million in additional dollars in social assistance this fiscal year.

- Michele LeTourneau

A trip through science

Uqsuqtuuq/Gjoa Haven

Mad Science, an organization which transforms laboratory science into fun, interactive learning experiences for youth from kindergarten to Grade 6, visited Quqshuun Ilihakvik in Gjoa Haven from March 21 to April 1.

Hugo Camato-Tye, a science instructor from Montreal, led students through daily science workshops, said principal Katharine Bartlett.

Primary students learned about their senses and participated in sessions such as Harnessing Heat, Lights, Colour, Action, Magnetic Magic, Optical Illusions, Slime, Sonic Sounds, Tantalizing Taste and Watts-Up.

Intermediate students learned about inventors and recreated their inventions through an Inventor's Camp.

"The two weeks finished with a science show where Camato-Tye demonstrated a number of science experiments and then students went outside for a rocket launch," said Bartlett.

Parent Matt Gee said, "Thanks to all involved who made this possible. Robbie talked about it every day and was excited to show us each cool gadget he brought home."

- Michele LeTourneau

Dates set for Pakallak Tyme

Kangiqliniq/Rankin Inlet

April 25 to May 1 were recently announced as the official dates for this year's Pakallak Tyme celebrations in Rankin Inlet.

The hamlet also announced the annual fishing derby will be held from May 20 to May 23, with measuring to take place outside the community hall on May 24.

- Darrell Greer

Sealskin outfits win prizes

Kangiqliniq/Rankin Inlet

Mike Shouldice took top spot for his traditional sealskin outfit made by his wife, Monica, while Jim MacDonald took first place for his baby seal cake during Celebrating the Seal activities in Rankin Inlet on March 26.

The two-hour-plus gathering at the community hall also featured throatsinging, a feast, games and a dazzling array of seal-themed items.

The event was organized by Kathleen Merritt of Rankin Inlet.

- Darrell Greer

Students walk against violence

Kimmirut/Lake Harbour

Students in Kimmirut were organizing for a youth violence prevention walk April 8 to cap off National Youth Violence Prevention Week.

Community health representative Petanie Pitsiulak, the mental health nurse and the wellness co-ordinator were leading the activity, which would see students make a banner against violence in the community.

Since April is also Oral Health Month, Pitsiulak and oral health co-ordinator Barbara Sagiaktuk will have a booth at the Akavak Centre and Kimik Co-op Store to display information about oral health and provide toothbrushes and healthy snacks.

"We are also planning to visit the daycare and the kindergarten class to teach the little kids on brushing techniques," stated Pitsiulak in an e-mail.

- Stewart Burnett

Commission launches Inuktitut website

Somba K'e/Yellowknife

The Workers' Safety and Compensation Commission (WSCC) announced the launch of the Inuktitut version of its website in Yellowknife this past week.

The WSCC commits to increasing knowledge and understanding of its services and improving stakeholder access to those services.

In support of these goals, the WSCC developed and launched an Inuktitut version of its website.

"We are pleased to support Inuit culture and language, and offer our Inuktitut-speaking stakeholders access to important WSCC safety information," stated Dave Grundy, WSCC president and chief executive officer, in a news release.

"We operate in a vast and varied jurisdiction, and we understand the importance of being accessible to the people we serve every day."

- Darrell Greer

Kamik making proves popular

Kangiqtugaapik/Clyde River

Some successful programs have concluded at the Ilisaqsivik Society in Clyde River and more are on the way.

The Justice Committee held an on-the-land program in March, in which hunters took youth on the land for fishing and seal hunting.

The program focused on land skills and knowledge, mentoring and harvesting country foods.

The society also completed a kamik-making program, which had two instructors and 10 participants. Already,

Ilisaqsivik plans to run another one with a schedule coming soon.

- Stewart Burnett

Plan to go prospecting


Prospective prospectors can now apply to the Nunavut Prospectors Program.

Those qualified are eligible to receive a contribution of up to $8,000 per year to cover basic expenses while exploring for new mineral occurrences in Nunavut, states a release on the GN website.

The funds can be applied to project-related expenses such as fuel, vehicle maintenance, food allowance while in the field, assistant wages, prospecting supplies and mineral assay costs.

To be eligible, an applicant must be a Nunavut resident, 18 years of age or older and have a prospecting licence or experience. The deadline to apply is April 30.

- Michele LeTourneau

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