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School's sled reported stolen
Educator noticed snowmobile was missing around noon yesterday

Evan Kiyoshi French
Northern News Services
Friday, April 8, 2016

A snowmobile owned by Mildred Hall School was reported stolen yesterday after an educator noticed it wasn't in its usual spot.

NNSL photo/graphic

Mildred Hall student Ryan Lafferty sits on a Bravo snowmobile during an on-the-land excursion with the school's traditional mentorship program. The machine was reported stolen sometime before noon yesterday, according to Peyton Straker, indigenous liaison worker at the school. - photo courtesy of Peyton Straker

Indigenous liaison worker Peyton Straker returned to her Old Town home for lunch to discover the green Yamaha Bravo 1999 or 2000 snow machine missing from where it was being stored in her yard. The school acquired the machine late last year and uses it as transportation for students taking part in the traditional mentorship program. She said the sled was kept at her Old Town address, across from the boat launch at Government Dock, from where the students embark onto Great Slave Lake.

"I doubt it's worth a penny to anybody else," she said, adding it looks like the sled was loaded onto a truck.

"There's fresh snow there but there's no fresh snowmobile tracks (around it)," she said. "But ... they could have driven it away themselves. I had the key inside my house, but I guess they're pretty easy to hot wire."

Straker said she called Yellowknife RCMP shortly after she realized the sled was missing. She said where the sled was sitting is not visible from her front door and she does not always go to check on the sled before she leaves for work.

"We looked around for a bit because we thought, 'there's no way that it's gone,'" she said.

RCMP did not respond to requests for comment before press time.

Straker said the mentorship program targets aboriginal students who have not been exposed to on-the-land training like trapping and hunting. She said the Dene students also ride rented snowmobiles on their trips but the Bravo was the only sled owned by the school.

"We use it every week," she said. "It's been a really awesome program. We just bought (the sled) at the beginning of the school year - between November and December - from a guy who does trapping. It's definitely not brand new but it runs and it gets the kids out."

She said she's disappointed.

"There's lots of things that are coming up that we need that snowmobile for," she said. "I had to tell the students and they were very disappointed. It just sucks because it's not a personal Ski-Doo. It's used for a really important program that we're really lucky to be able to do."

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