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Monday, May 30, 2016
Ban on caribou hunt proposed

The Wek'eezhii Renewable Resources Board is recommending a three year ban on the Bathurst caribou hunt, according to a press release.

The ban would be in effect from 2016 until 2019. The board also recommended implementing the Tlicho Government's wolf harvesting project, which would help reduce the number of wolves preying on the herd. Low breeding rates and development in the herd's range are also to blame for the decline, according to the release.

The herd had about 350,000 animals in the mid 1990s, according to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. By 2015 the number had dropped to between 16,000 and 22,000.

- Kassina Ryder

GNWT budget coming

The second session of the 18th Legislative Assembly begins on May 31. The following day, Finance Minister Robert C. McLeod delivers his first budget.

The sitting is expected to be dominated by discussion and debate about the budget. McLeod has stated that the government is looking to either cut or raise $150 million over the next five years to offset the territory's sluggish economy and declining revenues.

- John McFadden

Praise for feds' program

The Assembly of First Nations said the federal government's plan to fund the First Nation labour market is a positive move after years of under-funding. National Chief Perry Bellegarde said education and training opportunities are needed to build healthier families.

The federal government announced a new call for proposals for the $50 million Skills and Partnership Fund and funding for at-risk communities and the Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training Strategy on May 25.

- Robin Grant

Aboriginal Awareness Week marked

Canadian Armed Forces including Yellowknife-based Joint Task Force North and the Royal Canadian Legion marked Aboriginal Awareness Week last week by acknowledging contributions made by indigenous people to Canada's culture and military. JTFN provided information to its members throughout the week on noteworthy achievements by Northern indigenous people.

An event at the Department of National Defence headquarters in Ottawa on May 26 celebrated indigenous people as role models. Also in Ottawa, the Legion paid tribute to the rich military heritage of aboriginal Canadians

-John McFadden

Whati celebrates Recreation Day

Whati/Lac La Martre

A new special event is scheduled to take place in Whati on June 4, said recreation programmer Dan Acosta. The first Recreation Day is expected to include a bouncy castle, face-painting, road hockey and a variety of other activities.

"It will be a fun day for the community," Acosta said.

June 4 is National Health and Fitness Day, so Acosta said he wanted to organize an event that would promote physical fitness and outdoor activities.

The day is expected to finish off with a community pot luck at the Culture Centre at about 4 p.m. If the weather is good, the potluck will be held outside but will continue indoor if it rains, Acosta said. He hopes the community will come out and enjoy a fun-filled day together.

"I'm really excited for that," he said.

- Kassina Ryder

Gameti prepares for Father's Day and Aboriginal Day

Gameti/Rae Lakes

Gameti is preparing for a variety of different events to celebrate both Father's Day and National Aboriginal Day next month, said recreation assistant Becky Chocolate.

Father's Day events are scheduled to take place on June 19 and include log-sawing competitions, tug-of-war and three-legged races. It will also include a firefighter dress up competition where teams race to see who can put on fire fighting suits the fastest, Chocolate said. It's a popular race and is usually part of the roster of games played at community events.

On National Aboriginal Day on June 21, activities are expected to include tea boiling and bannock-making contests, as well as a car pile-in competition where teams compete to see how many members they can fit into a vehicle.

Traditional events will also include nail-pounding contests and log-sawing competitions.

All events for both celebrations are scheduled to take place at the Gameti Community Hall.

- Kassina Ryder

Spring geese hunting in Sachs

Ikaahuk/Sachs Harbour

Residents of Sachs Harbour will be busy hunting geese over the next few weeks, said recreation co-ordinator Doreen Carpenter. Every year, residents head out on the land to hunt geese and go fishing.

"The geese come through here and they go and get their geese for the year," said Carpenter.

During the week, people leave town as soon as they're finished work for the day.

"For the next two weeks, it's pretty quiet," she said.

People are fishing for Arctic char, trout and cod at this time of year.

- Kassina Ryder

Fort Smith seeks nominations

Thebacha/Fort Smith

The Town of Fort Smith is seeking nominations for its Canada Day awards.

Each July 1, the town presents awards for Elder of the Year, Citizen of the Year, and Paul Currie Volunteer of the Year.

The nomination deadline is June 24.

- Paul Bickford

Fort Mac benefit dance in works

Thebacha/Fort Smith

A benefit dance will be held in Fort Smith on May 28 to help evacuees from Fort McMurray recover from the recent devastating forest fire.

The adult dance will be held at Roaring Rapid Halls, beginning at 9 p.m.

The scheduled performers include Pat Burke, Tom Hudson, Leonard Desjarlais, Gerald Poitras, Rainbow, Millie Hudson, Theoron Daniels, Bobbi Bouvier and Shane Daniels. The money raised will be donated to the Canadian Red Cross.

- Paul Bickford

Moose Kerr School plays it safe


Moose Kerr School students participated in the school's Safety Week the week of May 23, said principal Velma Illasiak.

This is the first time the school has held the event in a few years.

"We've done it off and on throughout the years," Illasiak said. "For the first time this year, we brought it back."

The week focused on fire drills, a lockdown, firearms safety and staying safe around water. Illasiak said the water safety

portion was especially important.

"It's a good time because of spring thaw and kids are tempted to go out on the ice," she explained.

A smaller but similar program about ice safety is also held at the school in the fall, Illasiak added. Members of the RCMP, a bylaw officer with the Hamlet of Aklavik and representatives from other community organizations visited the school to help deliver lessons. Illasiak was grateful to everyone who helped make the event a success.

- Kassina Ryder

Angik graduating class doubles


Paulatuk's Angik School is expected to graduate two students on June 14, said principal Debbie Redden-Cormier.

While the school had originally planned to graduate one student this year, a student from Paulatuk who had been attending school in Tuktoyaktuk decided she wanted to be a part of the graduation ceremony in her hometown, said Redden-Cormier.

Both Lisa Illasiak and Brianna Wolki will now be honoured during the ceremony, which is scheduled to begin at Angik School at 6 p.m. A feast is scheduled to follow the ceremony and there will be activities into the evening as well, said Redden-Cormier.

"There will be festivities," she said.

Everyone is welcome to attend the event.

- Kassina Ryder

Chief Julius School cleans up

Tetlit'zheh/Fort McPherson

The Grade 6 class at Chief Julius School in Fort McPherson organized this year's community cleanup, which was expected to take place on May 25, said teacher Erica Thompson.

While the school has held the cleanup for years, this is the second year the Grade 6 class has taken charge. The class is part of a program called the Four Pillars Resiliency Project, which includes Chief Julius School, Deh Gah School in Fort Providence, Chief Sunrise School in Hay River and Moose Kerr School in Aklavik, said Thompson. Part of the project encourages students to engage in service learning, such as organizing and executing the community's annual spring cleanup.

The Grade 6 class assigned classes to different parts of the community, handed out garbage bags and gloves and partnered with students from kindergarten to Grade 3 to help out younger students.

"It's kind of a way for them to demonstrate the leadership and ambassadorship skills they've been learning throughout the year," said Thompson.

The afternoon was scheduled to conclude with a barbecue at the school.

- Kassina Ryder

Tulita hosts Fire Day


Tulita's annual Fire Day is scheduled to take place on June 6, said acting recreation director Archie Erigaktuk.

The community will be invited to visit the fire hall to check out the fire truck and visit with local fire fighters.

Sparky the Fire Dog mascot from Norman Wells is also expected to travel to Tulita for the event, Erigaktuk said.

The day will finish with a barbecue at the Band Office Arbour. The barbecue is a collaboration with the Northern Store and the Tulita RCMP detachment.

- Kassina Ryder

Arctic Fibre sold to company in Alaska


Arctic Fibre, the Canadian company that was set to build an Asia to Europe fibre-optic cable project that would cross through the Northwest Passage, has been sold to Quintillion Subsea Holdings LLC headquartered in Alaska.

Arctic Fibre's chairman Douglas Cunningham said last July that the 15,000-km, $620-million private-venture project, originally planned to lie along Nunavut's "backbone," would not make the targeted completion date of December 2015.

"We're not building into Canada at this time," said Cunningham at the time, adding the company was focusing its efforts on building west in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, instead.

On May 18, Arctic Fibre announced Quintillion acquired its assets. Quintillion will build, own and operate the network.

The Alaska segment of the project is the first phase of the three-phase project to connect Asia and Europe through the Arctic. Phase two will be constructed from Alaska to Japan, and phase three will connect Alaska to Europe via the Canadian Arctic, the news release stated.

Construction activities are currently underway in Alaska to complete phase one, which includes the installation of a 1,850-km subsea fibre-optic cable from Prudhoe Bay to Nome, with spurs to the Alaska communities of Barrow, Wainwright, Point Hope, and Kotzebue.

The Quintillion cable system will make available much-needed bandwidth to these communities by early 2017, the release states.

- Michele LeTourneau

Inquest called into in-custody death

Kinngait/Cape Dorset

A mandatory inquest into the May 20 death of a Cape Dorset man in police custody has been called by the Office of the Chief Coroner

The inquest is to review the circumstance surrounding the death of 29-year-old Adla Pudlat, who was being held by Cape Dorset RCMP. Following Pudlat's death, the Ottawa Police Service was asked to conduct an external review into the circumstances of the death.

"On May 19th, 2016, at approximately 7:45 p.m., Cape Dorset RCMP received a complaint of an intoxicated male and an assault. RCMP members responded to the complaint and arrested a 29-year-old male who was cooperative and lodged in RCMP cells without incident," stated Cpl. David Lawson in a news release. "In the early morning hours of May 20, the male was found unresponsive in the holding cell and later pronounced deceased."

Both the external investigation and the mandatory inquest are standard procedure for in-custody deaths.

"The investigation continues with the assistance of the Ottawa Police Service and Nunavut Coroner Service," stated chief coroner Padma Suramala May 25. "Upon completion of the external investigation, the Office of the Chief Coroner will schedule the inquest in Cape Dorset."

Suramala completed a mandatory inquest earlier this month in Hall Beach into the January 2013 death of Tommy Anguilianuk, who was also in police custody at the time.

- Michele LeTourneau p>Students tour fire hall

Kimmirut/Lake Harbour

Youth in Kimmirut had a fun chance to tour the community's fire hall and meet with firefighters recently.

As part of Safety Prevention Month, Grade 5 and 6 students learned the importance of fire prevention, while checking out the community's firefighting supplies and equipment.

They also learned about fire extinguishers.

The tour was led by firefighter Jamesie Judea and community health representative Petanie Pitsiulak.

- Stewart Burnett

Survey of Inuit art launched


The Inuit Relations Directorate, a section of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, has hired a British Columbia firm, Big River Analytics, to collect information and estimate the economic impact of Inuit art in Canada.

"This project will identify opportunities to help Inuit artists benefit from their creative products and it will demonstrate to governments the importance of Inuit art not only to Northern economies, but to Canada's economy as a whole," stated a news release.

The survey takes less than 10 minutes to complete and allows people the opportunity to share their thoughts and influence policy. Responses are confidential. Participants will have their names entered into a draw for a $500 prize. The company responsible for the survey can be found at its website.

- Michele LeTourneau

Councillor calls for foot patrols


Iqaluit city Coun. Joanasie Akumalik wants foot and bike patrols in the city either by RCMP or municipal enforcement, he told city council on May 24.

He said the officers would help control any issues on the beach, such as potentially preventing a recent shack fire.

Akumalik has been contacting the RCMP and asking for the patrols but hasn't had a promising response.

"The response I got from them was they need training and they can't do it, and I don't believe that," said Akumalik.

If the RCMP can't do it, he continued, he wants the city to initiate its own foot and bike patrol force, perhaps once a week. He thinks it would make people feel safer in the community.

Mayor Madeleine Redfern said the city is overdue for another meeting with the RCMP.

- Stewart Burnett

Counsellors arrive in wake of stabbing

Salliq/Coral Harbour

A group of counsellors were sent to help the community of Coral Harbour after the tragic stabbing of a woman and three children in that community May 12.

One of the children died as a result of her wounds and a 48-year-old woman and the other two children were medevaced to Winnipeg.

Sent into Coral to help were two community health workers, two critical incident counsellors from Iqaluit and two Inuktitutspeaking counsellors from Rankin Inlet.

The RCMP have still not announced any charges in the incident, nor released the names of the victims.

- Darrell Greer

Hunters take youth on land

Kangiqtugaapik/Clyde River

Before the snow started to melt, hunters in Clyde River took youth on the land for a fishing and sealing trip.

The Ilisaqsivik Society and justice committee ran the land program in late March, which focused on land skills and knowledge, mentorship and harvesting country foods.

The groups came back with an

impressive haul.

Ilisaqsivik stated it was proud to partner with the justice committee for the community program.

- Stewart Burnett

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