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Monday, September 26, 2016
Raymond Perrson's remains found

Human fragments recovered Aug. 3 on a Great Bear Lake island belong to Raymond Perrson, the NWT Coroner office's has confirmed after DNA testing.

Perrson and Montgomery Kenneth Yates were on a weekend fishing trip on Great Bear Lake when they failed to return on Aug. 23, 1987, RCMP said in a news release.

There was an intensive marine/aerial search by RCMP and community members.

On Aug. 23, 1988 the body of Montgomery Kenneth Yates was located.

Persson was very active in and around the community prior to his disappearance. Notably, the arena in Norman Wells is called the Ray Persson Memorial Arena in his honour.

- James O'Connor

Two NTPC spills in two days

The Northwest Territories Power Corporation had a spill at its Fort Liard plant on Sept 9, followed by a spill at its Fort Simpson plant two days later.

The Fort Liard spill involved 25 litres of propylene glycol leaking from a coupler on an engine onto a cement floor, according to spill reports from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

In Fort Simpson, 100 litres of diesel spilled after a tank overfilled. The spill was contained on a steel berm under the tank, according to a spill report.

- Paul Bickford

Technology theme for NWT Literacy Week

The NWT Literacy Council is asking residents to think about the pros and cons of technology during this year's Literacy Week, which runs from Sept. 25 to Oct. 1, according to a press release.

The theme for 2016 is "Tied to Tech." and includes some new activities, such as encouraging families to avoid using devices at mealtimes and instructions for school spelling bees.

Behchoko is one of the communities hosting events, including a Family Literacy Night at the library on Sept. 27.

- Kassina Ryder

Dene Nation backs North Dakota protest

The Dene Nation has expressed support for the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in its protests against the North Dakota access pipeline.

"The Standing Rock government needs global support," stated Dene National Chief Bill Erasmus in a Sept. 14 news release.

"There is a need for developing a tribal-U.S.A. energy plan that deals with all outstanding issues related to the land.'"

- Paul Bickford

The Sun At Midnight to rise

Tetlit'Zheh/Fort McPherson

A film about an unusual friendship between a hunter obsessed with finding a missing caribou herd and a teenage rebel who gets lost while on the run, was scheduled to be screened in Fort McPherson on Sept. 25.

The Gwich'in Tribal Council was a key supporter of the The Sun At Midnight, which is set in Gwich'in traditional territory.

"Collaborating with the Gwich'in on the script began in 2009," stated Kirsten Carthew, the film's writer, director and producer. "It has been a long haul and I think we are in collective awe that the film has now come to life."

Carthew went on to say the film was possible only with the support of the Gwich'in Tribal Council - Department of Culture Heritage, who are associate producers of the film.

The official trailer can be found on The Sun At Midnight's Facebook page.

The film is produced by Jill & Jackfish Productions Inc.

- Stewart Burnett

Kitchen to get upgrade

Liidlii Kue/Fort Simpson

The Village of Fort Simpson has allotted up to $80,000 for upgrades to the kitchen at the recreation centre.

Those will include new equipment, a new range and fire suppression system, new flooring, electrical work and demolition of the existing kitchen.

The plan, said senior administrative officer Beth Jumbo, is to create a larger and more user-friendly space.

New equipment will include a deep fryer, grill, dishwasher, pizza ovens and new faucets.

Jumbo said one main focus of the renovation is adding additional refrigerator space as well.

The kitchen is often used by community groups hosting fundraisers or events.

- April Hudson

Sunrise Festival planning shines


A dozen people representing various organizations in town met Sept. 13 to discuss plans for this winter's Sunrise Festival.

Discussion subjects included the locations of various aspects of the festival, fireworks, the concert and other ideas.

The three-day annual event, set to take place in early January, celebrates the return of the sun to Inuvik.

Safety concerns, especially in regards to placement of the fireworks show and making sure people do not go near where the fireworks are being set off, took up much of the discussion at the first planning meeting.

More meetings will follow as the town gears up for the festival.

- Stewart Burnett

Canoers welcomed

Tthek'ehdeli/Jean Marie River

On Sept. 23, community members were expecting to welcome 12 to 15 high school students from Fort Providence as well as five adults who are taking part in the 2016 Experiential Science trip.

The trip was to see students arriving on canoes.

- April Hudson

Playgroup for toddlers

Acho Dene Koe/Fort Liard

Playgroup for toddlers in Fort Liard is now taking place on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the community hall.

Soccer practice for players between the ages of six and nine is taking place on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the school gymnasium.

- April Hudson

Farm animals zone out

Liidlii Kue/Fort Simpson

The Village of Fort Simpson is amending its zoning bylaw to include sections for poultry and farm animals.

The amendments would mean no farm animals or poultry will be permitted or kept on lands zoned for residential use. That extends to chickens, ducks, goats and pigs, among a long list of others.

The bylaw was read by council and passed in first and second readings on Sept. 19. Before coming into effect, it will need to be passed in third reading.

- April Hudson

Oktoberfest set for curling club

Thebacha/Fort Smith

The Fort Smith Curling Club will be celebrating Oktoberfest on Sept. 30.

The event will feature an Oktoberfest supper of sausages, sauerkraut and potatoes.

It will begin at 6 p.m. in the Fort Smith Curling Centre, upstairs at the rec centre.

- Paul Bickford

Russian dressing workshop

Liidlii Kue/Fort Simpson

From Sept. 30 to Oct. 2, fashion designer D'Arcy J. Moses will be leading a women's Russian-style fur hat workshop at the Open Sky Gallery.

Weekly craft nights began Sept. 20 and run each Tuesday from 7 to 9 p.m. Crafters are invited to bring their own projects.

- April Hudson

School readies for Terry Fox Run

Tetlit'Zheh/Fort McPherson

Students and staff at Chief Julius School in Fort McPherson are gearing up for the school's annual Terry Fox Run on Sept. 30, said teacher Sierra Daley.

The run is scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m. at the school. Eight classrooms have set a goal to raise $500 and the winning class will get a chance to throw a pie in their teacher's face, Daley said.

That event is scheduled to take place in the school gym following the run.

Fundraising is to be completed by Sept. 28 and pledge sheets are due that day.

Anyone looking to donate directly to the school can visit: Julius.

- Kassina Ryder

University student gets scholarship

Liidlii Kue/Fort Simpson

Devan Cli, a university student at MacEwan University in Edmonton, Alta., has been named the recipient of Dehcho Regional Helicopters LP's aviation support services scholarship.

This is the third time Cli, who is from Fort Simpson, has received the $1,500 scholarship since it was created in 2014.

- April Hudson

Anniversary anticipated

Deh Gah Got'ie Koe/Fort Providence

Fort Providence held a meeting for people who want to be on the Canada 150 Planning Committee.

The meeting kicked off on Sept. 21 at the hamlet council chambers.

The hamlet is putting together an application for funding in order to put on a celebration for Canada's 150th anniversary.

- April Hudson

First Nation office to relocate for renovations

Tetlit'Zheh/Fort McPherson

The offices of K'atlodeeche First Nation on the Hay River Reserve will be temporarily relocated.

It's to accommodate upcoming interior renovations on its existing building.

Chief executive officer Peter Groenen said the offices will move to the former Nats'ejee K'eh Treatment Centre.

"As soon as we're ready, we're going to move," said Groenen.

"We've arranged to set up the treatment centre for our offices.

"(It will likely be about) three or four months while the renovations are completed here."

- Paul Bickford

Polar bear visits through Sachs Harbour

Ikaahuk/Sachs Harbour

A polar bear made a surprise visit to the community on Sept. 16, said Melissa Davis.

Davis was indoors nursing her baby while her fiance and four-year-old son were outside working on their ATV when the bear approached their house.

"I looked out the window and the bear was just below the house," she said. "I ran outside to bring our little guy in."

The family lives on the edge of Sachs Harbour and Davis said while it's not unusual for polar bears to come around, it's rare for bears to make it into the community unnoticed.

"They don't usually make it right into town," she said. "This one made it onto the main road before we noticed it."

Davis said her fiance estimated the young bear was about three or four-years old.

"It was definitely curious," she said.

A neighbour chased the bear out of town with a truck.

"It tried to come back a few times, but eventually it got the hint and wandered off," Davis said.

- Kassina Ryder

Exhibition to celebrate half-century as a town

Thebacha/Fort Smith

The Northern Life Museum & Cultural Centre is preparing to launch an exhibition to celebrate Fort Smith's 50th anniversary as an incorporated town, which occurred in 1966.

The exhibition will begin on Sept. 30. It will feature photos, memorabilia and artifacts.

In preparation, the museum collected prints of residents' family photographs from 50 years ago to help it take a nostalgic look back.

In addition, the museum collected photographs, memories and stories of Fort Smith's festivals and events over the years, such as Wood Buffalo Frolics, the South Slave Friendship Festival and the Slave River Paddlefest.

- Paul Bickford

Sunday Fiddle Club to begin

Hay River

The Kole Crook Fiddle Association's Sunday Fiddle Club was likely to begin Sept. 25.

The association will offer classes for parents, tots and adult beginners. Each class will be offered for a minimum of five registrants.

- Paul Bickford

Labour Day BBQ

Thebacha/Fort Smith

An annual Labour Day barbecue was held in Fort Smith on Sept. 5.

In all, 320 hamburgers and 132 hotdogs were eaten, and $215.73 was raised for the Fort Smith Animal Society. The event in Conibear Park was sponsored by the Northern Territories Federation of Labour and the Union of Northern Workers, Locals 2 and 12.

- Paul Bickford

Schools evacuated after bomb threat


Nunavut schools were evacuated Sept. 22 due to what the Department of Education called a widespread bomb threat that came in to RCMP at 9 a.m. Iqaluit time.

RCMP conducted walkthroughs of all schools, and school property and facilities, as well as at all Nunavut Arctic College community learning centres and campuses.

The RCMP also informed the public that the nature of the bomb threat was "similar to threats received in other parts of Canada and the United States recently, which have proven to be hoaxes."

A couple of hours later, RCMP announced the ordeal was over and that it had completed a comprehensive threat assessment.

"(RCMP) are confident the threat to Nunavut schools was not credible," RCMP stated.

After lunch in the west, Kitikmeot schools resumed classes.

There are 9,990 students enrolled in Nunavut schools, according to the Department of Education. All evacuations went smoothly.

- Michele LeTourneau

Tires slashed in Apex


RCMP received more than a dozen reports Sept. 20 of mischief to vehicles parked overnight in the small community of Apex, five kilometres southeast of Iqaluit.

"Several of the reports relate to tires being slashed, along with other types of damage to vehicles," sated RCMP Const. Lurene Dillon.

- Michele LeTourneau

New focus on tourism


The Government of Nunavut announced Sept. 22 that it is changing the way tourism-related development is done in the territory.

The government has defined the role of Nunavut Tourism to continue as a membership-based association that will focus on supporting its members. The government will continue to provide support for Nunavut Tourism in fulfilling this mandate, states a news release.

The Department of Economic Development and Transportation division of tourism and cultural industries is assuming responsibility for tourism development, marketing and research, visitor experience and visitor centre operations.

"This change will eliminate duplication of services, and ensure more accountability of public funds," said Economic Development and Transportation Minister Monica Ell-Kanayuk.

Nunavut Tourism's chief economic officer Kevin Kelly responded to the announcement of the change in responsibility.

"Having more clearly defined roles will allow us to better serve our members through marketing, advocacy and increasing our benefits to help members grow, maintain a sustainable operation and excel in the tourism trade," Kelly stated.

Over the next two years Nunavut Tourism's annual operating contribution from the GN will be reduced to $1 million per year from $3 million per year. The remaining funds will stay within government to fulfil the department's new responsibilities, a news release stated.

- Michele LeTourneau

Books donated for students


Ataguttaaluk Elementary School in Iglulik has joined more than 500 Canadian elementary schools in a bid to stock their library shelves.

If an elementary school has a library budget of less than $30 per student per year, then the school is considered a high-needs school, according to the Indigo Adopt a School website.

Ataguttaaluk lists its budget as $0 for its 400 students.

As of Sept 20, the school has received 172 book donations. Its goal is one book per student.

"Our school is lacking in a broad variety of high interest and low vocabulary books that will appeal to our junior students and instill in them a love of reading," states the school on its Indigo page.

"With this program, we hope to develop our students' love of reading in the elementary grades so that they can continue to succeed throughout their life."

Those wanting to donate books have until Oct. 9.

For every two books donated online, Indigo's Love of Reading Foundation will donate one extra book.

Another way to donate is to share a personal story about reading or why a local school matters. If the story is featured on the Indigo site, the foundation will donate a book on the writer's behalf.

"This is Ataguttaaluk Elementary School's first year participating in the Adopt a School program and we feel very grateful that we have been given this opportunity to raise money for our school library. Thank you to everyone who has donated so far," the school stated in an update.

- Michele LeTourneau

Angry Inuk on tour


Canadians across the nation will have the opportunity to view Iqaluit filmmaker Alethea Arnaquq-Baril's award-winning feature documentary Angry Inuk.

Most recently, Angry Inuk won the $25,000 audience award at Hot Docs 2016 in Toronto.

"Angry Inuk interweaves the reality of Inuit life with their challenge to the anti-sealing industry and to nations that mine resources on Inuit lands while simultaneously destroying the main sustainable economy available there," states a news release from the National Film Board.

Angry Inuk is an Unikkaat Studios Inc. production in co-production with the National Film Board, in association with EyeSteelFilm.

Arnaquq-Baril's film is booked for showings through to February 2017, beginning Sept. 22 at the Atlantic Film Festival in Halifax. Other September stops include the Calgary International Film Festival, the Yellowknife Film Festival and the Dreamspeakers International Film Festival in Edmonton.

Other presentations include the imagineNATIVE Film & Media Arts Festival in Toronto, a variety of other film festivals and a tour of rural British Columbia.

- Michele LeTourneau

Kitikmeot exhibit to open gallery

Ikaluktutiak/Cambridge Bay

The opening feature exhibit for the the Canadian Museum of Nature's Canada Goose Arctic Gallery will be presented in June by the Kitikmeot Heritage Society.

The inaugural show, titled Inuinnauyugut: We are Inuinnait, will be a partial replica of an exhibit currently on display in Cambridge Bay.

"It will be a great opportunity for our community and our culture and Inuit as a whole to be showcased at the national level. It's going to be a celebration and a way for us to start dialogue," said Pamela Gross, executive director of the Kitikmeot Heritage Society.

The exhibit, which will be on display for one year, is a replica of an existing display at the society's Cambridge Bay location.

The exhibit was designed in 2013 to consider the centennial anniversary of Inuinnait contact with the western world via the 1913 Canadian Arctic Expedition.

"Our exhibit celebrates the ingenuity of our people throughout time from before contact to today," said Gross. "It's nice that we will have a larger audience learning about who we are."

The 8,000-square-foot Ottawa-based gallery is being sponsored through a $1.5-million donation from clothing manufacturer Canada Goose, and the gallery will bear the company's name for up to 10 years.

"The goal of this gallery is to enhance and transform people's understanding of the Arctic and its importance to Canada in the 21st century," stated Meg Beckel, president and CEO of the Canadian Museum of Nature.

Some partnering organizations include ArcticNet, Oceans North, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada.

- Beth Brown

Literacy honour awarded


Earlier this month, Premier Peter Taptuna announced that Saa Pitsiulak, an Inuktitut language program officer with the Department of Culture and Heritage, won the 12th annual Council of the Federation Literacy Award for Nunavut.

"Saa has taught hundreds of children and adults in Nunavut and goes above and beyond her day job, doing much of her work in her own time," stated Taptuna in a news release.

"On behalf of the Government of Nunavut, I would like to extend my gratitude to her for her important work and her contribution towards literacy across our territory."

Pitsiulak began teaching in 1981 and over the years she taught elementary, junior high, high school and adult education.

She also taught at Nunavut Arctic College with the Nunavut Teacher Education Program, helping to increase the number of Inuit teachers.

"It's essential because we need more Inuit teachers working in all schools," Pitsiulak once told Nunavut News/North.

"It is important for the students up here to be taught in their first language and to also learn about their culture. If a person has foundation in their own identity, they are better able to go out into the world and pursue whatever they wish to go after."

Established in 2004, the Council of the Federation Literacy Award recognizes the successes of adults that have undertaken literacy training, and celebrates the valuable contributions made by Canadians across the field of literacy.

Pitsiulak was selected for her leadership as an educator in Nunavut for 30 years, and for her role in creating children's Inuktitut guided reading resources for Nunavut schools, according to the release.

- Michele LeTourneau

Safety campaign launched


The Workers' Safety and Compensation Commission (WSCC) launched a campaign on Sept. 16 called Worth It to create awareness of safety in the workplace.

"We all go to work thinking we are coming home at night," said WSCC president and CEO Dave Grundy.

The campaign asks questions like, "What are things in your life that are worth being safe for?" And, "What are the safety precautions that you make a priority, from sunscreen to safety gear?"

Pre-campaign, the WSCC featured a construction wall at the Qamutiq Building in Iqaluit with a series of posters posing different scenarios, challenging bystanders to stop and think about what is important to them and what they could lose by making a safety mistake at work. There were also chalk stencils put up around town to draw people towards the sign.

But the WSCC didn't tell residents that it put up the wall or chalk signs until after it launched the campaign, because it wanted to avoid stigma related to regulatory safe practices and just get people thinking.

"Workplace safety is the law, but it is much more than that," said Grundy. "The human cost of a preventable accident can be devastating for so many reasons."

The campaign will continue throughout the year, with events to provide workplace education on safety and how to choose programs and courses to fit the needs of individual business owners and the regulations of the territory.

One struggle unique to the territory is the high number of outside contractors who come in and are used to working within the regulations of other provinces. "The misconception is that the rules for the south are the same as they are in the North."

Grundy said the Occupational Health and Safety board has created an online educational program designed for small businesses in the territory.

He said the last few years have seen considerable modernization made to the Safety Act in Nunavut and the Northwest Territories. "Our regulations aren't perfect but they are an evolving thing."

- Beth Brown

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