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Monday, February 27, 2017
Canadian North ownership restructured


Ownership of Canadian North and Weldco-Beales Manufacturing has been transferred directly to the Inuvialuit Development Corporation, stated a news release Feb. 24.

The transfer leaves Canadian North and Weldco-Beales Manufacturing free from any external debt and on "a clear path to growth and continued profitability," the news release states.

The change moves the manufacturing company and airline directly to the development corporation.

News/North files show they had been part of Norterra, a holding company that also owned Northern Transportation Company Ltd. in Hay River.

- Shane Magee

Town seeks update on highway rescue

Hay River

The Town of Hay River is sending letters to the GNWT to get an update on a request for more money for highway rescue by the Hay River Fire Department.

At the Feb. 14 meeting of council, senior administrative officer Judy Goucher said the letters will be going to the deputy ministers of three departments - Municipal and Community Affairs, Health and Social Services, and Transportation.

The town and the GNWT have recently held discussions on the issue.

Currently, the GNWT does not provide funding for operation and maintenance.

- Paul Bickford

Communities can make case for 911

Hay River

Municipal and Community Affairs Minister Caroline Cochrane updated the legislative assembly on Feb. 15 on the planned implementation of basic 911 throughout the NWT.

Cochrane said that, in 2015, the Yellowknife Fire Division was identified as the only option for a 911 call centre.

Cochrane said it is estimated it will take approximately a year and a half to implement basic 911.

Cochrane said new territorial legislation will help govern the system.

- Paul Bickford

GTC to livestream Peel Watershed case


The Gwich'in Tribal Council will be livestreaming the Supreme Court's Peel Watershed hearing March 22.

The council will livestream the court out of its boardroom in Inuvik for any interested parties. Those outside of Inuvik can follow along with the official Supreme Court livestream on the Supreme Court's website.

- Stewart Burnett

Northland Utilities issues scam warning


The RCMP and Northland Utilities are warning the public about a scam.

Impostors are contacting Northland Utilities customers over e-mail or phone, asking for payment on overdue accounts and threatening disconnection if payment is not made immediately.

"If in doubt, contact us," said Derek McHugh, manager of Northland Utilities in Yellowknife.

The company first learned of the scam Feb. 8.

Const. Sam Holm, media liaison for the RCMP with the Fort Resolution detachment, said the utility company seems like a good pick for scammers because of the urgency involved.

- Jessica Davey-Quantick

Northwestel unveils cover


Next week, phone books across the territory will get a facelift. On March 2, Northwestel will unveil the artwork which will be displayed on the 2017/18 telephone directories.

Each year, artists who currently reside in the North submit hand-rendered work like acrylic, oil, watercolour and silkscreen art.

Three selected artists each win $3,000. They are chosen by a panel of Northern artists, Northwestel employees, and a public ballot.

- Jessica Davey-Quantick

Two councillors absent without excuse

Liidlii Kue/Fort Simpson

The council meeting on Feb. 20 was attended by Mayor Darlene Sibbeston and councillors Chuck Blyth, Sean Whelly, Jarret Hardisty and Liza McPherson.

While Coun. Muaz Hassan and Marie Lafferty had their absences approved by council, Coun. Mike Rowe and Cheryl Cli did not provide excuses for their absences in advance.

Sibbeston said that could eventually have an effect, if more absences go unexplained.

"Eventually it would mean something. If there's three unexcused (absences) in a row, then the bylaw says ... we have to kick them out of (council)."

- April Hudson

Remington rifle recall


Remington Model 700 and Model Seven rifles produced between May 1, 2006 and April 9, 2014 have been voluntarily recalled by manufacturer Remington Arms Company because of a defect with the X-Mark Pro trigger.

Those who have the affected rifles are asked to stop using them because the trigger issue could cause the weapon to unintentionally fire. More information about the recall and how to get the trigger replaced for free is on the company's website:

- Shane Magee

Ekati announces mixed results


Dominion Diamond Corporation announced a mixed bag of fourth quarter fiscal results on Wednesday.

From November to January, Ekati nearly doubled the number of carats recovered from last year - going from 1.2 million carats in 2016 to 2.3 million carats this year.

Ekati attributed the 93 per cent increased to the processing of a large proportion of high grade Misery ore. But while carats sold rose, the dollar value of the sales fell by half - from US$111.6 million in the three months ending in Jan. 31, 2016 to US$51.9 million this year.

- Jessica Davey-Quantick

Fort McPherson gets new mayor

Tetlit'zheh/Fort McPherson

Elizabeth Vittrekwa is the new mayor of Fort McPherson. Vittrekwa received 88 votes, beating John Itsi, William R Koe and Dennis Wright for the top spot.

The hamlet's new councillors are; Shaylene Allen, James Andre, Marion Koe, Robert Greenland, Ruby McDonald, Ashtyn McLeod, Dwayne Noseworthy and Dennis Wright.

The hamlet election took place on Feb. 20 with a 47 per cent voter turnout rate, according to election results

There were 544 voters registered.

- Kassina Ryder

Students on Ice applications open


Any youth interested in the 2017 Students on Ice Arctic expedition should apply now.

The ship-based expedition will bring together more than 100 youth from around the world along with scientists, elders, educators, musicians and more for an educational journey.

Each day will be filled with exploration, discovery, presentations, adventure and more.

The Inuvialuit Regional Corporation has advertised it will sponsor one Inuvialuk for the trip, which is set for August.

The deadline to apply is March 1.

- Stewart Burnett

Workshop encourages women in politics


Fourteen women from across the Northwest Territories travelled to Yellowknife for the Daughters of the Vote NWT workshop, which began Feb. 12.

Reannda Cli of Fort Simpson attended the workshop.

The workshop was an initiative of Equal Voice, an organization aiming to get more women elected in government.

The workshop included panel discussions and presentations.

- April Hudson

Sachs Harbour students heading to page program

Ikaahuk/Sachs Harbour

Two Inualthuyak School students are expected to travel from Sachs Harbour to Yellowknife on March 2 to participate in the Page Program at the Legislative Assembly, said principal Karen Bibby.

Lex Gow and Roseanne Lennie, both in Grade 9, will spend the week working as pages and learning about territorial politics.

While they're in Yellowknife, pages work about 15 hours per week and are paid $12.50 per hour.

Gow and Lennie were chosen because of their enthusiasm and interest in the program, Bibby said.

"They were very keen on going," she said. "They were very excited about it."

- Kassina Ryder

Carnival requests care for race trails

Deh Cho

The organizers of the K'amba Carnival dog races are requesting people stay off the trails created on the Hay River in preparation for the event.

They are especially asking people to avoid the trails with their ATVs and vehicles, and respect the need to have smooth conditions for the mushers and their dogs.

The races will be held on March 4 and 5.

- Paul Bickford

Fort Resolution gets ready for spring

Deninu Ku'e/Fort Resolution

The Hamlet of Fort Resolution Spring Carnival will be taking place in mid-March.

The annual event is set for March 16 to 20. Appropriately enough, the final day of the carnival will also be the first day of spring.

The Hamlet of Fort Resolution Spring Carnival features a number of family-friendly events and activities, including northern games for adults and children, a talent show, dog sled races on Great Slave Lake, and more.

In addition, the carnival begins with the crowning of a carnival king and queen 13 years of age and over, along with a prince and princess 12 years of age and under.

- Paul Bickford

Deh Cho tourism championed

Deh Cho

The Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment hosted a workshop recently to promote tourism in the Deh Cho region.

The workshop, which ran Feb. 21 to 23, aimed to engage participants in discussion about community-driven, sustainable tourism.

- April Hudson

Aklavik feels the love


Aklavik held special celebrations for Valentine's Day on Feb. 14, said recreation co-ordinator Dean McLeod.

"There were quite a few kids there," he said.

After the youth dance, a Box Social for adults ran from 8 to 10 p.m.

McLeod also said Aklavik hockey teams did well at the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation Native Hockey Tournament, which ran from Feb. 16 to 19.

The Aklavik Knights came in first place in the B Division and the K & D Aklavik Outlaws came in second in the A Division.

The Aklavik Old Timers came in second place in the Oldtimers Division.

"Congratulations to all the hockey players," McLeod said.

- Kassina Ryder

Science fair fun in Fort Good Hope

Radilih Koe'/Fort Good Hope

Junior high students at Chief T'Seleie School displayed their best work during the school's science fair on Feb. 9, said teacher Tyson Ruston.

Students in Grades 6, 7, 8 and 9 created displays for the fair, which took place all afternoon. Members of the public were invited to the school to see the students' projects.

Three winners were selected and will travel to Ehtseo Ayha School in Deline for the regional science fair on Feb. 28.

Winners of the regional fair will go on to the Canada-Wide Science Fair, which is scheduled to take place in Regina, Sask. from May 15 to 20.

The school is also getting ready for its spring break, which is scheduled to begin on March 3.

Tulita gets ready for spring

Tulita/Fort Norman

Plans for the annual Tulita Spring Carnival have begun and recreation staff have been busy determining this year's activities, said recreation director Kelsey Dayler.

The carnival is scheduled to run from April 21 to 23 and will feature carnival-style games for both adults and children, as well as some fundraising activities such as a silent auction and prize bingo. Proceeds raised during the fundraisers will be put toward future recreation activities, Dayler said.

"We're also hoping to have traditional games and events going on throughout the weekend," she added.

The carnival will take place at the Arthur Mendo Arena.

Dayler said she encouraged residents of other communities to visit Tulita for the carnival weekend.

"We're going to have lots of games and activities," she said.

Special licence required for Great Bear Lake anglers


Anglers are being reminded they need a sport fishing licence and a special management area licence to fish within the Great Bear Lake Special Management Area, information from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources said.

The area includes the entire Camsell River to White Eagle Falls and all tributaries into the lake, from where the tributary enters the lake to one kilometre upstream.

The daily catch limit is set at one lake trout per day.

Dora Nitsiza honoured in ceremony


Whati elder Dora Nitsiza was posthumously awarded a Tlicho Government Award during a ceremony at Mezi Community School in Whati on Feb. 15, information from the Tlicho Government said.

Nitsiza was chosen to receive the Culture, Heritage and Spirituality award in recognition of her work to preserve the Tlicho way of life.

Nitsiza's daughter, Cecelia Nitsiza, accepted the award on behalf of her mother.

Nominations are now open for the 2017 awards and the deadline is March 31. Nomination forms are online and at local Tlicho Government offices.

Spring carnival planning has begun

Deh Gah Got'ie Koe/Fort Providence

A planning session for the community's spring carnival was held Feb. 21 at the hamlet office. The jamboree will run March 5 to 12.

Meanwhile, there will be a wilderness first aid course happening in Fort Providence from March 27 to 31.

And four youth from Deh Gah School were on a week-long on-the-land workshop at Cli Lake Lodge from Feb. 19 to 24.

Youth from the school are also on their way to Discovering Trades at Vancouver Island University in Nanaimo, B.C., from Feb. 19 to 25.

- April Hudson

Tourism promoters head to Jean Marie

Tthek'ehdeli/Jean Marie River

Representatives of the Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment will be in Jean Marie River on March 14 and 15 to film traditional activities and cultural events for future tourism promotional purposes.

- April Hudson

Hearts for missing and murdered


Women in Kugluktuk are beading for the 'bleeding hearts' campaign to recognize missing and murdered indigenous women.

The initiative began in the NWT, where people were beading small hearts to add to a larger mosaic.

"We're doing what the NWT did, we're going to contribute to our neighbouring territory," said organizer Edna Elias.

She said she has had enthusiastic feedback from women in the community and a few in other hamlets.

A wellness organization in the hamlet has also been making beaded hearts. The four-by-four hearts will be made into a wall hanging and gifted to a community police officer who is leaving to be involved with the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women inquiry.

"To serve as a reminder for who he is working for, to bring justice," Elias said. She made her own small heart from caribou skin. "My heart has eight red roses representing the eight missing and murdered women from our community of Kugluktuk. At the base is a white flower representing their innocence. Beads that border the heart represent all the hearts that are hurting from the families left behind."

- Beth Brown

Ministers examine law and policy on indigenous peoples


A working group of six federal ministers will examine existing laws and policies regarding indigenous peoples in Canada.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the new initiative on Feb. 22.

"The Working Group of Ministers - in partnership with indigenous leaders and a broad range of stakeholders, including youth - will assess and recommend what statutory changes and new policies are needed to best meet our constitutional obligations and international commitments to indigenous peoples," stated Trudeau. The working group is part of the Liberal government's efforts to renew the relationship between indigenous groups and the Crown.

"The Working Group of Ministers responsible for the review will examine relevant federal laws, policies, and operational practices to help ensure the Crown is meeting its constitutional obligations with respect to aboriginal and treaty rights; adhering to international human rights standards, including the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; and supporting the implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Calls to Action," stated the release.

The group will be chaired by Justice Minister and Attorney General of Canada Jody Wilson-Raybould.

Members will also include Indigenous Minister Carolyn Bennett, Fisheries Minister Dominic Leblanc, Health Minister Jane Philpott, Families, Children and Social Development Minister Jean-Yves Duclos, and Natural Resources Minister James Gordon Carr.

- Beth Brown

Album celebrates Inuktut music


A concert was planned for Iqaluit last week to mark the end of Uqausirmut Quviasuutiqarniq featuring a compilation album of children's songs.

The Department of Culture and Heritage launched the 2016 Qilaut album Feb. 24 at Nakasuk School, where artists performed the winning songs. Qilaut is an annual Inuktut songwriting contest that celebrates Nunavut's Inuktut music scene and promote the use of Inuktut in daily life, according to a news release. Copies of the album were available at the concert and at the department's building or its website.

- Shane Magee

MLA celebrates health centre

Ikpiarjuk/Arctic Bay

Quttiktuq MLA Isaac Shooyook stood in the legislative assembly last week satisfied about the progress of a construction project in his home community.

"I am happy because the health centre renovations have been completed. We're just waiting for the opening day," he said in the assembly.

Shooyook said he toured the old health centre after he was elected in 2013 and sought to ensure plans for replacement were followed. The territory had budgeted $27 million over three capital budgets for the health centre replacement.

- Shane Magee

Photo contest celebrates women


A photo contest by the Qulliit Nunavut Status of Women Council will celebrate women's traditional clothing, and leave one lucky winner with a first place cash prize of $1,000.

The International Women's Day Photo Competition is requesting photography submissions of women's dress from all cultures.

"For example, the clothing used to celebrate uniqueness, heritage and cultural identity around the world," stated the contest call.

This could include the amauti, hats and other headwear, uniforms, special event clothing, costumes or national dress.

The contest is open to all Nunavummiut. The second place prize is valued at $500 and third place at $250.

Photos will be displayed at the Nunatta Sunakkutaangit Museum in Iqaluit from March 8 to 27.

- Beth Brown

Qikiqtani Inuit seeks feedback at meetings


The Qikiqtani Inuit Association has started a series of meetings on its programs in its 13 communities.

The open-house events that started Feb. 23 in Iqaluit are to gather input on QIA programs as well as find out what it should undertake with funds from its new revenue policy.

"We are now investing funds received from a number of sources related to activities on Inuit-Owned Lands and our subsidiaries," president P.J. Akeeagok stated in a news release issued last week.

The new policy creates ways for the organization to invest money and expand programs today. It will set aside at least $1 million per year for new programs, while a legacy fund will set money aside for the future.

"This money, which we didn't previously have, is giving us an exciting opportunity to create new programs for Qikiqtani Inuit," Akeeagok stated. People who can't attend the meetings can fill out a survey up to March 31 on the organization's website.

- Shane Magee

Water testing underway

Ikaluktutiak/Cambridge Bay

The new filtration system at the water treatment centre in Cambridge bay has been taken offline until problems with discolouration are resolved, according to a notice issued to the hamlet by Community and Government Services on Feb. 22.

Residents of Cambridge Bay have noticed a yellow tinge to their tap water since the treatment centre started operation in mid-November. The cause is unclear.

Water samples were collected on Feb. 21, and sent to the Taiga Laboratory in Yellowknife. A consultant for the facility was set to be on site on Feb. 24.

Residents have continued access to safe drinking water.

Updates are being regularly provided by the hamlet via social media to give residents peace of mind.

- Beth Brown

Smoking numbers drop, but still more than average


The prevalence of smoking among Inuit declined between 1991 and 2012, yet it remains three times the national rate, Statistics Canada reported last week.

The brief report compared data collected as part of the Aboriginal Peoples Survey in 1991, 2001 and 2012 for people over 15 years of age.

In 1991, 69 per cent of Inuit smoked daily. That number dropped to 63 per cent by 2012. The 2012 rate was 16 per cent for all Canadians.

Among daily smokers, men were more likely than women to be heavy smokers, meaning they smoke 25 cigarettes or more per day.

Smoking-related diseases account for the largest percentage of the difference in female life expectancy between residents of Inuit Nunangat and the rest of Canada, the brief report states.

Lung cancer is the most common cancer in the territory, the study notes, adding Inuit have the highest incidence of lung cancer in the world.

- Shane Magee

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