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Monday, July 28, 2014

Body recovered

The body of Richard St. Germain is believed to have been recovered from the Mackenzie River.

St. Germain and a woman had gone canoeing on the river at Norman Wells on July 15.

The pair fell into the water at about 9 p.m.

Local boaters rescued the woman, but were unable to locate St. Germain. Searchers continued to look for him for more than a week.

Sarah Baker helped support the search. She said a local organization had donated a helicopter for three hours. Just after 9 p.m. on July 23, Baker said she received notice that a body had been found at Oscar Creek, toward Fort Good Hope.

Baker said RCMP then took over.

St. Germain's parents, Laval and Janet, have set up a memorial fund in St. Germain's memory. Called the Richard St. Germain River Rescue Memorial Fund, the fund aims to provide money and equipment for river rescue training in Norman Wells.

Baker said volunteers from Norman Wells, Tulita and Fort Good Hope all participated in the search for St. Germain.

- Kassina Ryder

Another body found

RCMP say a body was found in the Mackenzie River near Fort Providence last week.

The incident is separate from the search for Richard St. Germain, who fell out of a canoe at Norman Wells on July 15.

- Kassina Ryder

Bison killed in car crash

A large sport utility vehicle collided with two bison near Fort Smith at about 3 a.m. on July 23.

The five occupants of the vehicle - all from Fort Smith - received minor injuries.

They were transported to the Fort Smith Health Centre for treatment and later released. Both animals were killed and there was extensive damage to the vehicle.

The accident occurred on Highway 5 at the Parsons Lake intersection, about 40 km west of Fort Smith.

- Paul Bickford

Youth leadership training

The Akaitcho Territory Government's Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training Strategy (ASETS) will offer aboriginal youth leadership training from Aug. 5 to 8 at Aurora College in Fort Smith.

The free program - from the Native Ambassador Post-Secondary Initiative (NAPI) - will be offered to First Nations, Metis and Inuit youth aged 13 to 24 years in Fort Smith and Fort Fitzgerald, Alta.

The program has two levels, and participants will receive a certificate from NAPI and the University of Calgary upon completion.

- Paul Bickford

Smith museum to present talk for artists, craftspeople

Thebacha/Fort Smith

A free talk on professional development for artists and craftspeople will be presented early next month at Northern Life Museum & Cultural Centre in Fort Smith.

The talk will be delivered by Joan Irvin at 7 p.m. on Aug. 9.

Irvin is an interdisciplinary artist, curator, writer and educator. She will talk about strategies for part-time artists to grow their art and businesses.

Irvin has been a jewelry and metals instructor at the Alberta College of Art & Design in Calgary for 11 years.

- Paul Bickford

Enterprise in good financial shape


An audit of the 2013-2014 fiscal year, which ended March 31, has shown the Hamlet of Enterprise to be in very good financial shape. The hamlet increased its accumulated surplus during the year.

At the July 7 meeting of council, an auditor reported the hamlet had $1.13 million in net financial assets, which he compared to the $1.16 million in total revenue for the 2013-2014 fiscal year.

"So over the years, Enterprise has built up one year's worth of revenues as the surplus. That's a good indicator of how strong a financial situation the hamlet is in," said Drew Queen, an auditor with Ashton Chartered Accountants in Hay River.

Queen said such positive financial results are not always seen in a community the size of Enterprise.

Enterprise is a community of about 100 people located 38 km from Hay River.

- Paul Bickford

Jerry Cans play Tuk


The Hamlet of Tuktoyaktuk was looking forward to the first appearance by The Jerry Cans on July 22 at Kitti Hall.

John Stewart Jr., a representative of the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation in Inuvik and a Tuktoyaktuk native, was involved in organizing the concert. He said a number of residents were either in Inuvik for the conference or out hunting. However, he was still hoping there would be a healthy turnout for the free concert.

"We are hoping the whole community will come, but Kitti Hall can hold only 500 people, so we will see. Some members of the community are hoping they play all night long," Stewart said before the event.

The Jerry Cans opened the Inuit Circumpolar Council general assembly in Inuvik earlier in the week and were expected at the closing ceremonies July 24. Tuktoyaktuk was the only community in the Delta that the band was able to play outside of Inuvik.

Andrew Morrison, a member of the Jerry Cans, was excited to be in the community for the first time and was involved in putting on a workshop for a number of young people at the youth centre.

Youth were taught how to play guitar and violin and learned some throatsinging as well.

"We are really hoping it turns into a community jam with local musicians," he said. "I have no clue how many will show up but we are having beautiful weather and hopefully people who don't come are out catching belugas."

- Simon Whitehouse

Two belugas caught

Ikaahuk/Sachs Harbour

Doreen Carpenter, recreation co-ordinator of the Hamlet of Sachs Harbour, reported two beluga whales have been harvested since hunting began in early June.

Larry Carpenter caught a full adult, 4.5-metre (15-foot) beluga whale July 2. On July 17, Dustyn Gully caught a three-metre (10-foot) beluga.

Doreen said, although rare, such harvests benefit the community.

"We don't get whales very often," she said. "Every few weeks we have been seeing them in the bay, but in the last 10 years we have had maybe four different times where we have seen whales in the community. "

- Simon Whitehouse

Bears seen near community

Ikaahuk/Sachs Harbour

Doreen Carpenter, recreation co-ordinator of the Hamlet of Sachs Harbour, said there were three polar bears seen near the community July 19. Carpenter said the bears might have had smelled the whale meat and brazenly approached the community.

"One was right outside a house in the fog at nighttime and another one was near the point at the other side of town, while another was seen just outside of town," she said."

Carpenter said most people in the community saw the bears and that it was a rare occurrence this year because the ice in the bay melted very fast.

- Simon Whitehouse

Family Camp this week


The community corporation is sponsoring a family camp which began July 22, said Lisa Alikamik, corporate manager of the community corporation.

About 35 to 40 people have gone to nearby Kiidjivik, a popular point down the coast from the community, said Alikamik. Although a camp is usually put on every year, in the past it has only centred around young people 16 years and older.

"It is a great opportunity where young people can spend time with elders that they don't get to see in town," said Alikamik, adding that the spot is popular for its hunting and fishing. "There is lots of char and everybody is always casting and catching in the area."

Activities that will be included in the camp will be sewing, hunting, and skills teaching, she said. The families were expected to return to the community on July 26, weather permitting.

- Simon Whitehouse

Summer camp continues

Ikaahuk/Sachs Harbour

The Angullibiut summer day camp continues at the Sachs Harbour Ajgaliaq Centre.

Hamlet recreation co-ordinator Doreen Carpenter said there are fewer than 10 children aged 12 and under who are attending the camp.

The camp began July 14 and will run through the summer until Aug. 21. The camp runs from Mondays to Thursdays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and features a different theme with related activities every week.

The first week began with an arts week, which was followed by a cultural camp the second week. A water camp is expected for the third week, followed by a wacky camp "where anything goes," according to Carpenter. The sixth week will be a music camp.

The camps have been a regular feature in the community for more than 17 years, added Carpenter, and tend to be beneficial for children because older siblings are often present, too.

- Simon Whitehouse

Paddlefest coming up on Slave River at Smith

Thebacha/Fort Smith

The Slave River Paddlefest will be taking place from Aug. 1 to 4.

A variety of fun events are planned on the Slave River at Fort Smith - a youth kayak camp, raft rides, a voyageur canoe race, a tandem canoe race, an adult kayak river-running clinic, a rolling competition, a white-water canoe race, youth paddling competitions, contests for beginners, and more.

Aside from fun on the river, a number of events are planned on solid ground, such as a community feast and a pancake breakfast.

The annual event is being presented by the Fort Smith Paddling Club.

- Paul Bickford

Baffin MLA fined $1,700 by P.E.I. judge


South Baffin MLA David Joanasie pleaded guilty to charges of failing a breathalyzer and failing to stop for police in provincial court in Charlottetown, P.E.I., July 24.

Joanasie was scheduled to appear Sept. 4 for events that occurred the evening of July 7 but, according to a statement released July 25, he requested an early hearing.

"My court appearance took place yesterday," stated Joanasie. "I believe in the importance of taking personal responsibility for one's own actions, which is why I pleaded guilty to the charges against me."

According to published reports, Joanasie fled police after going the wrong way down a one-way street while driving drunk with one tire flat on his rented vehicle, for which Chief Judge John Douglas stated he could impose additional jail time besides the night Joanasie had spent in jail.

Instead, Douglas imposed $1,700 in fines, a suspended sentence with one year of probation, a $500 donation to a Nunavut charity that works with youth and addictions and a one-year driving ban.

"Although this incident was out of character for me, I am deeply sorry for the impact that it has had on my family," said Joanasie. "I am committed to voluntarily obtaining counselling for alcohol abuse. I know that many people in Nunavut struggle with addictions, and I encourage anyone who is facing such challenges to seek help."

Joanasie concluded his statement by apologizing to his family, constituents and colleagues

"My focus is to move on from this incident and work hard on behalf of my constituents in South Baffin."

- Michele LeTourneau

Coroner announces inquest


Almost two years after Solomon Uyarasuk's death in an RCMP holding cell in Iglulik, the office of the chief coroner announced July 18 that it will be conducting an inquest from Nov. 24 to 28.

Uyarasuk died Sept. 23, 2012.

The inquest is intended to determine the cause of the 26-year-old's death.

"The purpose of this mandatory inquest is to explore the circumstances surrounding the death of Solomon," said chief coroner Padma Suramala.

Inquests are mandatory when someone dies in police custody.

The public can participate and make presentations at the inquest by contacting the chief coroner's office.

After the inquest, the jury is expected to make recommendations to ensure similar deaths do not occur.

- Michele LeTournreau

Frigid fundraiser

Ikaluktutiak/Cambridge Bay

On July 21, the Hamlet of Cambridge Bay held its annual Polar Bear Dip with a special purpose.

The event, which saw 19 people take the plunge into icy waters, is to raise funds for a new multi-use facility, stated pool supervisor Emily Pope in an e-mail.

"The hamlet's goal is to raise $1 million on their own for this project, and they have currently raised $101,719.86," said Pope.

This year's dip, which raised $3,177 through donations, was topped up by a barbecue, which raised $551.25.

"I would say that around 50 people or so came down to watch the event."

- Michele LeTourneau

Camp teaches practical science

Ikaluktutiak/Cambridge Bay

The Actua Science Camp for children aged seven to 12 ran in Cambridge Bay from July 21 to 25.

The national organization promotes scientific, engineering, and technical literacy with the camps, which are meant to show youth how hands-on science is fun. Camps are offered free in various communities across Nunavut, and have been for 10 years.

On July 21, the campers participated in an activity called Minerals in your Mouth. "Campers strapped on face masks and gloves to become dentists," said Jenifer Spencer, outreach coordinator with Actua, in an e-mail.

"Using real dental tools, they examined model teeth, removed plaque, and drilled out tooth decay. They practice filling cavities and discover how minerals and metals are used in tooth repair."

After that exercise, the campers changed out of dental masks into goggles and they become chemical engineers, testing their own toothpaste formulas against commercial brands.

"Along the way, they discover strategies for maintaining their own oral health and the important roles minerals play in keeping teeth strong," said Spencer.

- Michele LeTourneau

Counsellor mourned

Mittimatalik/Pond Inlet

Pond Inlet is mourning the loss of traditional counsellor Thomas Ootook, who died July 20 in Ottawa.

Ootook is a Diamond Jubilee Award recipient and, with his wife Regilee, was co-recipient of the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami health care worker award.

"The comfort and relief he brought to so many Inuit through his wisdom and counselling will never be forgotten," Nunavut Tunngavik president Cathy Towtongie stated in a release.

The Ootooks took part in healing sessions for NTI's Qauma Mobile Treatment Project, designed to provide counselling to former residential school students.

- Casey Lessard

Char run business as usual

Ikaluktutiak/Cambridge Bay

The Kitikmeot Foods char harvest at Surrey River is business as usual despite two boats reportedly missing during the week of July 14.

"We got the boats back," said general manager Stephane Lacasse. "They were just elsewhere."

As of July 21, even with a three-day delay because of bad weather, the fishing was back on track.

"We're having about two catches a day and we should be done in about two to three days," said Lacasse.

Kitikmeot Foods has a quota of 16,000 pounds for this portion of its char harvest.

The plant has six full-time permanent and 14 full-time seasonal employees. Seasonally, the plant employs up to 50 seasonal hunters and fishers to harvest muskox and Arctic char.

- Michele LeTourneau

First cruise ship delayed


Expected July 24, Pangnirtung's first of two cruise ship visits for the season was delayed a day, set to arrive July 25 instead.

The Akademic Ioffe is set to bring 47 passengers to the hamlet, Angmarlik Visitor Centre manager Meghan Mike said.

The ship is carrying visitors who are cruising with One Ocean Expeditions. The boat left Iqaluit July 23.

Pangnirtung is expected to have its final cruise ship visit of the year Sept. 4. That ship is believed to be carrying about 150 passengers.

- Casey Lessard

Request for one more whale


The federal minister for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans is considering an April 28 request from the Kivalliq Wildlife Board to increase the bowhead whale harvest from one whale annually, to two.

In a request to the Nunavut Wildlife Management Board, the Kivalliq board implied that having a one whale limit in a region with seven communities wasn't enough.

The quota for a bowhead whale for 2014 was given to Chesterfield Inlet, but the board said it wanted to allow Coral Harbour hunters to catch a whale too.

"It would greatly benefit the Kivalliq region, and the muktuk from the bowhead(s) would be distributed amongst the communities to ensure all beneficiaries carry on the traditional diet of consuming bowhead muktuk, which is now considered a rare delicacy," wrote Ross Tatty, chair of the Kivalliq board, in the submission.

Parties interested in the request can make bilingual written submissions until Aug. 15, and then the Board will make its recommendation to the federal government.

- Candace Thomson

Bank donates $50,000 to college

Kangiqliniq/Rankin Inlet

Delegates from RBC Royal Bank's corporate office were in Rankin Inlet July 17 to present a $50,000 cheque to the Nunavut Arctic College campus.

The donation was the last instalment of a three-year contribution of $150,000 to the college to go towards its accounting degree.

"RBC has supported Nunavut Arctic College for the past three years," said Jeff Fowler, regional vice-president for RBC's banks in the North.

"It goes towards their accounting program and creates opportunities for jobs in accounting."

"There are more than 100 positions in the territorial government alone that deal with accounting which the students in this program will be qualified for," said Michael Shouldice, president of the college.

"The timing was great to present them with the cheque today," said Stan Anderson, branch manager for the bank in Rankin Inlet.

"We do a lot of other things with the college too, we visit them throughout the year whether with incoming students to talk about banking or business management class about different things. We have a lot of interaction with them."

- Candace Thomson

Earthquake in Arctic

Qikiqtarjuaq/Broughton Island

The earth was moving near Qikiqtarjuaq July 4 thanks to a 3.2 earthquake at 9:07 p.m. about 158 km northwest of the hamlet.

At 3.2 on the Richter scale, it was one of the stronger ones in the North this month, according to Natural Resources Canada's website, but isn't considered very strong. A similarly-sized quake earlier this year in Virginia was felt in more than a dozen neighbouring states, Fox News reported, but there are no reports of Qikiqtarjuaq noticing the recent event.

It's the third earthquake of similar size near Qikiqtarjuaq this year.

Pond Inlet is much more active, with five earthquakes this year that were almost 10 times more powerful than the Qikiqtarjuaq earthquakes.

- Casey Lessard

Scholarship applications open


The Kivalliq Inuit Association is accepting applications for its annual KIA President's Scholarship.

Applicants have to reside in the Kivalliq region, be a beneficiary of the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement and be enrolled in or accepted into a full-time university or college degree program

The application deadline is Sept. 1 to the association's office in Rankin Inlet.

Other scholarship opportunities through the association include the Ukkusiksalik National Park Scholarship Trust for students interested in traditional ecological knowledge, archaeology and other subjects, and the Meadowbank Project Scholarship Fund, for students enrolled in a mine-related field of study.

Deadlines for those scholarships are also Sept. 1.

- Candace Thomson

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