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Monday, September 15, 2014
Weapons drawn

Somba K'e/Yellowknife

RCMP officers blocked a stretch of Kam Lake Road at 9:40 p.m. on Saturday with the road remaining closed past midnight.

Three police vehicles sped into the industrial park at 9:35 p.m. with lights flashing, but no sirens.

At least three officers on Kam Lake Road carried shotguns and at least one officer carried what appeared to be a long gun with a detachable magazine on a sling.

Officers at the road blocks advised motorists in the area to stay clear of that stretch of Kam Lake Road, Curry Drive and Hudson Avenue. At least two RCMP trucks and two cruisers were in the area at the time.

Officers declined to comment on the operation.

-Daron Letts

Deline boaters found

Deline/Fort Franklin

Two boaters were found safe after becoming separated from a group of hunters on Great Bear Lake on Sept. 6, say RCMP.

The men were travelling from McGill Bay to Ekka on a caribou hunting trip when wind and water conditions were rough and they were separated from three other hunters following in another boat, states an RCMP release.

Police officers, RCMP Search and Rescue personnel and Deline residents worked together to co-ordinate a search. Two North-Wright Airways aircraft also assisted.

Spotters in the planes found the men on an island just west of Ekka Island at about 7:30 p.m. They were given food and supplies before continuing on their hunting trip.

- Kassina Ryder

Hunters found safe

Deh Gah Got'ie/Fort Providence

Four Fort Providence hunters who were reported missing when they did not return home from a Sept. 3 hunting trip have been found.

RCMP began their search with the help of local volunteers on the evening of Sept. 4. They were unsuccessful in their efforts at first and the following day the Civilian Air Search and Rescue Association was asked to take assist. The hunters were eventually located heading back toward Fort Providence by a pilot flying his personal helicopter on the afternoon of Sept. 5.

The hunters were "all taken to town and are in good spirits," stated an RCMP press release.

- Cody Punter

Anti-bullying campaign

NWT

The GNWT is rolling out a new online anti-bullying campaign with the launch of its NWT Stand Up Stop Bullying website last week.

The website includes resources for students, parents and teachers.

- Cody Punter

Canoe leadership course on offer

Thebacha/Fort Smith

Paddle Canada was offering a canoe trip leadership course just outside of Fort Smith from Sept. 12 to 14.

The course is intended for those who want to learn how to become trip leaders. Participants were required to have canoeing experience and their own gear prior to signing up.

Once completed, participants were to be officially certified to take people out on trips.

The provisional plan was to leave from Hay Camp, then paddle down to the take-out below Cassette Rapids, before portaging around split rock on the far side of the rapids, then camping at Roller Coaster, with a possible overnight stop somewhere on the Dog River.

- Cody Punter

Sight your rifle coming up

Thebacha/Fort Smith

Marksmen getting ready for the upcoming hunting season had the option to come out to a rifle-sighting course at the Fort Smith Conservation Association Range on Sept. 12 and 13.

The event, run by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, was to teach hunters how to sight their rifles and shoot more accurately in order to reduce the wounding and wastage of wildlife.

Doors prizes and marksmanship awards were offered over the course of the two days.

Participants were reminded to ensure rifles were unloaded and in safe working order before transporting them.

- Cody Punter

Lute Festival coming to Fort Smith

Thebacha/Fort Smith

The International Lute Festival will be making a stop at Fort Smith Saint Joseph's Cathedral on Sept. 25.

This year's festival is focusing on the French Baroque era and will be led by acclaimed international lutenists Benjamin Narvey and Michel Cardin and Hay River's Tyler Hawkins. They will be accompanied by Fort Smith's Karen Zaidan and Yellowknife's Daniel Gillis on vocals.

Tickets can be purchased from the Northern Life Museum and Cultural Centre.

- Cody Punter

Water board treats students to lunch

Aklavik

Students at Moose Kerr School were treated to a thank-you lunch by the Inuvialuit Water Board in the school's foyer on Sept. 9.

At the end of last school year students in grades three to five took part in a competition to design a new logo for the water board. School secretary Bobbie Greenland-Morgan said the resulting logo is a combination of several different student's designs.

Mardy Semmler, executive director of the water board, and several other members of the board arrived by boat in the morning and hosted a lunch for 26 students and their parents where they announced a $500 donation to the school.

Greenland-Morgan says she expects the money to go towards the school's breakfast and snack program, but first the staff needs to get input from the students.

- Mark Rendell

Dinner for Tuk grandparents

Tuktoyaktuk

The grandparents of Tuktoyaktuk are in for a treat on Sept. 21 when a dinner in their honour will be held in Kitti Hall to celebrate Grandparent's Day.

Steaks, salads and deserts will be served, says recreation co-ordinator Caroline Loreen.

The event starts at 5 p.m. and grandparents don't need to register beforehand.

Loreen says the annual event is a lot of fun and she expects around 30 people to show up.

- Mark Rendell

Students gather pledges for Terry Fox run

Tsiigehtchic/Arctic Red River

Chief Niditchie School's annual Terry Fox Run is coming up soon, although principal Darcy Douglas says the exact day of the event will depend on the weather.

Students are busy tracking down pledges for the five-km walk/run which goes from the school out to Water Lake and back again.

Some youth will be competing for the best time, said Douglas, but everyone will get a treat when they get back to the school - most likely hot dogs and drinks.

Last year, students were extra motivated to raise funds because the person who raised the most got to throw a pie in Douglas's face.

Breeanna Lennie, in Grade 6 this year, got the pie-throwing honour last year after raising more than $80.

Students will be joined at the event by parents and community members, as well several cancer survivors.

- Mark Rendell

House games after tests

Tetlit'Zheh/Fort McPherson

Students at Chief Julius School were rewarded for their hard work writing standardized Canadian Achievement Tests last week with games.

After each exam, students got to play house games - games between the six Harry Potter-style houses the school is divided into.

Vice-principal Cliff Gregory said there were pyramid-making games, mat-racing games and other sports. On Sept. 11, all students in grades 10, 11 and 12 spent the day playing co-operative games.

"It's a little reward to the students for being diligent and working hard on the exams," said Gregory.

The house games, which began at Chief Julius School several years ago, go throughout the school year.

Houses collect points and at the end of the year the winning house gets a trophy made by the school's shop teacher.

- Mark Rendell

Fort Simpson hits the pool

Liidlii Kue/Fort Simpson

The Fort Simpson swimming pool was set to hold its year-end bubble bash on Sept. 12 from 4 to 6 p.m.

The Terry Fox Run and Run for Our Lives were being held on Sept. 14.

A walk was held on Sept. 9 on the village's main street from the health centre to Liidlii Kue First Nation's office to mark Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Day.

- Roxanna Thompson

Running for diabetes awareness

Acho Dene Koe/Fort Liard

The Northern was set to host the North West Run for Diabetes on Sept. 13.

Courses are underway at Aurora College in Fort Liard. The school year is starting with two new courses that are part of Northern Adult Basic Education Embedded Essential Skills Courses. Foundations for Success, which is on right now, is a two-week course to prepare students who are returning to school. Introduction to Office Skills, a six-week course, will begin on Sept. 15. The course introduces students to the basic skills needed to work in an office setting.

Other courses this semester will include Information, Communication and Technology for two weeks and Social Studies 120. Math and English will be the focus of the courses beginning in December and running until the end of April. There are currently nine students at the college with room for more in many of the courses.

- Roxanna Thompson

Staying busy after school

Ka'a'gee Tu/Kakisa

Ka'a'Gee Tu First Nation is launching an active after school program this week for children in the community.

Five students are attending classes at Kakisa Lake School.

- Roxanna Thompson

A gathering of administrators

Tthek'ehdeli/Jean Marie River

Pamela Norwegian, the community's senior administrative officer, is attending the Local Government Administrators of the Northwest Territories (LGANT) annual general meeting in Yellowknife from Sept. 16 to 18.

Some people have started the fall hunt by going on day trips along the Mackenzie River and the highway.

The band office was scheduled to hold a community barbecue on Sept. 10.

- Roxanna Thompson

Ready to get a licence

Deh Gah Got'ie Koe/Fort Providence

A drivers' examiner will be in the community on Sept. 15.

A Terry Fox Run was scheduled to take place in the community on Sept. 11.

- Roxanna Thompson

New teachers join team

Kinngait/Cape Dorset

Principal Michael Soares of Peter Pitseolak School in Cape Dorset welcomed five new teachers to the team last week.

Jefferson Uttak "is the future of teaching in Nunavut," said Soares.

Uttak, born and raised in Iglulik, recently graduated from Nunavut's Teacher Education Program.

"PPS is so lucky that Jeff decided to stay in Cape Dorset following his graduation from NTEP. His energy and enthusiasm for teaching is infectious."

Gordon DeCoste took an early retirement in Nova Scotia to join the team.

"If I had to pick any physical education teacher from anywhere, it would be Gordon DeCoste," said Soares. "I've been trying to recruit Gordie for two years and now we are fortunate to have him here in Cape Dorset."

With eight years in Nunavut and directly from Clyde River, Ron Ross is teaching junior high students.

"Ron has great expertise in IT and (our school) is now in good hands with Ron taking charge of our information technology needs," said Soares.

Allan Reid of Newfoundland is a recipient of the Prime Minister's Award for Teaching.

"A master teacher, Allan has myriad skills to share with staff and students at (our school)."

Rajesh Massey, also of Newfoundland, has a strong fine arts background.

"He is enthused to be in Cape Dorset, 'The Center of Inuit Art.' Our art program welcomes this talented young teacher."

Soares noted that one other position has yet to be filled and that new teacher should arrive soon.

- Michele LeTourneau

Elders to gather in Iqaluit

Iqaluit

Iqaluit is preparing to host the 2015 Eastern Arctic Elders' Gathering.

The recreation department will apply for funding for the event, and will work to find accommodations for the elders, who will come from all over Baffin and Nunavik next year, recreation director Amy Elgersma told city council Sept. 9.

"The role (of the city) is working with the Elders' Qammaq Society in planning events for the elders and assisting with logistics," Elgersma said.

"There may be activities such as traditional fashion shows, berry picking, boating trips, trips to the park, storytelling."

This year's event was in Cape Dorset last month. Iqaluit previously hosted the event in 2003, and "it was well attended and people had a good time," she said.

- Casey Lessard

Polar bear dip for birthday boy

Sanirajak/Hall Beach

While some polar bear dips in Nunavut are for fundraising, some are just for fun - like the one in Hall Beach organized for the fourth year in a row by birthday boy Stephen Snowball.

The dip took place Sept. 7 and Snowball, who started out with few fellow dippers, was accompanied by at least 15 people this year.

Snowball, an instructor with Arctic College's Nunavut Teacher Education Program, spent the summer away from the community this year.

"It's amazed me how when I return to Hall Beach, how many people ask me about the dip before they do about my summer," Snowball stated in an e-mail.

"It's a real fun way to dive back into the community."

"As always, energy was high down by the water as more and more people showed up in towels and housecoats," Snowball said.

"After some teasing and warming up to the idea, we rushed in and plunged under the icy water. It is quite a sensation. Everyone is cheering and screaming (ourselves included) as the water pierces you to the core. The next thing you know you are shooting up out of the water as refreshed as you could imagine, though happy to receive the waiting towels and blankets."

- Michele LeTourneau

Cleaning up the community

Ikpiarjuk/Arctic Bay

For the second year, cadets in Arctic Bay returned to an area across from the hamlet to clean up.

The beach cleanup targets the area where the drinking water lake flows into the ocean.

"It's not used by many people, but stuff left on the ice over the years falls into the ocean and drifts across over there," economic development officer Clare Kines said. "There is quite a bit of stuff."

About a dozen cadets helped in the effort on Labour Day. They were able to collect and dispose of wood, lumber, toys, old qamutiks, boxes and barrels, Kines said.

- Casey Lessard

Bursary winner announced

Qamanittuaq/Baker Lake

Paula Ikuutaq Rumbolt of Baker Lake was among three Canadian youths selected to receive the TD Michaelle Jean Bursary Award.

The three winners were selected from close to 100 applicants from across Canada.

Rumbolt won her bursary for her efforts in publishing the children's book, The Legend of Lightning and Thunder, as well as being involved in many activities and projects relating to youth.

Rumbolt has been involved with the Baker Lake Against Suicide Team, Embrace Life Suicide Prevention Walk, teaching throat singing to elementary school youth and the Activate North program with Motivate Canada.

For her bursary, Rumbolt is expected to establish a mentorship program in Baker Lake which will connect Inuit elders with youth.

The connection will help empower the youths to use traditional forms of creative storytelling to build bridges between the generations, and to promote pride and understanding in Inuit traditions and culture.

The 2014 winners will be presented to the public during the Power of the Arts National Forum: Acting Now for Social Change at Carleton University in Ottawa on Nov. 7.

- Darrell Greer

Men's gathering upcoming

Salliq/Coral Harbour

The registration process has begun for anyone wishing to attend the upcoming Angutiit Makigiangninga (Men Rising Up) gathering in Coral Harbour.

The event will be held in Coral Harbour from Oct. 9 to 13.

- Darrell Greer

First cruise in years

Ikpiarjuk/Arctic Bay

Arctic Bay welcomed its first cruise ship in years Sept. 7, and its second on Sept. 8, said Clare Kines.

"It went very well," the hamlet's economic development officer said. "The community was happy and the cruise people certainly seemed to be."

Quark Expeditions brought 96 passengers and Adventure Canada was set to bring 110 passengers.

Visitors were treated to a cultural display with ayaya singing, seal dressing, and a qulliq lighting ceremony. Then it was back to town for wandering, visiting and shopping at the heritage centre.

"Our centre was a little small for 96 people," Kines said.

He was happy to have the visitors to increase tourism and economic opportunities.

"Some of these people will want to spend more than a few hours in an Arctic community, and if you showcase your community well, they'll pick you, or they'll be telling their friends to come here," he said.

- Casey Lessard

Church renos done for the season

Ikaluktutiak/Cambridge Bay

The Cambridge Bay Coast Guard was to host a community barbecue at the old stone church Sept. 12.

The barbecue was planned as an opportunity for everyone in the community to see what was accomplished during the stage one renovations to the church, which was officially opened on Sept. 12, 1954.

It was also an opportunity to celebrate the 60th anniversary.

Our Lady of the Arctic Roman Catholic Church expressed "deep gratitude to the Coast Guard Auxiliary members for this project" and invited the community to show its appreciation for their hard work.

The church will be boarded up for the winter and work is expected to resume next season.

- Michele LeTourneau

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