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Monday, August 29, 2016
Accused murderer in court

An Aklavik man, charged with murdering his wife, is to appear in territorial court in Yellowknife on Aug 30. Frank Elanik Jr. was charged in May in connection with the death of May Elanik last year.

She was found injured and unconscious on a snowmobile trail in Aklavik on Nov. 11. She was medevaced to Edmonton but died on Nov. 19 having never regained consciousness.

According to the NWT court registry, the charge against Elanik will be spoken to. A plea has yet to be entered.

- John McFadden

Charges pending after Lutsel K'e area raid

Charges are pending against two Yellowknife residents and a resident of Lutsel K'e after RCMP seized marijuana and a large quantity of alcohol from an island just north of the community.

Police began an investigation into illegal alcohol in the community on Aug 17 and located several individuals camping on the island, according to a news release.

The two suspects from Yellowknife are facing criminal charges while the Lutsel K'e resident will be charged under the NWT Liquor Act. No names have been released.

- John McFadden

Metis council election date set

The Hay River Metis Government Council is set to hold an election on Oct. 1.

The voting will be for the positions of president, vice-president, secretary/treasurer and the board of directors.

Three resolutions will also be put to the membership that would increase the terms to four years from the current two years for the president, executive and board of directors.

- Paul Bickford

Lightning strikes tree at Fort Smith home

James Piche was at work when he heard the lightning strike in Fort Smith on Aug. 12.

Piche is a carpenter at the Fort Smith Metis Council carpentry shop. He said it wasn't until his wife got home from work at about 4:30 p.m. that they learned that lightning had struck a tree about 10 feet from their home.

The strike split the tree apart and knocked out electricity in the house, frying electronics and blowing light bulbs.

The home's landline telephones were also destroyed.

- Kassina Ryder

Soaring Eagle honoured with award

Hay River

Soaring Eagle Friendship Centre has received some national recognition for its work.

On July 29, it was presented the 2016 Friendship Centre Award of Excellence from the National Association of Friendship Centres.

Soaring Eagle was one of two friendship centres in the NWT to receive the award this year. The other was the Zhahti Koe Friendship Centre in Fort Providence.

Shari Caudron, executive director at Soaring Eagle, was at the four-day annual general meeting of the National Association of Friendship Centres in Toronto, where the award was presented.

Caudron said the award is recognition for the hard work and dedication by Soaring Eagle's board of directors and staff.

She said the commitment of the volunteer board has gotten the centre to where it is right now.

"We couldn't have done it without them," she said, noting the board has been progressing the centre forward and giving direction for the programs and services they want. "My team and I, we just deliver for them."

The award is also recognition of the programs that the centre has been doing in 2016, Caudron added, listing, for example, a Cree language program, youth and elder wellness programs, training to employment initiatives, drug and alcohol-free parties, and even a program in which young people teach elders how to use smartphones, such as how to take selfies and access Facebook.

- Paul Bickford

Heading out to the bush


Aurora College students will be beating a trail to the bush come September, at least those enrolled in the environment and natural resources technology program.

A release issued by the college Aug. 22 stated that students in their first year of the program at both Inuvik and Fort Smith campuses will be going out on the land "within days of beginning classes."

"Students in the two-year diploma program attend two field camps per year, in summer and winter," it reads. "Classes at the summer field camp include topics such as basic field and survival skills, scientific protocols, fishery and wildlife identification and monitoring, team building activities, certifications in CPR and first aid, firearms training, operating motorized field equipment such as boats and chainsaws, and interacting with future employers."

The students also go on a multi-day canoe trip. Students at Inuvik's Aurora Campus will be heading out to Campbell Lake, about 50 km east of the community.

"Real world experience gained from these excursions gives students a taste of what they might encounter on the job," said program head Linh Nguyen.

- Sarah Ladik

Healthy Horizons program on at Northern stores


Helping northern youth build strong, healthy lifestyles is the goal of a fund raising campaign at Northern/NorthMart stores in the NWT. According to a news release, customers have until Sept. 10 to support the Healthy Horizons program by purchasing a star icon at their local Northern or NorthMart store. They can buy a single star for $2 or a family of stars for $5 with proceeds staying in the North. The Healthy Horizons Star Icon fund raising campaign is dedicated to improving the health and well-being of youth in the communities served by Northern/NorthMart by supporting community-based active living, health, and educational programs.

- John McFadden

Gathering at Horne River

Deh Gah Got'ie Koe/Fort Providence

Members of Deh Gah Got'ie First Nation, the hamlet of Fort Providence and other communities gathered together at Horne River just outside Fort Providence recently.

All were welcome as families united for three days from Aug. 19 to 22.

On Aug. 17, during a speech to the community, Deh Gah Got'ie Chief Joachim Bonnetrouge said the gathering came after community members suggested families needed to come together in light of the crime troubles facing the community.

"(Some) of our young people have gone astray ... But we need to show them we do love and care about them," he said.

- April Hudson

It will rain golf balls


Inuvik's Roads End Golf Club plays host to the "Big Ball Drop" on Sept. 1. Golf balls will be numbered with the digits corresponding to raffle tickets. The balls are then loaded into a helicopter bucket and flown up a few hundred feet. Then the balls are dropped to the ground, - a spot on the ground is marked and the person with the ticket that matches the closest ball to that mark wins half the total amount wagered. Last year the grand prize was $5,500. The event gets underway at 7 p.m.

Also in Inuvik in September is the community registration evening. It will be held in the community hall inside the Midnight Sun Complex on Sept. 23. Residents can sign up for activities from curling to quilting to Girl Guides and many more. The sign up gets underway at 6:30 p.m and runs until 9:30 p.m.

Two other Inuvik attractions continue in September - the Visitor of the Week and the community kiosk, according to Vicky Gregoire-Tremblay, economic development and tourism manager for the community.

"The Visitor of the Week is a weekly contest that happens during the summer. People enter a ballot and have the chance to win a Town of Inuvik prize presented by the mayor. They have to be at the visitor centre at 3 p.m. on Fridays in order to have a chance to win." Gregoire-Tremblay stated in an e-mail. "The community kiosk is centrally located in the park where people can come to purchase souvenirs and more importantly learn about what is happening in town."

The final visitor of the week contests will be held Sept. 2 and 9th at the Western Arctic Visitor Centre. The community kiosk in Jim Koe Park closes for the season on Sept. 9.

-John McFadden

Hand games tourney set for Tulita this weekend

Tulita/Fort Norman

The third annual Tulita Youth Gathering Society Hand Games Tournament is set for Sept.2 to 4 at the community hall in Tulita. According to co-organizer Lee-Ann McPherson, there is $50,000 in prize money up for grabs with $18,000 going to the winning team. The top six teams will receive prize money, she said. As many as 32 teams are expected with competitors coming from as far away as the Tlicho region, McPherson added. The competition is for males only with both a youth and adult division. There will also be a $20,000 bingo, a Texas hold 'em poker tournament and possibly a talent contest, McPherson said. The entry fee is $1,350 per team and registration begins on Friday.

- John McFadden

Veterinarian comes to town


Dr. John Overell of the Dawson Veterinary Clinic will be in town this week to see Inuvik's four-legged companions. The clinic will take place until Aug. 31 at the fire hall. While appointments for surgery are full, health exams, vaccinations, deworming, and nail trimming are available with an appointment. Interested parties can find more information on the Inuvik Vet Clinic Facebook page.

- Sarah Ladik

Char gets seal of approval

Ikaluktutiak/Cambridge Bay

A report released Aug. 24 by the Vancouver Aquarium's Ocean Wise program assessed and recommends Arctic char from Kitikmeot Foods in Cambridge Bay.

"This fishery uses temporary weirs to catch the char whenever possible. These weirs are very low impact and pose virtually no threat to the surrounding habitat or other marine life. They're effectively a modern spin on traditional Inuit weirs, which were made of stones and were used to catch char in the region hundreds of years ago," stated Ocean Wise research analyst Laurenne Schiller.

The report assesses fisheries in four waterways near Cambridge Bay on Victoria Island and covers approximately 44 per cent of the total Arctic char that is commercially harvested in Canada.

This is also the first assessment for wild-caught Arctic char in the world, and the first assessment for a fishery based entirely in the Arctic Ocean, according to the news release.

Char are fished in the Ekalluktok, Halokvik, Paliryuak and Jayko rivers. The quota system is river-specific in order to ensure that the stocks in each waterway remain healthy.

In addition to weirs, some char are also caught using gillnets. Due to the remote nature of the fishery, fishers will spend upward of a month at a given site catching fish, which are then shipped by float plane to Kitikmeot Foods in Cambridge Bay for processing.

"Wild Arctic char is more than just a fish here - it's a way of living," stated Kitikmeot Foods general manager Stephan Lacasse.

"It's an emblem of our culture here in Nunavut, and an important part of our diet and health. This fishery has modernized traditional fishing methods that allow us to share the bounty of our beautiful North and provide Canadians with Ocean Wise-recommended Arctic char."

To make a recommendation for the wild-capture assessments, Ocean Wise used four criteria - impacts of the fishery on the stock in question, impacts of the fishery on other species, effectiveness of management and impacts on habitat and ecosystem.

- Michele LeTourneau

Cruise ship gets OK


The Crystal Serenity, already on week two of its cruise from Seward, Alaska, to New York City via the Northwest Passage, has the Nunavut Impact Review Board's official OK to travel through Nunavut waters.

"Following the assessment of all material information provided, the NIRB is recommending that a review of Crystal Cruises Northwest Passage - 2016 and 2017 project is not required ... the NIRB has determined that specific terms and conditions are appropriate for this project," states board chairperson Elizabeth Copeland in a letter to three federal minister, including Indigenous and Northern Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett, and two territorial ministers.

The letter was copied to the presidents of the Kitikmeot Inuit Association and the Qikiqtani Inuit Association.

The 820-foot, 68,000-tonne, 13-deck luxury cruise, carrying approximately 1,650 souls including staff, has scheduled stops in Cambridge Bay Aug. 29 and Pond Inlet Sept. 4. The passage is estimated to take 32 days.

The board's 29-page decision report includes the project-specific terms and conditions, monitoring and reporting requirements, regulatory requirements and legislation and other board conditions.

The decision requires approval from the responsible minister.

To date, no NIRB recommendations have been rejected by the minister, and there is only one example of the minister modifying a recommendation before accepting it, INAC spokesperson Shawn Jackson previously told Nunavut News/North.

- Michele LeTourneau

Landfill now accepting wood


The Iqaluit landfill resumed accepting waste wood products on Aug 23.

Residents can drop items off at a specific area of the dump for no fee, but contractors and developers must pay a fee for the disposal of construction materials.

Shipping crates should be taken apart with the plastic and metal components separated from the wood, a city news release stated. Metal items can be taken to the appropriate area of the dump.

The landfill foreman or site attendant will be available to assist residents.

Another area has been designated for cardboard, and all other waste should be placed in garbage bags and deposited in the area for household waste.

- Jessica Davey-Quantick

Emergency repairs made to city infrastructure


Iqaluit city council held an emergency meeting on Aug. 22 where a motion allowing for the expenditure of up to $150,000 for immediate repairs to water facilities was passed unanimously.

Electrical and structural problems were found during an inspection of five water facilities, with repairs including replacing gauges, fixing exposed wiring and removing hazardous waste.

The $150,000 will go to repairing the water plant, the booster stations, the lift station and the reheat station.

"The city is in the process of undertaking all necessary measures to ensure city water infrastructure is safe and essential public services are not affected," stated Mayor Madeleine Redfern in a news release. This is part of ongoing audits of aging infrastructure throughout the city of Iqaluit. The repair work is expected to be completed by the end of the week and was not expected to cause any disruption to service.

- Jessica Davey-Quantick

Corrections Act being revised


A new, made-in-Nunavut Corrections Act is in the works, and the territorial government plans to hold a series of consultations to help inform the public.

Revisions intend to take into consideration the unique needs of Nunavummiut, especially around safe reintegration of inmates into their home communities.

All meetings will be held at 7 p.m., and will take place at the community hall in Cape Dorset on Aug. 31, Iqaluit at the Anglican parish hall on Sept. 6, Rankin Inlet on Sept. 11 at the community hall, Cambridge Bay on Sept. 15 at the Elders' Palace, and Kugluktuk on Sept. 18 at the community hall. Refreshments will be provided.

- Jessica Davey-Quantick

Arctic Adaptations comes home


After touring Canada, Arctic Adaptions Nunavut at 15 has finally arrived in Iqaluit.

The award-winning Canadian exhibition from the 2014 Venice Biennale in Architecture celebrating Nunavut's 15th birthday arrived on Aug. 24 and will be on display at the Nunatta Sunakkutaangit Museum and the Legislative Assembly of Nunavut until Oct. 9.

The exhibit includes present-day photographs from all 25 communities and carved soapstone models of historic buildings found in Nunavut.

The show also includes animated architectural models of five future projects that examine housing, health, education, arts or recreation, rooted in Nunavut's landscape, climate and culture. The design teams behind the plans each included a representative from a Canadian school of architecture, an architecture office with Northern experience and a Nunavut-based organization.

Organizers said the exhibit seeks to reveal acts of architectural resistance and identify an unrecognized modern Canadian North.

- Jessica Davey-Quantick

New garages for fuel trucks

Tikirarjuaq/Whale Cove

Two communities in the Kivalliq region received funding to upgrade the garages that hold their fuel-delivery trucks.

Whale Cove will receive a total of $697,003, including $200,500 from the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor), with the Issatik Co-operative Ltd. adding $94,300 and Arctic Co-operatives chipping in $402,203.

Chesterfield Inlet will receive a total of $217,446, including $172,500 from CanNor, $43,054 from Pitsiulak Co-Operative Ltd and $1,892 from Arctic Co-operatives.

The money will pay for training and year-round maintenance for two fuel delivery trucks, as well as potentially the construction of a second garage in Whale Cove.

Currently Issatik Co-operative Ltd. has two trucks in the community, but only space for one in the current garage, which means the other remains outdoors during cold winter temperatures.

The improvements will also mean both co-operatives maintain their eligibility for a 10-year fuel distribution contract with the Government of Nunavut.

"Our support to these co-operatives is more than just upgrading their garage facilities - it is about helping these local Inuit businesses thrive and give back to their communities through jobs, training opportunities and services," stated Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains, who is also minister responsible for the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, in a news release.

- Jessica Davey-Quantick

ATV riders taught to play safe


A safe-riding promotion, spurred by the Kugluktuk RCMP detachment, was a success, police said.

For the months of July and August, RCMP members have been patrolling the community in search of safe riders of all-terrain vehicles, stated a news release.

Officers gave away coupons for free slushies and refreshments on a weekly basis. As well, officers rewarded residents with mechanic gloves and ATV kits including helmets, goggles and balaclavas.

"It's a great way to interact with the community and ensure the safety of the public on our roads. We see quite a high level of compliance and RCMP members will continue to educate safe riding in partnership with local bylaw officers and businesses," stated detachment commander Cpl. Jean-Luc Bedard. "We would like to thank our partners for this initiative and hope to continue making Kugluktuk a safer place."

RCMP partnered with the Co-op, Northern Store, JMS Supply and Canadian Tire to promote the safe riding of all-terrain vehicles throughout the summer season.

- Michele LeTourneau

Young people return to school


Students starting the new year at Kiilinik High School in Cambridge Bay registered Aug. 19.

After registration and orientation in homerooms, students were dismissed and parents and students were invited to meet with teachers for individual meeting in the afternoon. First day of regular classes was Aug. 22.

School started earlier in the communities of Gjoa Haven and Taloyoak. At Quqshuun Ilihakvik and Qiqirtaq Ilihakvik, the year began with a meet-and-greet Aug. 12. Students headed to class at Netsilik Ilihakvik Aug. 2.

For Kugaardjuk Ilihakvik students in Kugaaruk, classes started Aug. 12, as did classes at Kugluktuk High School.

Jimmy Hikok Ilihakvik students, meanwhile, started Aug. 10.

- Michele LeTourneau

Iglulik producer nominated for award


Jonathan Frantz, a producer for director Zacharias Kunuk's new film Maliglutit (Searchers), has been nominated for an emerging producer award, the Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA) announced Aug. 24.

"The creativity and skill demonstrated by the nominees truly reflects the amazing talents of Canada's feature film producers," stated president and chief executive officer Reynolds Mastin.

"It's an exciting time for Canadian cinema, and I am thrilled that the CMPA will now recognize both seasoned veterans of the film industry, as well as emerging creators who are blazing a trail with their new creative visions."

Frantz lives in Iglulik with his young family and works at Isuma, as well as with Kingulliit Productions, which produced Maliglutit.

The winners will be announced at the CMPA Feature Film Producer Awards Reception event at Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto Sept. 8. The event marks the official opening of the TIFF Industry Program at the 41st annual Toronto International Film Festival.

The winner of the new Emerging Producer Award will receive $5,000.

Maliglutit will have its premiere at TIFF.

- Michele LeTourneau

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