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Monday, January 16, 2017
Hugh Papik critical incident report complete


The critical incident report into the death of Aklavik elder Hugh Papik is complete and is now being reviewed by Glen Abernethy, minister of Health and Social Services, information from the department stated.

"The minister has received the critical incident investigation report and has requested additional details from the investigator which are needed to finalize his review," David McGuire wrote in an e-mail to News/North.

"The information has yet to be received."

McGuire could not provide a timeline for when the report would be made public.

Papik died after suffering a stroke in August, 2016.

His family said his stroke symptoms were mistaken for drunkenness.

Dr. Marlyn Cook, a member of the Grand Rapids First Nation, conducted the investigation into his death.

- Kassina Ryder

Price of gas on the rise in NWT


Gas prices in the Northwest Territories rose by 4.5 cents per litre the week of Jan. 9, according to, a website that monitors the price of gasoline.

The average price was 128.40 cents per litre on Jan. 8, compared to the national average of 113.16 cents per litre.

The website stated that prices were higher by 13.2 cents per litre on Jan. 8, 2017 compared to Jan. 8, 2016.

- Kassina Ryder

Service Canada's new single window centres


Fort Providence, Fort Liard and Tuktoyaktuk will have single window service centres to provide access to Service Canada programming after a pilot program launches this month.

The GNWT and the federal government are partnering on a 12-month service delivery project, which will allow residents to access Service Canada programs, a news release stated.

These include: Apprenticeship Grants, the Canada Pension Plan and Employment Insurance.

Also included are: Guaranteed Income Supplement, Old Age Security and the Wage Earner Protection Program.

The partnership allows residents to access programming through the GNWT and the Government of Canada in the same office.

- Kassina Ryder

'Managing your own mental health'


A new women's group in Aklavik aims to show women ways to take care of themselves in all aspects of their lives, said Sydney Trendell, Beaufort Delta victim services coordinator.

The Aklavik Women's group is hosting a spa night on Jan. 21 for women over the age of 18 at the Aklavik Council Chambers from 1 to 4:30 p.m. They are welcome to bring babies under the age of one year.

The women will do pedicures and manicures while learning about ways to cope with stress.

"We're going to talk about self care, overcoming trauma and building resilience," Trendell said. "Managing your own mental health is kind of the topic."

The event is one of five sessions scheduled to take place between January and April, Trendell said.

Other themes will include cake decorating and how to eat healthy to combat stress. Trendell said she welcomes suggestions about other activities.

"I'm open to suggestions if someone has something they would like to see done as part of a women's group," she said. Anyone looking to register for the group can contact Trendell.

Kassina Ryder

Sliding Day at Chamber Park

Hay River

A Family Sliding Day will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. on Jan. 21 at the Bob McMeekin Chamber Park.

Families can bring their favourite sleds or try out the provided inflatable tubes. Participants will also enjoy family activities like eating hotdogs and warming up by the fire.

The event is being presented by the recreation department of the Town of Hay River.

Paul Bickford Hot diggity dog

Deh Gah Got'ie Koe/Fort Providence

The Deh Gah Dog Mushers Club were set to hold the annual Deh Gah Christmas Sled Dog Races from Jan. 14 to 15. The races were scheduled to begin at the Snowshoe Inn parking lot at noon on both days, with 12-dog runs and sixdog runs.

April Hudson

Sambaa K'e turns on the lights

Sambaa K'e/Trout Lake The Arctic Energy Alliance's LED bulb swap program will be coming to Sambaa K'e on Dec. 16 in the afternoon, running from 1 to 5 p.m. The swap will be held at the Sambaa K'e First Nation office.

April Hudson Nahanni Butte goes LED

Tthenaago/Nahanni Butte

The Arctic Energy Alliance will be in Nahanni Butte on Jan. 18 for its LED bulb swap. The one-time project aims to save on electricity by using energy-efficient bulbs.

April Hudson

Breastfeeding training and support class


Inuvik will be hosting a breastfeeding peer support training class Jan. 25 27. The class aims to teach effective and meaningful ways of supporting mothers in the community to overcome breastfeeding challenges and create a satisfying and successful breastfeeding relationship.

Babies and children are welcome, with childcare available upon requests. Meals, snacks and some refreshments will be provided for participants, information stated. To register or for more information, contact: info@momsboobsandbabies. com.

Stewart Burnett

Sliding party gets youth active

Tsiigehtchic/Arctic Red River

Tsiigehtchic children were treated to a sliding party on Jan. 9, said Sasha Blake with the Aboriginal Community Wellness program. About 15 children attended the party, which was held at the Bay Hill at 7 p.m.. Everyone shared hot chocolate together at the wellness centre afterward.

Other events scheduled to take place this month are a sewing circles the evenings of Jan. 11, 18 and 25 and an elders' tea on Jan. 13. There will also be snowshoeing on Jan. 24 at 6 p.m. and a movie day on Jan. 26.

At the end of the month, an afternoon of pizza-making is scheduled to run from 3:30 to 5 p.m.

Kassina Ryder

Program gets residents ready to work

Tetlit'Zheh/Fort McPherson

Life Skills and Ready to Work North programs is scheduled to take place in Fort McPherson from January until March, according to information from the Gwich'in Tribal Council. Life Skills training is scheduled to run from Jan. 16 to Feb. 24 in Fort McPherson and Tsiigehtchic while Ready to Work North training is expected to take place from Feb. 27 to March 17.

The training aims to teach a variety of skills, such as team building and problem solving, as well as communications skills and overcoming barriers to employment. Participants must be aboriginal between the ages of 15 and 30 who are not currently employed or in school. Applications are now being accepted for the program at the tribal council office in Inuvik.

Kassina Ryder

Renewable energy could save millions


Renewable energy could, in Iqaluit alone, save almost $29.7 million over 20 years, according to a study released in late December.

The study was commissioned by the World Wildlife Fund Canada and carried out by the Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Energy.

Five Nunavut communities were studied "using community-specific data and timelines, as well as different types of technology - to provide realistic simulations."

The results show that over 20 years, Baker Lake could save $13.4 million, Sanikiluaq $10.2 million, Arviat $9.3 million and Rankin Inlet $26.8 million.

The study also found that, "in general, wind is the preferable renewable-energy option in Nunavut, though in the communities of Iqaluit, Arviat and Sanikiluaq, the diesel-solar-wind-battery combination was found to be the most cost-effective."

"Many deployments of these systems in the Canadian North and particularly in Alaska have shown that hybrid systems are as reliable or even more reliable than existing diesel-based systems," said the institutes principal investigator Claudio Canizares.

Canizares said the models his team developed take into account worst-case scenarios.

"Thus we feel very confident that our studies show that Arctic communities can technically and economically depend on renewable energy."

- Michele LeTourneau

Junos rename indigenous category


The Aboriginal Album of the Year category at the Juno Awards has been renamed to Indigenous Music Album of the Year.

Changing the individual award title for the annual Canadian music awards was done to acknowledge and support all First Nations, Inuit and Metis communities in Canada, stated the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) in a Jan. 11 release.

"The Indigenous Music Album of the Year recognizes music that echoes the indigenous experience in Canada through words and/or music."

The category covers all traditional indigenous music, including Inuit throat-singing, social pow-wow drum, all hand drums, traditional flutes and Metis, Cree and Micmac fiddling.

"In addition, fusions of all genres of contemporary music that incorporate the above and/or reflect the unique Indigenous experience in Canada, by virtue of words or music," stated the release.

- Beth Brown

Aquatic centre opens next week


It's official - Iqaluit's new aquatic centre, years in the making, is opening its doors to the public Jan. 26.

Former recreation committee chairperson Jason Rochon made the official announcement at a council meeting last week.

"There will be a few speeches on the front steps to mark the occasion. The mayor and councillors will open the centre with a ribbon-cutting ceremony," he said. "The doors will then be open to all residents to walk through the building for self-guided tours. There will be cake and coffee served."

The pool will be available for public use beginning at 3 p.m. that day.

Rochon said admission will be free for the first two days. Pool and gym fees, first proposed in December, have yet to go through a third reading at council. The proposed pool-only fee schedule includes drop-in, day pass, monthly pass and annual pass options. Options are also available for pool and fitness, or fitness only.

The building was estimated to cost $40 million, but the city declined to update that number until the grand opening.

- Michele LeTourneau

Tax benefits for seniors


Tax season is coming up. Elders who are homeowners should be aware they are eligible for deductions on their property tax under the Senior Citizens and Disabled Persons Property Tax Relief Act.

"In general, if an individual is an owner (or part-owner) of a taxable property and ordinarily resides in it, they may qualify for an exemption of property taxes if they are 65 or older or produce a medical certification of disability," stated Janis Qaunirq of the Department of Finance.

The application must be made annually and only applies to the current year.

"For all communities outside of Iqaluit, the Government of Nunavut administers property taxes," she noted. "The City of Iqaluit administers property taxes for properties in Iqaluit."

- Beth Brown

Girls only


If you're a 16- or 17-year-old girl, then a trip with Inspiring Girls Expeditions might be a good thing to add to your summer wish list.

The organization is accepting applications from girls worldwide for its wilderness expedition science program, Girls on Ice.

"On the trip, a small team of girls will spend 12 days exploring and learning about mountain glaciers and the alpine landscape through scientific field studies with professional glaciologists, ecologists, mountain guides, and artists," states the application notice.

This summer, the different trips include exploring an ice-covered volcano, an Alaskan glacier and a kayak adventure in Resurrection Bay.

The programs are fully funded, though the youth are responsible for contributing to their own transportation.

"Girls on Ice provides as much financial assistance for travel as they can to ensure that every girl can go regardless of economic situation." All gear needed for the trip is also provided.

The application deadline is Jan. 31.

- Beth Brown

NTI selects 2016 photo of the year


Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. president Aluki Kotierk announced the 2016 photo of the year last week.

Pudloo Pitsiulak of Kimmirut was awarded $1,000 in prize money for his photograph called Moonlight Night Scene. Pitsiulak also received an enlarged print of his photograph, and the honour of having his photograph appear as the cover of NTI's annual report and ad template artwork, according to the news release.

Tasilik Lake Sunrise earned Iqaluit's Jomie Mike second place, $500 and a print of his photo. Jonah Akoak of Gjoa Haven took third place with his photo Wicks. He receives $250 and a print of his photo.

Interested photographers can submit photos anytime, and three winning photos are chosen each month. These are then entered into the photo of the year contest.

- Michele LeTourneau

New hamlet council, QIA rep


Resolute has a new hamlet council, following a swearing-in ceremony last week.

There has been a lot of turnover in the high Arctic hamlet, including a new senior administrative officer, Mike Stephens.

He said with the changes, council meetings have become less frequent since the fall, so the hamlet is looking forward to a fresh start for the new year.

"I'm trying to shift things around," Stephens said. "We wanted the best people for the job."

The hamlet welcomed a new QIA representative in the same week.

- Beth Brown

Award-winning dancer performs in capital


Alianait's 2017 lineup begins Jan. 20 and 21 with a dance performance by award-winning Santee Smith.

Smith, of the Mohawk Nation Turtle Clan, is founder/director of Kaha:wi Dance Theatre in Toronto. She will perform her grueling 70-minute solo dance at Joamie School after an opening performance by drum-dancer Siobhan Arnatsiaq-Murphy and the Inuksuk Drum Dancers.

"The show she is performing is called NeoIndigenA," said Alianait executive director Heather Daley.

"This is how she describes it, 'Answer the call for connection, transformation and healing. A performance of the soul exploring our relationship to all living entities and elements.' She actually talks about it as, what would life have been like if there hadn't been colonization."

The original score was arranged by Juno winner Jesse Zubot, and includes contributions from throatsinger Tanya Tagaq, Baker Lake "throat boxer" Nelson Tagoona, Vancouver's Michael Red, First Nations singer Adrian Harjo, and cellist Cris


- Michele LeTourneau

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