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Monday, February 20, 2017
Nominations open for Volunteer Awards

The Department of Municipal and Community Affairs is now accepting nominations for this year's Outstanding Volunteer Awards, information from the department said. Awards will be presented to winners in each of the four categories; the elder award, the youth award, the individual award and the group award. This is the 26th year the territory has held the awards. The nomination deadline is March 31.

- Kassina Ryder

Violence rate ranks high

The Northwest Territories has the second-highest rate of family violence in Canada, a recently published report from the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics found. There were 1,938 incidents reported to police in the territory in 2015. Nunavut was the only jurisdiction with a higher number, with 2,504 reported incidents. The territory also had the biggest increase in family-related physical and sexual assaults, with a five-per-cent increase in reports from 2014 to 2015. Those rates had declined in the majority of other jurisdictions in Canada during the same time frame, the report said.

The report also found the NWT has the highest rate of family violence against male victims.

- Kassina Ryder

Attempted ATM theft

Inuvik RCMP are asking for information about a break-in at Mac's Convenience Store on Berger Street on Feb. 7. In a news release, police said an individual or more than one person broke into the store and removed the ATM machine at about 4 a.m. A witness pointed a flashlight at the scene and a suspect fled on foot. When police investigated, they discovered the individual had been trying to break open the machine. G Division's' Forensic Identification Section is assisting with the case and police are asking anyone with information to contact the Inuvik RCMP detachment or Crime Stoppers.

- Kassina Ryder

Walk to Tuk gives prizes

The NWT Recreation and Parks Association is now giving weekly prizes to teams participating in the Walk to Tuk community walking challenge. The challenge asks participants to walk the equivalent distance from Fort Providence to Tuktoyaktuk, about 1,660 kilometres. Teams that enter their times every second Monday will be selected to win a prize. At the end of the challenge, an individual will be selected to win a grand prize of a First Air flight anywhere in western NWT.

- Kassina Ryder

Mangilaluk school makes prints


Mangilaluk School students in Grades 6 to 9 learned the art of print making on Feb. 9, said principal Krista Cudmore.

Ulukhaktok artist Roberta Memogana travelled to Tuktoyaktuk to deliver the workshop organized through the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation.

Each print the students made was unique, Cudmore said. One print featured a polar bear in an Arctic scene while others focused on individual words.

"The students really enjoyed learning the process and creating their own designs and templates," Cudmore said.

Students are now in the process of developing a gallery night which will allow them to display their work publicly. A date hasn't been determined but the evening will take place at the school, Cudmore said.

- Kassina Ryder

Time for tots


Recreation staff in Paulatuk are hosting a Stay Active program for the community's youngest residents, said acting recreation co-ordinator Mabel Thrasher.

The program is scheduled to take place Mondays and Tuesdays and is open to infants and children up to five years old.

The program gives children an opportunity to play together and have snacks, Thrasher said.

Children should wear indoor shoes to the program which is scheduled to take place at the youth centre.

- Kassina Ryder

Sachs gets swimming

Ikaahuk/Sachs Harbour

Inualthuyak School students travelled from Sachs Harbour to Inuvik for a week of swimming lessons on Feb. 13, said principal Karen Bibby.

Every grade except junior and senior kindergarten participated in the trip which featured lessons at the Midnight Sun complex.

The trip is intended to teach students swimming and water safety skills, such as how to self-rescue, Bibby said.

"Being a community that is right on the ocean and with a number of lakes, it's critically important they have a good sense of water safety," she said.

Teaching students how to swim will give them confidence when fishing or travelling on water, she added.

The community's recreation department organized the trip.

- Kassina Ryder

Making friends at handgames tournament

Tsiigehtchic/Arctic Red River

A boys handgames team from Tsiigehtchic travelled to Tulita for a tournament from Feb. 3 to 5, said recreation co-ordinator Ben Contenti.

The tournament at Chief Albert Wright School was for teams of boys under the age of 15.

Contenti was a chaperone on the trip and said that while the team of six boys didn't win, they had a great time.

"They played well and had fun," he said.

They also made new friends and enjoyed putting in time practicing together before the tournament, he added.

- Kassina Ryder

Vets in Aklavik in March


Veterinarians with Arctic Paws are scheduled to hold a vet clinic in Aklavik on March 17 and 18, information from the organization said.

The clinic offers subsidized veterinary procedures, including spaying and neutering, surgeries, dental work and vaccinations against diseases such as rabies. The information notes that animals must be over the age of four months to receive rabies vaccinations.

- Kassina Ryder

Leadership workshops hit Fort Simpson

Liidlii Kue/Fort Simpson

The first of three workshops from Dehcho First Nations' Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training Strategy (ASETS) kicked off in Fort Simpson on Feb. 13.

The workshops, titled Exploring Change, are a collaboration between ASETS, Service Canada and Empowering Change, an organization that provides training related to leadership and what it refers to as motivational interviewing.

The next workshop runs Feb. 28 to March 2, and the third runs from March 27 to 30.

The Open Sky Creative Society is looking for artists and musicians to take part in its 2017-18 workshop series.

The society plans to run a workshop Feb. 14, 16 and 17 at the gallery.

- April Hudson

First aid course scheduled

Acho Dene Koe/Fort Liard

The Workers Safety and Compensation Commission will be running free first-aid training in Fort Liard from Feb. 25 to 26 and from Feb. 27 to 28.

Echo Dene School students held a Valentine's Day cake and bannock walk at the school on Feb. 14.

- April Hudson

Minor hockey on the road

Deh Gah Got'ie Koe/Fort Providence

As Fort Providence's minor hockey team grows, team members will be heading to Fort Smith on Feb. 18 and 19 for the Fort Smith Initiation Hockey Tournament.

The seventh annual Fort Providence Fun Run will take place Feb. 24 and 25.

It will include sled suit, snow carving and catwalk competitions.

- April Hudson

Fort Res handgames tourney draws players from region

Deninu Ku'e/Fort Resolution

Deninu School in Fort Resolution held its fourth-annual Deninu Hand Games Tournament on Feb. 9.

Students from Chief Sunrise Education Centre on the Hay River Reserve, Deh Gah School in Fort Providence, and Joseph Burr Tyrrell Elementary School and Paul William Kaeser High School in Fort Smith travelled to Fort Resolution to spend a day playing the traditional Dene game with students at Deninu School.

Deh Gah School placed first, while Paul William Kaeser High School's red team came in second.

- Paul Bickford

Suicide intervention training offered at museum

Thebacha/Fort Smith

Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) will be offered in Fort Smith later this month.

The free two-day workshop will be offered on Feb. 23 and 24 at Northern Life Museum & Cultural Centre.

ASIST teaches how to intervene and save a life from suicide.

More than a million people around the world have participated in the award-winning program.

No prior training is required to attend ASIST, which is being presented by the Fort Smith Health and Social Services Authority.

- Paul Bickford

Animal society plans fundraiser

Thebacha/Fort Smith

The Fort Smith Animal Society will hold its annual fundraiser next month. The Iron Chef Competition will be held on March 25, beginning at 6:30 p.m. at Roaring Rapids Hall.

The theme for the event is "It's Time for a Hoedown."

- Paul Bickford

Racing day on lake set in Fort Smith

Thebacha/Fort Smith

The Fort Smith Ice & Snow Annual Races are set for Feb. 25 and 26 on Four Mile Lake, just outside of the community.

The first day of the event will feature ice races and cross-country races with motorcycles, ATVs and cars.

The second day will feature drag races.

- Paul Bickford

Military member accused of sexual assault


A Canadian Armed Forces member faces a charge of sexual assault in connection with an incident at Canadian Forces Station Alert in June 2016.

Cpl. Frederic Richer of 438 Tactical Helicopter Squadron in St. Hubert, Que., was charged Feb. 14, according to a news release from the military.

No details of the allegation involving the corporal and another military member were released.

He had been deployed to the isolated military installation as part of a technical maintenance team.

The case is proceeding through the military justice system for possible court martial.

A date and location has not been set.

- Shane Magee

Shooyook wants Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit


Nunavut's legislators return to Iqaluit Feb. 21, and are expected to discuss the budget, infrastructure, education and territorial health care.

Quttiktuq MLA Isaac Shooyook wants to discuss the use of Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit (IQ) within the territorial government.

"What I'm trying to do is include and integrate Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit into the legislation," he told Nunavut News/North, referring to a set of six principles designed to promote Inuit societal values. "Right now, it is only a guiding principle. It is not in the legislation, it is not in the regulations, it is not in the rules."

If recognized under law, he said the knowledge could be used as a framework within government, as in the Nunavut Agreement.

Last year, Shooyook gained approval from the Department of Justice to hire elders to work as advisors and counsellors of IQ within jails.

"But I still feel they need to work on creating family counseling to be involved with Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit."

Especially within the social services system, where he said traditional knowledge is neglected.

"Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit should be referred to, as a resource."

He said the process has been slow going, and he expects this file to remain outstanding when his term ends in the fall.

- Beth Brown

Qulliq apologizes for outages

Kimmirut/Lake Harbour

Qulliq Energy has apologized to Kimmirut residents for unplanned power outages affecting the community.

The outages, described in a news release as brief, were caused by an unexpected electrical issue during testing of a new generator set.

Upgrades to the power plant system are expected to be complete by the end of the month, the release stated.

If planned outages are needed during the work, Qulliq will tell community residents in advance via radio, social media and e-mail.

- Shane Magee

Support group provides food in Kimmirut


A men's support group has been offering food on Saturdays in Kimmirut, said community wellness co-ordinator Rita Kolola.

"They've been serving soups to locals and whoever wants to participate in the event," she said.

She estimated about 50 people turned out Feb. 11, including men, women and children for soup, fruit, cheese, and more.

The group recently hired three people to go hunting from Feb. 9 to 11. They came back with fish and ptarmigan.

"They gave it out to elders, who are the first priority when they catch something," Kolola said last week.

It's among six wellness programs that have been running this fiscal year, including a school-run breakfast program, prenatal care, summer day camps and a hunting program.

- Shane Magee

Feast marks return of the sun

Grise Fiord

About 60 people attended a feast in Grise Fiord Feb. 12 to mark the return of the sun above the horizon.

Hunters and trappers provided seal meat and fish for community members, senior administrative officer Marty Kuluguqtuq said.

"Everything that is available is my favourite - in this case I liked the char," Kuluguqtuq said when asked what he liked best at the event.

He said the schools also planned to hold return of the sun celebrations in the coming weeks. Students had last week off while teachers had professional development time.

Kuluguqtuq said overall it's been quiet in the community but cold at -40 C.

"It seems to be that way that when the sun returns the temperatures drop down," he said.

- Shane Magee

Kuugaq Cafe opens

Ikaluktutiak/Cambridge Bay

A new cafe in Cambridge Bay officially opened on Feb. 14.

Kuugaq Cafe, meaning river, will offer restaurant-style healthy options to community members. It's the only business of its kind in the hamlet of 1,600. The cafe will act as a venue for hosting public events for all ages, such as open mics and sewing circles.

Besides building community, the group of young entrepreneurs who opened the coffee stop are expecting the new business will be popular among visiting professionals and scientists working with Polar CHARS.

- Beth Brown

Grocer cuts down on waste sent to landfill


A new cardboard compacting machine at Arctic Ventures in Iqaluit will reduce waste sent to the city landfill by as much as 5,000 lbs each week.

"The city garbage truck would come here every day and take at least an hour to empty out our cardboard room," said general manager Jim Jones. "It's a huge savings for the city and for the environment."

The compactor has been in use since Feb. 6.

The machine has been on site since the sealift but the company had to wait to set it up until it could also arrange back-haul or fly-out for the compacted cardboard, which will be relocated to recycling facilities in the south.

"We're really excited about being able to do this," he said.

- Beth Brown

Caterers excel at hiring Inuit


Kitikmeot Caterers was awarded for its efforts to train and employ Inuit during a regional trade show earlier this month.

The company employed over 50 per cent Inuit at Hope Bay, and so the award was presented to the catering organization by the Hope Bay IIBA Implementation Committee, which includes employees from both KIA and TMAC Resources. The committee looks to ensure that its Inuit Impact and Benefit Agreement is upheld.

Last year Kitikmeot Caterers hired every graduate from a hospitality training course it held in Cambridge Bay.

- Beth Brown

Economic development input sought


Meetings in north Qikiqtaaluk communities will be held this month to gather input as the territorial government prepares a new Nunavut Economic Development Strategy.

The Department of Economic Development and Transportation is hoping community members will offer ideas for economic development.

"Our focus is economic development going forward where we talk about how the community feels about economic activity in their community and what the expectation is going forward, what kind of priorities they'd have, what they're looking for," said Paul Kaludjak, a senior business adviser with the department.

A draft of the strategy is expected to be ready in April and submitted to cabinet in May.

"This would be the mandate of the government for the next 10 to 15 years for economic development," Kaludjak said.

Meetings are planned in Grise Fiord Feb. 20, Resolute Bay Feb. 21, Arctic Bay Feb. 22, Iglulik Feb. 23, Pond Inlet Feb. 24, Clyde River Feb. 27 and Hall Beach Feb. 28.

All meetings are in community halls and start at 7 p.m.

- Shane Magee

Building awareness for mental health


A three-day mental health awareness course is being offered at the Kugluktuk youth centre in March.

The free course developed by the Embrace Life Council is part of the Nunavut Suicide Prevention strategy.

"Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) Inuit is a course designed by Inuit, for Inuit and for those who work with Inuit," the course poster states. "The three-day course encourages people across Inuit Nunangat to have conversations about mental wellness with family, friends and colleagues."

The program looks to address and combat stigma surrounding mental health in a culturally safe and competent environment.

The course will run on March 28, 29 and 30. Interested participants should contact Moving Forward Together co-ordinator Jodi Alderson at Kugluktuk's hamlet office or stop by to register. Participants must be 18 to attend.

- Beth Brown

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