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Monday, June 27, 2016
One of NWT's wealthiest citizens, Eddie Gruben, dies

The patriarch of the Gruben family, one of, if not the wealthiest family in the NWT, has died. Eddie Gruben, of Tuktoyaktuk, died on June 20 at the age of 96, according to his grandson Mervin Gruben.

Eddie Gruben founded E. Gruben Transport, one of the largest contracting and logistical companies in the North, in 1973.

The company is 100 per cent owned by Gruben and his two grandsons and based in Tuktoyaktuk. It also operates out of Inuvik. The Sahtu region, Alberta and B.C. A memorial service was to be held for Gruben on June 26 in Tuktoyaktuk.

- John McFadden

MLAs to get briefed on assisted death

Health and Social Services Minister Glen Abernethy will appear before a committee of MLAs to talk about doctor assisted death June 28.

The Standing Committee on Social Development will hold the public meeting 7:30 a.m. in the legislative assembly.

Regulations around assisted death were put in place by the GNWT at the beginning of June.

On June 17, the federal government passed a law amending the Criminal Code of Canada to remove the ban on the practice. That law was drafted after a ruling by the Supreme Court of Canada striking down the ban.

- Shane Magee

Premier gets fur award

Premier Bob McLeod was expected to receive the North American Furbearer Conservation Award during the annual general meeting of the Fur Institute of Canada held in Yellowknife and co-hosted by the GNWT, June 23 to 26.

According to a news release, the award recognizes those who foster innovative conservation approaches, at any scale, that have contributed significantly to the welfare of furbearer populations and their habitats.McLeod was a former board member of the Institute and the release described him as a "tireless" advocate for sustainable use and part of a group that established international humane trapping standards.

- Shane Magee

High water in Peace, Slave and Hay rivers

Rainfall in British Columbia is resulting in high water levels in the Peace, Hay and Slave River systems, according to the Water Survey of Canada (WSC).

"There is currently a large amount of rainfall runoff originating from Northern B.C. making its way through the Peace, Slave and Hay River systems," a news release stated. The Fort Nelson area received 36mm of precipitation yesterday and another 25mm was forecasted for today."

The release was dated June 23.

Information was gathered and reported by WSC staff in Fort Simpson, Inuvik and Yellowknife, as well as by local contacts in communities along the river systems.

- Kassina Ryder

Aboriginal women student award deadline approaches

The deadline to apply for the Helen Bassett Commemorative Student Award is July 15, according to the award's website.

The award is coordinated through the Native Women's Association of Canada (NWAC) and provides $1,000 to aboriginal women attending post-secondary school.

Applicants must be under the age of 31 and pursuing post-secondary studies. Students studying law or a law-related field are given priority. Helen Bassett was an Ontario artist who specified that money from her estate would go to the NWAC to establish an aboriginal women's award program when she died, according to the NWAC. Four awards are presented regionally across Canada.

Applications can be found on the NWAC website.

- Kassina Ryder

Tsiigehtchic appreciates its helpers

Tsiigehtchic/Arctic Red River

Tsiigehtchic held its first Appreciation Week from June 13 to June 17, said community wellness co-ordinator Emmanuel Ndumu.

The week aimed to thank staff with organizations and business in the community.

"Today is the day we give respect to organizations, to appreciate their staff," Ndumu said.

Organizations included the Tsiigehtchic Housing Association, the Gwichya Gwich'in Band Council and the Northwest Territories Power Corporation, as well as Beaufort Delta Health and Social Services Authority.

The week also included commemorating World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, which featured a community lunch at Chief Paul Niditchie School on June 15.

Ndumu said the event was one of the week's highlights.

In addition to giving thanks, the week also served to demonstrate the importance of being active in the community, especially for youth.

"The younger generation knows they are the future," Ndumu said. "They will be the future leaders."

- Kassina Ryder

Second annual spring music festival in Aklavik


Aklavik's second annual spring music festival kicked off on June 17, said Deon Arey, an event organizer.

The festival was scheduled to run from June 17 until June 19 and feature a variety of musicians, including Ernest Monias and Sons.

Arey said the spring music festival replaces what was formerly known as the Aklavik Pokiak River Festival.

The goal is to feature local musicians and bring people together.

"We have a lot of talented people in the Delta," Arey said. "It's just to bring people to the community and have a spring music festival."

Performers were also scheduled to include the Aklavik Drummers and Dancers and the Fort Good Hope Drummers.

The festival were expected to begin at about 8 p.m. on June 17. All events were scheduled to take place at the Sittichinli Recreational Complex.

- Kassina Ryder

Ulukhaktok artists asked to participate in survey


Artists, musicians and crafters in Ulukhaktok are encouraged to participate in a survey about the Inuit arts economy, said Johannes Edinger, an economist with Big River Analytics, the organization conducting the survey.

The federal government hired the company to look at the economic impact on Inuit art in Canada, Edinger said.

"The idea is to estimate the economic impact of the industry and also look for areas where the government might be able to facilitate or improve the production of Inuit art," he said.

The survey is asking for participants from Nunavut, Nunavik, Nunatsiavut and the Inuvialuit region.

So far, more than 1,600 consumers have given responses, Edinger said.

The survey can be found at

- Kassina Ryder

Recipients of Order of NWT announced

Hay River

The 2016 recipients of the Order of the NWT were announced June 15. They are Nellie Cournoyea, Jan Stirling, Anthony W. J. Whitford and Marie Wilson.

The induction ceremony is set to be held June 29 at the legislative assembly.

Established in 2013, the order recognizes individuals who have served with the greatest distinction and excelled in any field of endeavour benefiting the people of the NWT or elsewhere.

It is the highest honour awarded by the territorial government.

- Paul Bickford

Premier's Awards presented

Hay River

The annual Premier's Awards were presented in the legislative assembly on June 15.

The awards recognize outstanding achievement by individuals or teams of GNWT employees.

The recipients were:

Premier's Award for Excellence (individuals) - Francois Rossouw, Ian Blackstock and Celine Savard;

Premier's Award for Excellence (teams) - Beaufort Delta Education Council, Health Information Act Team, and Tracr II LTE Tablet Project;

Premier's Award for Collaboration - NWT ASETS-Aurora College Partnership, Gwich'in Curriculum Development Team, Transboundary Water Management Agreements Team, and NEBS Pension Legislation Development Group;

Dave Ramsden Career Excellence Award - Debbie DeLancey;

Commissioner's Award for Excellence in Public Administration - Scott Duke.

- Paul Bickford

Thousands raised for Fort McMurray


The Inuvik Firefighters Association raised $4,106 for the Red Cross relief efforts in fire-plagued Fort McMurray, according to fire chief Jim Sawkins.

In turn, the donation was matched by town council, bringing the total to just over $8,000, which will be doubled by the federal government.

The association also donated $1,000 to each of the six families displaced by the house fire earlier this year in a housing complex in Inuvik.

- Sarah Ladik

Graduation ceremony attracts hundreds at Angik School


More than 200 people attended the graduation of Angik School's two graduates on June 14, said principal Debbie Redden-Cormier.

"The whole town was here," she said.

Lisa Illasiak and Brianna Wolki graduated together during the ceremony. Though Wolki had been attending Mangilaluk School in Tuktoyaktuk, she decided she wanted to graduate in her hometown.

Both girls did a presentation and Illasiak said hers featured photographs from her childhood up to present day.

Illasiak was also the valedictorian and said her speech focused on the pride she has for her school.

She said she is grateful to her family for encouraging her to finish high school.

A traditional feast and turkey supper took place at the school following the graduation.

- Kassina Ryder

External investigation clears RCMP

An investigation by the Ottawa Police Service has cleared an Iqaluit RCMP officer regarding his role in a physical altercation in a cell February 2015.

A video published online last year shows an RCMP officer punch Eetooloo Ejetsiak after Ejetsiak attempted to kick the officer. Ejetsiak is then shown bleeding from his head in his cell.

The Ottawa Police Service conducted the investigation to maintain impartiality, stated an Iqaluit RCMP spokesperson in a news release.

"The independent review is an opportunity to review the actions of police, considering the totality of the facts and the reasonableness of those actions," stated Cpl. David Lawson in the release.

"Police work is inherently challenging and police officers, while well trained, often have to make quick decisions based on the situations they are faced with.

"The independent investigation in this case concluded that the member involved was acting within the scope of his duties and did not exceed the use of force necessary to control an aggressive and assaultive prisoner."

Child shoots gun by accident


RCMP are reminding people that gun locks are available for free after a nine-year-old child fired a gun by accident in Kugluktuk earlier this month. No one was hurt in the incident.

Police received a call at about 5:30 p.m. June 15 that a gun had been fired. Bystanders stepped in to take control of the weapon, RCMP Cpl. David Lawson said.

Upon arriving at the scene, police found two unsecured firearms, one of them loaded, according to an RCMP statement on a community Facebook page.

Police secured the weapons and spoke with the child, parents and social services about the situation. The discharge is considered accidental and no charges will be laid.

Lawson said each local detachment has free gun locks available for anyone who owns a gun. Iqaluit RCMP have gone door-to-door in 10 communities over the last year to deliver gun locks and will tour the rest of the territory in the next year or two, Lawson said.

- Casey Lessard

Community cleanup scheduled

Ikpiarjuk/Arctic Bay

Community members in Arctic Bay are expected to participate in an annual cleanup from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. July 7.

On Nunavut Day, organizers will hold a draw for prize winners.

One ticket will be entered in the draw in exchange for each full garbage bag collected per person.

Everyone registered for the cleanup will be eligible to win a First Air ticket, as well as cash prizes.

The Hamlet of Arctic Bay, Taqqut Co-op, health committee, Nunavut Tourism, Northern Store and Government of Nunavut all played a part in sponsoring the event.

- Stewart Burnett

Aquarium collecting samples

Ikaluktutiak/Cambridge Bay

The Nunavut Impact Review Board is looking for comments from the public as the Vancouver Aquarium seeks to conduct underwater research about 40 km from Cambridge Bay.

The aquarium will be photographing and collecting small marine invertebrates and fish for use in displays and exhibits, the review board's notice of screening states.

The diving is set to take place in August. Concerned parties have until June 27 to submit a comment.

The review board notice states that five people will be involved in the research. It will be hiring a local guide and boat operator to access near-shore diving sites that can't be reached by road.

- Casey Lessard

Hunting trips bountiful

Kimmirut/Lake Harbour

A warmer start to summer than last year has been a boon for hunters and campers in Kimmirut.

Hosea Mpofu, senior administrative officer for the hamlet, said he has already seen two whales brought back by hunters and shared with the community.

"(The ice) is breaking up, and people are going to the floe edge for whale and seal," said Mpofu.

Many people have also been fishing and hunting. Mpofu said people have been gathering duck, seagull and goose eggs while out on the land for the past few weeks.

- Stewart Burnett

Veterinary clinic planned

Ikaluktutiak/Cambridge Bay

Cambridge Bay pet owners will have the chance to get veterinary care July 8 to 10 when a team from Alberta opens a clinic at the Nunavut Arctic College Community Learning Centre.

Services include full checkups, including vaccinations, as well as spay and neuter. Fees are heavily discounted and residents who can't afford it are encouraged to pay what they can afford, according to a poster promoting the clinic.

Appointments are available from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. each of the three days the vets are in the community.

- Casey Lessard

Summer student jobs increase


A record number of students from Canada's three Northern territories are finding jobs with assistance from Canada Summer Jobs program.

Between Nunavut, the Yukon and the Northwest Territories, a total of 436 jobs have been approved for funding this year, compared to 146 jobs in 2015.

"Congratulations to both students and employers in the territories for helping the government meet its goal of doubling the number of summer jobs funded by the annual program," stated Employment, Workforce Development and Labour Minister MaryAnn Mihychuk in a news release.

"As Canada's population ages, it's vitally important that young Canadians have access to meaningful work at the beginning of their careers. Young Canadians will get the experience they need to help them prepare for the job market thanks to enthusiastic employers who are hiring them under the Canada Summer Jobs program."

The northern territories were allotted $756,000 in funding under the program this year, up from $505,300 in 2015.

Jobs approved for funding in the small business sector in the North jumped to 99 this year from eight in 2015. In the public sector, 94 jobs have been approved for funding, up from 54 last year.

A total of 243 jobs in the non-profit sector were also approved for funding, up from 84 in 2015.

- Stewart Burnett

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