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Monday, October 5, 2015

Sahtu MLA to file motion on medical travel

Sahtu MLA Norman Yakeleya is to table a motion legislative assembly calling for changes to the territorial government's policy on non-medical escorts.

Yakeleya is still frustrated because his wife was denied status as a non-medical escort last month after he fell from a deck at this home in Norman Wells and hurt his back and leg. She was helping him but had to pay her own airfare to Yellowknife.

Yakeleya's motion, to be tabled Oct. 5, calls for a "no questions asked" policy for non-medical escorts for elderly aboriginal patients with head, chest or back injuries, or cancer patients.

- John McFadden

MLA tables draft Ombudsman Act

Frame Lake MLA Wendy Bisaro tabled an act in the legislative assembly on Oct. 1 calling for the government to establish an ombudsman's office.

Bisaro strongly disagrees with cabinet's decision to leave a decision until the 18th legislative assembly. The assembly is in its final sitting until after the Nov. 23 territorial election.

A motion was approved by the assembly calling for an office to be set up but the government put it off citing its $600,000 cost.

- John McFadden

Lutsel K'e, Tuk gun incidents lead to charges

RCMP have laid charges against a Lutsel K'e man and charges are pending against a Tuktoyaktuk resident after separate guns calls in both communities earlier this month.

Ekecho Lockhart, 31, was charged after RCMP responded Sept. 18 to reports that a man was pointing a loaded shotgun at people in a residence in Lutsel K'e.

The next day, Mounties responded in Tuktoyaktuk after shots were fired into two separate homes, at least one of which was occupied at the time.

Police have not named the suspect in that incident. No injuries were reported.

- John McFadden

Joe Greenland Centre opens in Aklavik

Residents of Aklavik are celebrating the grand opening of the community's new seniors independent living facility.

The Joe Greenland Centre has been up and running since Sept. 14.

The centre includes modern features including no-step entrances to suites, wider doorways and a common area to be used for health and social services programming.

- John McFadden

Children get musical

Acho Dene Koe/Fort Liard

Yellowknife artists Grey Gritt and Mary Caroline spent Sept. 29 and 30 in the community running music workshops for children and adults.

On Sept. 29, guitar and vocal workshops at Echo Dene School were followed by songwriting workshops in the hamlet boardroom. On Sept. 30, the musicians wrapped up their workshops with a 30-minute set, followed by presentations from young songwriters and adult performers.

- April Hudson

Fall hunt a success

Tthenaago/Nahanni Butte

The Nahanni Butte office is open again after two weeks of being closed due to the annual fall hunt.

Finance officer Roxanne Konisenta said the hunt went very well and many community members returned with moose.

The community is wishing a happy birthday to Mike Matou, Denise Konisenta and Jordanna Snider on Oct. 1.

- April Hudson

Fiddling and jigging

Sambaa K'e/Trout Lake

On Sept. 28 and 29, Trout Lake residents were out at the recreation centre learning how to fiddle. Instructors were in town to visit students at Charles Tetcho School and decided to give lessons to adults as well.

The band office is open again after staff were away for two weeks taking children out onto the land for a culture camp put on through the band.

- April Hudson

Clearing project complete

Pehdzeh Ki/Wrigley

The community has finished a project by Fish Lake that saw the road widened and brush cleared away.

The project ran from Sept. 9 to 19.

- April Hudson

Open Doors opens its doors

Liidlii Kue/Fort Simpson

The Open Doors Society has started up its yearly programming. Playgroup and Busy Bees began Sept. 28, while Active After School programing started up Sept. 29.

The recreation centre is open again after two days of closure on Sept. 24 and 25 due to sewage issues.

Fiddle instructors arrived at Bompas on Sept. 28, with the first fiddle lesson of the year being held on Sept. 30.

On Oct. 10 and 11, the Kole Crook Fiddle Association will host a fiddling workshop.

An Arctic Winter Games regional development camp will take place in Fort Simpson from Oct. 2 to 4 courtesy of the NWT Soccer Association.

- April Hudson

Three to seek mayor in Fort Smith

Thebacha/Fort Smith

Three people are running to become mayor in Fort Smith in the Oct. 19 municipal election.

They are incumbent Brad Brake, Coun. Lynn Napier-Buckley and Don Matthews.

The candidates for council are incumbents Al Dumont, Ron Holtorf, Kevin Smith and Bob McArthur, along with newcomers Dave Beamish, Erika Bell, Jenny Belyea, Patricia Haaima, Keith Hartery, Anneliese Kikoak, Rashmi Patel, Brenda Tuckey and Jeremy Turcotte.

- Paul Bickford

Friendship centre to celebrate award

Thebacha/Fort Smith

Uncle Gabe's Friendship Centre in Fort Smith plans to celebrate the 2015 Award of Excellence it recently received from the National Association of Friendship Centres.

The award honours the friendship centre for demonstrating excellence in leadership, program delivery and services. On Oct. 10, Uncle Gabe's will host a feast. There will also be games for all ages, a jigging contest and live entertainment.

On Oct. 11, there will be a cribbage tournament and live entertainment. And on Oct. 12, there will be a fall fair featuring goods for sale.

- Paul Bickford

Jobs opening for youth


Youth employment opportunities are opening up in Paulatuk.

Funding for two part-time positions at the community arena will be posted in the coming weeks.

The jobs will start in mid-October and run through March, said employment officer Gilbert Thrasher Jr.

"We will be having funding in place from Education, Culture and Employment," said Thrasher.

"It's part-time, after school work."

The young staffers will assist the arena maintainer, and the positions have been funded in the community since 2000, Thrasher said.

"They do learn a lot," he said.

When funding is in place to hire an assistant to the facility maintainer, those who have worked at the arena will also be able to include that experience to their resume.

- Elaine Anselmi

A meal for all in Ulukhaktok


The Hamlet of Ulukhaktok was set to offer a reason for the community to gather, kick back and enjoy a good meal, with a community luncheon planned for Oct. 2 at the community hall.

"It's just so that everyone can get together," said senior administrative officer Bill Bennett.

"It's just a way for council to give back to the community."

Bennett said caribou stew, bread and dessert are on the menu for the event.

- Elaine Anselmi

Supporters can adopt school library


Nicole Wutke, a Grade 4/5 teacher at Jimmy Hikok Ilihakvik who is passionate about literacy, has signed up the school in a contest that she hopes will result in the school library receiving $10,000 in books from bookseller Indigo.

"She has the whole school working on this," said principal Catherine Keeling.

The contest is nationwide, with schools from all over Canada in need of books participating.

People can scroll through the schools online and "adopt" them. Supporters can adopt the school on a daily basis. When the contest closes Oct. 10, the schools which have been most adopted in each province - Nunavut is paired with Manitoba - will receive $10,000 worth of books. Second-place winners will receive $5,000.

"Although the library is present in its physical existence, the majority of our books are at least 20 years old, in poor shape and of low interest to our students. We are looking to update our library with high interest, quality literature," Wutke stated in her online appeal.

To Nunavut News/North, she said: "We are very hopeful about winning this competition. We want to provide our students with as many resources as possible to foster their learning. We signed up because our students are naturally book lovers. They always want to read and actually cheer when it's library time. Although outdated, our library does have many quality books. However, one area we need to expand is our nonfiction so students can enhance their research skills."

People can support Jimmy Hikok Ilihakvik by visiting

Visitors to the site can also choose to donate books, which also counts as "adoptions."

- Michele LeTourneau

Draft law aimed at bootleggers


The Government of Nunavut has held three community consultations over the past two weeks on a proposed law it thinks could help stem the tide of bootlegging and drug dealing in the territory.

"The new law would allow the Government of Nunavut to obtain a court order to confiscate property that is either the 'proceeds' or an 'instrument' of illegal activity," according to a news release. "For example, this would include cash received from illegal alcohol or drug sales, and vehicles or others tools used for bootlegging, theft or similar illegal acts."

This type of legislation is called civil forfeiture.

So far Rankin Inlet, Baker Lake and Cambridge Bay have been consulted.

Additional consultations will take place in other communities, to be announced.

- Michele LeTourneau

Caribou in the classroom

Taloyoak/Spence Bay

Every fall, entire classrooms at Netsilik Ilihakvik in Taloyoak go caribou hunting.

This part of the students' learning takes place in the classroom for the kindergarten class, instead of on the land.

"It's caribou season right now and even though we don't take the little ones hunting they still study caribou and tag along with their parents," said principal Gina Pizzo.

This includes science lessons where all their senses are engaged - smell, sight, sound, taste and touch.

Kindergarten teacher Mary Eetoolook taught the students caribou vocabulary, while kindergarten teacher Arnaoyuk Alookee showed the students a skin from a freshly caught caribou.

Students also felt a dried caribou skin, that would soon be scraped, and sampled some tunnuq (caribou fat).

- Michele LeTourneau

Post office foundation supports land program


The Canada Post Community Foundation made a $15,000 donation to Aqsarniit Ilinniarvik School in Iqaluit Sept. 28.

The money will be used to fund an after-school land program, providing activities on the land for at-risk middle school students experiencing issues connecting to traditional school programs.

Students will also have the opportunity to learn small engine repair and work with elders.

Focusing on eight to 10 students at risk of dropping out of school, the project will provide food and after-school programming based on the students' interest.

"We are very excited about adding this new after-school program and all we need now is snow," stated principal Don Peters.

- Stewart Burnett

Fashion designer wins award

Kangiqliniq/Rankin Inlet

Victoria Kakuktinniq was on the top of the fashion world after finding out she had been named the winner of the Nunavut Trade Show's Business of the Year Award for 2015 in Iqaluit this past week.

Victoria's mother, Goretti, of the Nunavut Development Corp. was at the trade show and able to celebrate the acknowledgment with her daughter.

Victoria, who designs and creates her own traditional Inuit attire with a modern flair, moved to Iqaluit from Rankin Inlet to further her business efforts a few years ago.

- Darrell Greer

Community thanks rescuers


The community of Pangnirtung gathered to give thanks to rescuers after several successful missions this past summer and fall.

Approximately 200 people attended a gathering at the community hall late last month.

The community recognized the efforts of rescuers such as the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre, Peter Kilabuk and his crew from Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary Unit 523, including members Robbie Dialla, Ricky Kilabuk and Mark Kilabuk, and Tulugaq Search & Rescue.

There have been six successful search and rescues operations recently in Pangnirtung.

Des Groseilliers, Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Canadian Coast Guard rescued Jolly Maniapik, Simeonie Nauyuk, Andrew Keenainak and Robbie Akulukjuk.

Ricky Kilabuk and Hezekiah Oshutapik rescued Pattrick Evic and Pauloosie Qaqasiq.

Maatana Alivaktuk rescued Jamesie Alivaktuk, Trevor Alivaktuk and Jay Kilabuk.

An Emergency Measures Organization helicopter team from Iqaluit rescued Jimmy Kullualik and Zachary Alivaktuk.

And the Emergency Measures Organization in Iqaluit rescued Abraham Arnakaq, Mason Arnakaq, Willie Attagoyuk, Gregory Attagoyuk, Joanasie Veevee, Judas Akpalialuk and Geela Maniapik.

- Stewart Burnett

Kivalliq mayors meet


Arviat was the host of a pair of regional meetings in the Kivalliq late last month.

The hamlet hosted the annual Kivalliq Mayors' Meeting before the scene shifted to Rankin Inlet where roundtable discussions between Kivalliq community and government leaders and community and government representatives of Manitoba were held. The roundtable meetings were held at the Siniktarvik Hotel in Rankin due to infrastructure concerns but were officially hosted by Arviat and chaired by Arviat North-Whale Cove MLA George Kuksuk, who is also minister responsible for the Nunavut Housing Corporation.

- Darrell Greer

Learn about Franklin in Inuktitut


Six free-to-download lesson plans are now available for Nunavut school students, and students across Canada, to learn about Sir John Franklin's lost expedition to the Arctic.

Canadian Geographic Education has had the lesson plans translated into Inuktitut for Nunavummiut.

"The lesson plans fit into the Nunavut curriculum and are the first resource from Canadian Geographic Education to be translated into Inuktitut," stated communications manager Deborah Chapman in a news release. "They cover everything from the role traditional Inuit knowledge played in the 2014 discovery of Erebus, to geography's effects on history, to the science involved in the Victoria Strait expedition. Students will meet a cast of characters from the Franklin expedition, and plan an expedition for a modern-day explorer."

Adds Chapman: "Each lesson plan is also adaptable to the availability (or lack thereof) of resources in the North. In some cases all a classroom may need is an Internet connection," stated Chapman.

The material was developed by a social sciences teacher at Oscar Lathlin Collegiate, Opaskwayak Cree Nation in northern Manitoba. Connie Wyatt Anderson has been recognized with the 2014 Governor General's History Award for Excellence in Teaching for her effort to ensure Canadian history is taught in the classroom.

The downloads are available at the Canadian Geographic Education website.

- Michele LeTourneau

Students shine in Safe School Week

Ikpiarjuk/Arctic Bay

Inuujaq School in Arctic Bay hosted a Safe School Week from Sept. 21 to 25, during which staff and students focused on dealing with the issue of bullying.

Students participated in an artistic challenge that saw them create posters, plays and videos on the sensitive subject.

An assembly at the Qaggivik Hall gymnasium showcased the students' artistic anti-bullying efforts.

- Stewart Burnett

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