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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 inuitart.ca.

- 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