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Monday, July 28, 2014

Body recovered

The body of Richard St. Germain is believed to have been recovered from the Mackenzie River.

St. Germain and a woman had gone canoeing on the river at Norman Wells on July 15.

The pair fell into the water at about 9 p.m.

Local boaters rescued the woman, but were unable to locate St. Germain. Searchers continued to look for him for more than a week.

Sarah Baker helped support the search. She said a local organization had donated a helicopter for three hours. Just after 9 p.m. on July 23, Baker said she received notice that a body had been found at Oscar Creek, toward Fort Good Hope.

Baker said RCMP then took over.

St. Germain's parents, Laval and Janet, have set up a memorial fund in St. Germain's memory. Called the Richard St. Germain River Rescue Memorial Fund, the fund aims to provide money and equipment for river rescue training in Norman Wells.

Baker said volunteers from Norman Wells, Tulita and Fort Good Hope all participated in the search for St. Germain.

- Kassina Ryder

Another body found

RCMP say a body was found in the Mackenzie River near Fort Providence last week.

The incident is separate from the search for Richard St. Germain, who fell out of a canoe at Norman Wells on July 15.

- Kassina Ryder

Bison killed in car crash

A large sport utility vehicle collided with two bison near Fort Smith at about 3 a.m. on July 23.

The five occupants of the vehicle - all from Fort Smith - received minor injuries.

They were transported to the Fort Smith Health Centre for treatment and later released. Both animals were killed and there was extensive damage to the vehicle.

The accident occurred on Highway 5 at the Parsons Lake intersection, about 40 km west of Fort Smith.

- Paul Bickford

Youth leadership training

The Akaitcho Territory Government's Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training Strategy (ASETS) will offer aboriginal youth leadership training from Aug. 5 to 8 at Aurora College in Fort Smith.

The free program - from the Native Ambassador Post-Secondary Initiative (NAPI) - will be offered to First Nations, Metis and Inuit youth aged 13 to 24 years in Fort Smith and Fort Fitzgerald, Alta.

The program has two levels, and participants will receive a certificate from NAPI and the University of Calgary upon completion.

- Paul Bickford

Smith museum to present talk for artists, craftspeople

Thebacha/Fort Smith

A free talk on professional development for artists and craftspeople will be presented early next month at Northern Life Museum & Cultural Centre in Fort Smith.

The talk will be delivered by Joan Irvin at 7 p.m. on Aug. 9.

Irvin is an interdisciplinary artist, curator, writer and educator. She will talk about strategies for part-time artists to grow their art and businesses.

Irvin has been a jewelry and metals instructor at the Alberta College of Art & Design in Calgary for 11 years.

- Paul Bickford

Enterprise in good financial shape

Enterprise

An audit of the 2013-2014 fiscal year, which ended March 31, has shown the Hamlet of Enterprise to be in very good financial shape. The hamlet increased its accumulated surplus during the year.

At the July 7 meeting of council, an auditor reported the hamlet had $1.13 million in net financial assets, which he compared to the $1.16 million in total revenue for the 2013-2014 fiscal year.

"So over the years, Enterprise has built up one year's worth of revenues as the surplus. That's a good indicator of how strong a financial situation the hamlet is in," said Drew Queen, an auditor with Ashton Chartered Accountants in Hay River.

Queen said such positive financial results are not always seen in a community the size of Enterprise.

Enterprise is a community of about 100 people located 38 km from Hay River.

- Paul Bickford

Jerry Cans play Tuk

Tuktoyaktuk

The Hamlet of Tuktoyaktuk was looking forward to the first appearance by The Jerry Cans on July 22 at Kitti Hall.

John Stewart Jr., a representative of the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation in Inuvik and a Tuktoyaktuk native, was involved in organizing the concert. He said a number of residents were either in Inuvik for the conference or out hunting. However, he was still hoping there would be a healthy turnout for the free concert.

"We are hoping the whole community will come, but Kitti Hall can hold only 500 people, so we will see. Some members of the community are hoping they play all night long," Stewart said before the event.

The Jerry Cans opened the Inuit Circumpolar Council general assembly in Inuvik earlier in the week and were expected at the closing ceremonies July 24. Tuktoyaktuk was the only community in the Delta that the band was able to play outside of Inuvik.

Andrew Morrison, a member of the Jerry Cans, was excited to be in the community for the first time and was involved in putting on a workshop for a number of young people at the youth centre.

Youth were taught how to play guitar and violin and learned some throatsinging as well.

"We are really hoping it turns into a community jam with local musicians," he said. "I have no clue how many will show up but we are having beautiful weather and hopefully people who don't come are out catching belugas."

- Simon Whitehouse

Two belugas caught

Ikaahuk/Sachs Harbour

Doreen Carpenter, recreation co-ordinator of the Hamlet of Sachs Harbour, reported two beluga whales have been harvested since hunting began in early June.

Larry Carpenter caught a full adult, 4.5-metre (15-foot) beluga whale July 2. On July 17, Dustyn Gully caught a three-metre (10-foot) beluga.

Doreen said, although rare, such harvests benefit the community.

"We don't get whales very often," she said. "Every few weeks we have been seeing them in the bay, but in the last 10 years we have had maybe four different times where we have seen whales in the community. "

- Simon Whitehouse

Bears seen near community

Ikaahuk/Sachs Harbour

Doreen Carpenter, recreation co-ordinator of the Hamlet of Sachs Harbour, said there were three polar bears seen near the community July 19. Carpenter said the bears might have had smelled the whale meat and brazenly approached the community.

"One was right outside a house in the fog at nighttime and another one was near the point at the other side of town, while another was seen just outside of town," she said."

Carpenter said most people in the community saw the bears and that it was a rare occurrence this year because the ice in the bay melted very fast.

- Simon Whitehouse

Family Camp this week

Ulukhaktok/Holman

The community corporation is sponsoring a family camp which began July 22, said Lisa Alikamik, corporate manager of the community corporation.

About 35 to 40 people have gone to nearby Kiidjivik, a popular point down the coast from the community, said Alikamik. Although a camp is usually put on every year, in the past it has only centred around young people 16 years and older.

"It is a great opportunity where young people can spend time with elders that they don't get to see in town," said Alikamik, adding that the spot is popular for its hunting and fishing. "There is lots of char and everybody is always casting and catching in the area."

Activities that will be included in the camp will be sewing, hunting, and skills teaching, she said. The families were expected to return to the community on July 26, weather permitting.

- Simon Whitehouse

Summer camp continues

Ikaahuk/Sachs Harbour

The Angullibiut summer day camp continues at the Sachs Harbour Ajgaliaq Centre.

Hamlet recreation co-ordinator Doreen Carpenter said there are fewer than 10 children aged 12 and under who are attending the camp.

The camp began July 14 and will run through the summer until Aug. 21. The camp runs from Mondays to Thursdays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and features a different theme with related activities every week.

The first week began with an arts week, which was followed by a cultural camp the second week. A water camp is expected for the third week, followed by a wacky camp "where anything goes," according to Carpenter. The sixth week will be a music camp.

The camps have been a regular feature in the community for more than 17 years, added Carpenter, and tend to be beneficial for children because older siblings are often present, too.

- Simon Whitehouse

Paddlefest coming up on Slave River at Smith

Thebacha/Fort Smith

The Slave River Paddlefest will be taking place from Aug. 1 to 4.

A variety of fun events are planned on the Slave River at Fort Smith - a youth kayak camp, raft rides, a voyageur canoe race, a tandem canoe race, an adult kayak river-running clinic, a rolling competition, a white-water canoe race, youth paddling competitions, contests for beginners, and more.

Aside from fun on the river, a number of events are planned on solid ground, such as a community feast and a pancake breakfast.

The annual event is being presented by the Fort Smith Paddling Club.

- Paul Bickford