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Monday, May 23, 2016

Meat wastage under investigation

Parts of a caribou and several skins were found dumped out on Navy Road in Inuvik late last week, according to Environment and Natural Resources officials.

"It was reported last Friday and two officers went out to investigate," said regional superintendent Stephen Charlie. "We're developing posters and asking people in the community for assistance."

The remains of the carcass and what Charlie called "a lot" of hides were taken to the Inuvik landfill for disposal. Anyone with information is encouraged to come forward and share it with ENR officers.

- Sarah Ladik

Premier appoints new deputy ministers

Premier Bob McLeod announced the appointment of new deputy ministers on May 20.

According to a GNWT news release, Mike Aumond is the new Secretary to Cabinet and Deputy Minister of the Executive while David Stewart will become Secretary to the Financial Management Board and Deputy Minister of Finance. Sylvia Haener is now Deputy Minister of Education, Culture and Employment and Martin Goldney is Deputy Minister of Justice.

Willard Hagen is Deputy Minister of Lands, Tom Jensen is Deputy Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment and Shaleen Woodward is acting Deputy Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Intergovernmental Relations.

- Kassina Ryder

Ekati jay pipe expansion moves forward

The GNWT has accepted the environmental assessment for Dominion Diamond Ekati Corporation's jay pipe expansion on May 20.

This means the company can move forward with the project's regulatory permitting phase.

The Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board's Report of Environmental Assessment for the expansion made 23 recommendations, according to a news release issued by the GNWT.

- Kassina Ryder

Inuvik-Tuk highway construction season ends

The third construction season for the Inuvik-Tuktoyaktuk Highway has officially finished.

This year was especially significant due to the joining of the north and south sections of the highway on April 7.

Construction is scheduled to resume this fall and the highway is expected to be completed and open in the fall of 2017.

The project is expected to cost about $299 million.

- Kassina Ryder

Coffee for elders, activity for toddlers

Whati/Lac La Martre

Whati's Elder's Coffee Time is being re-introduced after busy schedules forced the recreation department to put it on hold for a few months, said recreation programmer Dan Acosta.

"We're starting it back up for June," he said.

Coffee Time will now be held on Wednesdays at the Culture Centre from 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. and will include snacks, coffee and tea.

The Active Toddlers Play 60 program is also being held on June 1 from 6 p.m. until 7 p.m. at the Mezi Community School gym. The program is available for children from two- to five-years old. The goal is to promote physical activity by encouraging toddlers to play together for 60 minutes.

"If you start it at a young age like the age group we've targeted, it has benefits for long-term recreation," Acosta said.

- Kassina Ryder

Tulita cleans up

Tulita/Fort Norman

Businesses and individuals in Tulita are encouraged to participate in the annual spring clean-up from May 24 to 27, said acting recreation director Archie Erigaktuk.

"We give out maps with specified areas that the organizations volunteer and chip in to clean up throughout the community," he said.

A community cook-out is scheduled to take place on May 27 after the clean up is finished. Erigaktuk said the local Northern Store is expected to collaborate on the cook-out, which will take place at the Tulita Band Office Arbour at about 2 p.m.

"It's to get community members out and chipping in and volunteering to make sure our community stays clean," Erigaktuk said.

- Kassina Ryder

Learning to drive

Tsiigehtchic/Arctic Red River

The Aurora College learning centre is offering Class 7 driver's licence training beginning on May 24, said Bob Mumford, adult educator.

The course will take place from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on May 24, 25, 31 and June 1, 7 and 8 with an exam scheduled to take place in the afternoon of June 9.

The course is available to anyone but students must be 15-years old on or before June 9 to be eligible to write the exam, Mumford said. The cost is being covered by the Gwichya Gwich'in Band.

Mumford said students can bring a pen and paper to classes to take notes, but all other materials will be supplied.

"I have a number of driver's manuals they can study or borrow if they need to," he said.

- Kassina Ryder

Education celebration


Aklavik's annual education week is scheduled to take place from May 30 to June 3, said administrative clerk Bobbie Jo Greenland Morgan.

The week is expected to begin with the Aklavik District Education Authority's annual general meeting on May 30, which will include a supper at 5 p.m.

"It's a chance for the public to come in and share ideas and voice concerns," said Greenland Morgan. "Parents are encouraged to come out for those important discussions."

In addition to annual reports, the meeting is also scheduled to include an overview of the year's school activities.

Door prizes, including airline tickets, will be available.

- Kassina Ryder

Students become teachers in Fort McPherson

Tetlit'zheh/Fort McPherson

Chief Julius School students Tony Alexie and Damian Elias-Francis supplied their classmates with ducks after a successful hunting trip the weekend of May 7, said teacher Paige McDonald.

McDonald said she helped fund the hunting trip and the boys brought back 19 ducks, which the class then plucked and singed together with the help of elder Rosalie Ross.

"We have a tent at the back of our school, so we set up in the tent and Rosalie did a demonstration of how to pluck ducks, as it was the first time some of our students had done it," said McDonald.

Students also learned how to properly gut the birds and cut the meat. When they returned to the school, students visited other grades to share what they had learned before making duck soup.

"It's nice to see the students be the teachers and the teachers to become the students," she said. "It's always such an honour to watch the students teach what they know and have their culture shine through."

- Kassina Ryder

Getting some Grizzlies


The Paulatuk Hunters and Trappers Committee (PHTC) is partnering with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to deliver a grizzly bear harvest program for youth this week, said Lila Voudrach, a renewable resource officer with ENR.

Local hunters left Paulatuk on May 17 to set up camp near the Hornaday River. A group of youth was scheduled to travel to the campsite on May 18.

The goal is threefold, Voudrach said. The hunt will be conducted as part of the Take A Kid Harvesting program and will focus on teaching youth traditional hunting techniques.

"It would be a great way to teach youth how to harvest bears safely and traditionally," Voudrach said.

The other goal is to help reduce the amount of grizzly bears in the Paulatuk area. Voudrach said grizzlies are entering communities more frequently and encouraging a traditional hunt is an ideal way to keep population numbers under control.

The Paulatuk HTC has donated one of its grizzly tags for the program.

Voudrach said the last goal is to teach youth about grizzly bear safety.

"Of all the times I've had to deal with problem bears, you see things like wastage left out or garbage left out. That brings bears into campsites," she said.

"Keeping a clean campsite and safety in bear country, that's a really important part of this."

In addition to hunting, youth will also learn how to recognize weather patterns and traditional navigating skills as well as how to properly prepare grizzly bear hide.

- Kassina Ryder

Culture camp dates set

Acho Dene Koe/Fort Liard

Echo Dene School will be holding its culture camp between May 30 and June 3 at Muskeg River.

Also, Nahendeh MLA Shane Thompson held a community meeting on May 16.

- April Hudson

New dance fitness class in Fort Smith

Thebacha/Fort Smith

Nia - a one-hour dance fitness class - is being offered at the Rec Centre in Fort Smith.

The low-impact exercise that is suitable for all fitness and skill levels began with classes in May with more coming in June. Nia, which is traditionally done barefoot, combines martial arts, dance and healing arts into a routine that in challenging, fun and creative.

The classes are being presented by Michaelis Hurst.

- Paul Bickford

Spring clean-up

Thebacha/Fort Smith

An annual residential spring cleanup will take place from May 24 to June 4 in Fort Smith.

It is an initiative of the Town of Fort Smith.

- Paul Bickford