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Newsbriefs: Monday, February 20, 2017

Nominations open for Volunteer Awards

The Department of Municipal and Community Affairs is now accepting nominations for this year's Outstanding Volunteer Awards, information from the department said. Awards will be presented to winners in each of the four categories; the elder award, the youth award, the individual award and the group award. This is the 26th year the territory has held the awards. The nomination deadline is March 31.

- Kassina Ryder

Violence rate ranks high

The Northwest Territories has the second-highest rate of family violence in Canada, a recently published report from the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics found. There were 1,938 incidents reported to police in the territory in 2015. Nunavut was the only jurisdiction with a higher number, with 2,504 reported incidents. The territory also had the biggest increase in family-related physical and sexual assaults, with a five-per-cent increase in reports from 2014 to 2015. Those rates had declined in the majority of other jurisdictions in Canada during the same time frame, the report said.

The report also found the NWT has the highest rate of family violence against male victims.

- Kassina Ryder

Attempted ATM theft

Inuvik RCMP are asking for information about a break-in at Mac's Convenience Store on Berger Street on Feb. 7. In a news release, police said an individual or more than one person broke into the store and removed the ATM machine at about 4 a.m. A witness pointed a flashlight at the scene and a suspect fled on foot. When police investigated, they discovered the individual had been trying to break open the machine. G Division's' Forensic Identification Section is assisting with the case and police are asking anyone with information to contact the Inuvik RCMP detachment or Crime Stoppers.

- Kassina Ryder

Walk to Tuk gives prizes

The NWT Recreation and Parks Association is now giving weekly prizes to teams participating in the Walk to Tuk community walking challenge. The challenge asks participants to walk the equivalent distance from Fort Providence to Tuktoyaktuk, about 1,660 kilometres. Teams that enter their times every second Monday will be selected to win a prize. At the end of the challenge, an individual will be selected to win a grand prize of a First Air flight anywhere in western NWT.

- Kassina Ryder

Mangilaluk school makes prints

Tuktoyaktuk

Mangilaluk School students in Grades 6 to 9 learned the art of print making on Feb. 9, said principal Krista Cudmore.

Ulukhaktok artist Roberta Memogana travelled to Tuktoyaktuk to deliver the workshop organized through the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation.

Each print the students made was unique, Cudmore said. One print featured a polar bear in an Arctic scene while others focused on individual words.

"The students really enjoyed learning the process and creating their own designs and templates," Cudmore said.

Students are now in the process of developing a gallery night which will allow them to display their work publicly. A date hasn't been determined but the evening will take place at the school, Cudmore said.

- Kassina Ryder

Time for tots

Paulatuk

Recreation staff in Paulatuk are hosting a Stay Active program for the community's youngest residents, said acting recreation co-ordinator Mabel Thrasher.

The program is scheduled to take place Mondays and Tuesdays and is open to infants and children up to five years old.

The program gives children an opportunity to play together and have snacks, Thrasher said.

Children should wear indoor shoes to the program which is scheduled to take place at the youth centre.

- Kassina Ryder

Sachs gets swimming

Ikaahuk/Sachs Harbour

Inualthuyak School students travelled from Sachs Harbour to Inuvik for a week of swimming lessons on Feb. 13, said principal Karen Bibby.

Every grade except junior and senior kindergarten participated in the trip which featured lessons at the Midnight Sun complex.

The trip is intended to teach students swimming and water safety skills, such as how to self-rescue, Bibby said.

"Being a community that is right on the ocean and with a number of lakes, it's critically important they have a good sense of water safety," she said.

Teaching students how to swim will give them confidence when fishing or travelling on water, she added.

The community's recreation department organized the trip.

- Kassina Ryder

Making friends at handgames tournament

Tsiigehtchic/Arctic Red River

A boys handgames team from Tsiigehtchic travelled to Tulita for a tournament from Feb. 3 to 5, said recreation co-ordinator Ben Contenti.

The tournament at Chief Albert Wright School was for teams of boys under the age of 15.

Contenti was a chaperone on the trip and said that while the team of six boys didn't win, they had a great time.

"They played well and had fun," he said.

They also made new friends and enjoyed putting in time practicing together before the tournament, he added.

- Kassina Ryder

Vets in Aklavik in March

Aklavik

Veterinarians with Arctic Paws are scheduled to hold a vet clinic in Aklavik on March 17 and 18, information from the organization said.

The clinic offers subsidized veterinary procedures, including spaying and neutering, surgeries, dental work and vaccinations against diseases such as rabies. The information notes that animals must be over the age of four months to receive rabies vaccinations.

- Kassina Ryder

Leadership workshops hit Fort Simpson

Liidlii Kue/Fort Simpson

The first of three workshops from Dehcho First Nations' Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training Strategy (ASETS) kicked off in Fort Simpson on Feb. 13.

The workshops, titled Exploring Change, are a collaboration between ASETS, Service Canada and Empowering Change, an organization that provides training related to leadership and what it refers to as motivational interviewing.

The next workshop runs Feb. 28 to March 2, and the third runs from March 27 to 30.

The Open Sky Creative Society is looking for artists and musicians to take part in its 2017-18 workshop series.

The society plans to run a workshop Feb. 14, 16 and 17 at the gallery.

- April Hudson

First aid course scheduled

Acho Dene Koe/Fort Liard

The Workers Safety and Compensation Commission will be running free first-aid training in Fort Liard from Feb. 25 to 26 and from Feb. 27 to 28.

Echo Dene School students held a Valentine's Day cake and bannock walk at the school on Feb. 14.

- April Hudson

Minor hockey on the road

Deh Gah Got'ie Koe/Fort Providence

As Fort Providence's minor hockey team grows, team members will be heading to Fort Smith on Feb. 18 and 19 for the Fort Smith Initiation Hockey Tournament.

The seventh annual Fort Providence Fun Run will take place Feb. 24 and 25.

It will include sled suit, snow carving and catwalk competitions.

- April Hudson

Fort Res handgames tourney draws players from region

Deninu Ku'e/Fort Resolution

Deninu School in Fort Resolution held its fourth-annual Deninu Hand Games Tournament on Feb. 9.

Students from Chief Sunrise Education Centre on the Hay River Reserve, Deh Gah School in Fort Providence, and Joseph Burr Tyrrell Elementary School and Paul William Kaeser High School in Fort Smith travelled to Fort Resolution to spend a day playing the traditional Dene game with students at Deninu School.

Deh Gah School placed first, while Paul William Kaeser High School's red team came in second.

- Paul Bickford

Suicide intervention training offered at museum

Thebacha/Fort Smith

Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) will be offered in Fort Smith later this month.

The free two-day workshop will be offered on Feb. 23 and 24 at Northern Life Museum & Cultural Centre.

ASIST teaches how to intervene and save a life from suicide.

More than a million people around the world have participated in the award-winning program.

No prior training is required to attend ASIST, which is being presented by the Fort Smith Health and Social Services Authority.

- Paul Bickford

Animal society plans fundraiser

Thebacha/Fort Smith

The Fort Smith Animal Society will hold its annual fundraiser next month. The Iron Chef Competition will be held on March 25, beginning at 6:30 p.m. at Roaring Rapids Hall.

The theme for the event is "It's Time for a Hoedown."

- Paul Bickford

Racing day on lake set in Fort Smith

Thebacha/Fort Smith

The Fort Smith Ice & Snow Annual Races are set for Feb. 25 and 26 on Four Mile Lake, just outside of the community.

The first day of the event will feature ice races and cross-country races with motorcycles, ATVs and cars.

The second day will feature drag races.

- Paul Bickford