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Monday, July 27, 2015

Crack cocaine found at fire training site

About 1.5 kilograms of crack cocaine was found hidden in a wall behind a piece of sheet metal July 23 at a training facility used by the Hay River fire department.

In a news release issued July 24, RCMP stated the drug was seized and an investigation is ongoing.

It was found by members of the fire department during maintenance of the building.

- Shane Magee

Erasmus re-elected as Dene national chief

Bill Erasmus was re-elected as Dene national chief at the Dene National Assembly on July 22 in Deline.

Erasmus defeated his lone challenger Harold Cook, garnering 85 votes to Cook's 43. There was one spoiled vote.

Erasmus was first acclaimed in 1987, then again in 1989 and in 1991. By 1997, he had been acclaimed four times in all and was acclaimed again in 2012.

He has served as the national chief since '87 except for a three-year span from 2003 to 2006 when he was the Assembly of First Nations regional chief.

That position was combined with the Dene national chief in 2006.

- John McFadden

Missing Fort Smith man found safe

About a day after he was reported missing, Johnny Jeffery Simpson has been found safe in Fort Smith.

Police had asked residents of the community to check sheds, outbuildings or abandoned structures on their property as a search for the 34-year-old man.

He was located on July 24.

- Shane Magee

Plaque unveiling for Metis patriarch

A plaque will be unveiled in Fort Smith on July 28 to commemorate the life of northern Metis patriarch Francois Beaulieu II.

Beaulieu, who was born in 1771 and died in 1872 at Salt River, was a chief of the Yellowknife Band, an explorer with Alexander Mackenzie, an advisor to John Franklin, brother-in-law of Akaitcho, an interpreter, a businessman and much more during his 101 years of life.

The plaque will be unveiled by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, which has designated Beaulieu a person of national significance.

The unveiling ceremony will take place at 2 p.m. at Roaring Rapids Hall.

- Paul Bickford

Hockey player to appear at Fort Smith youth event

Thebacha/Fort Smith

Shaun MacPherson, a well-known hockey player from Fort Smith, will appear at a youth event in the community on July 30.

MacPherson was a member of the 2013 Western Hockey League champions Portland Winterhawks.

In addition, he has played with the Kindersley Klippers of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League and university hockey with the Mount Royal Cougars.

The Fort Smith event, which will be held in the parking lot of the rec centre, will include a motivational talk to the youth, a question-and-answer session, dry-land hockey training exercises and a fun ball hockey tournament.

There will be no cost for youth to attend the event, which is being sponsored by the Department of Municipal and Community Affairs.

- Paul Bickford

Hamlet of Enterprise reviews SAO resumes


The Hamlet of Enterprise reviewed resumes submitted for the position of senior administrative officer (SAO) at a special meeting on July 23.

Mayor John Leskiw II said seven resumes have been received.

The hamlet council planned to narrow that down to about three and then contact those applicants.

In the meantime, Melinda Lenoir, the hamlet's financial officer, will be the interim SAO until a new person is hired.

Leskiw said the goal is to have an SAO in place by early September.

The former SAO, Hermann Minderlein, departed on July 17 for a new job in Alberta.

Minderlein, who began working in Enterprise in mid-September, left the community for personal reasons to return to a former job as treasurer with the Town of High Prairie, where he owns a home and where his wife resides.

- Paul Bickford

Fort Smith museum to hold Water Day

Thebacha/Fort Smith

Northern Life Museum and Cultural Centre in Fort Smith will hold a Water Day on July 28.

The afternoon camp - set for 1 to 4 p.m. for children aged six to 12 - will explore some of the science behind water's many forms.

The children will also learn about water conservation and how animals connect with water.

Finally, they will make ice sculptures and enjoy watercolour activities.

- Paul Bickford

Arbor being renovated

Tthenaago/Nahanni Butte

Nahanni Butte is in the process of renovating the community arbor. Renovations should be completed by the end of the month.

Renovations include replacing the boards around the arbor, fixing the roof and painting it. Once that work is done, the community will be adding art created by local youth.

The community is busy with summer projects and summer students are hard at work.

The band office is also wishing happy birthdays to Bella Ekotla, Jennifer Konisenta and Rita Tesou who celebrated on July 24.

- April Hudson

Election dates set

Pehdzeh Ki/Wrigley

Returning officer Tammie Cazon has compiled an official timeline for Pehdzeh Ki First Nation elections.

Nominations, which opened July 13, was scheduled to close July 24. A candidates forum will be held July 28 at 7 p.m.

On July 29, band members can vote in advanced polls from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Election Day is slated for Aug. 5 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The advanced polling station and election day polling station will be at the First Nation's boardroom.

- April Hudson

Hockey tour begins

Deh Gah Got'ie Koe/Fort Providence

The Department of Municipal and Community Affairs has scheduled hockey player Shaun MacPherson's youth tour for July 28 at 2 p.m.

The event will be taking place at the community centre and is free.

Activities include a motivational speaking session followed by a question and answer session, dry-land hockey training exercises and ball hockey games.

Play Around the World was scheduled to host a softball game on July 23 at the baseball diamond at 7 p.m. and a free youth swim on July 24 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

- April Hudson

Mental health first aid

Liidlii Kue/Fort Simpson

From July 27 to 29, the Deh Cho Health and Social Services Authority will be holding Mental Health First Aid training sessions.

The course provides 18 hours of training and will prepare people to better understand and respond to those with mental illnesses and in mental health emergencies.

The Elephant Thoughts Science Camp was also scheduled to begin July 20 and run until July 25.

- April Hudson

Peel River Paddlers arrive

Tetlit'Zheh/Fort McPherson

Five Yukon youth who have been paddling down the Wind River since July 7 was scheduled to conclude their nearly 300-kilometre journey in Fort McPherson July 24 with a community celebration.

CPAWS Yukon Chapter program manager Amber Church said the annual trip is intended to introduce First Nations youth from the Peel region to the land of their ancestors while physically and creatively engaging with the watershed.

Church said the idea is to get young people involved in the Peel campaign to protect the watershed from government development.

The youth flew from Mayo, Yukon, to the watershed and will paddle to the end of the river where a boat will take them into Fort McPherson.

- Meagan Leonard

Golf tournament draws a crowd


The 28th annual Billy Joss open invitational golf tournament was held this past weekend in Ulukhaktok, drawing 25 golfers to the course - young and old.

The tournament is named for Joss, who introduced golf to the community in 1988 said hamlet administrative assistant Kayla Kaodloak.

The event included three days of golfing for experienced golfers and those still perfecting their swing.

Outings and picnics were held at the golf course with community youth helping to prepare food for the barbecue.

Fun continued into the evening on July 18 with performances by the Western Drummers and Dancers at the gymnasium.

- Meagan Leonard

Tuk dancers take Toronto


The Tuktoyaktuk Siglit Drummers and Dancers have had a busy week.

The group was featured in two performances at the Pan Am games in Toronto July 16 and 18, taking the stage at the Fort York National Historic Site and Harbourfront Centre. On July 21 they made their way to Inuvik for the Great Northern Arts Festival, showcasing their interpretation of Inuvialuit legends, stories and traditions.

"IRC is pleased that the Tuktoyaktuk Siglit Drummers and Dancers will have this great opportunity to showcase their drum dancing," said Inuvialuit Regional Corporation CEO Nellie Cournoyea in a news release.

"The ancestors would be so proud to see this young group sharing their traditions and culture at events like the Pan Am games and Great Northern Arts Festival."

- Meagan Leonard