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Monday, June 29, 2015

Fort Simpson marijuana trafficking charges laid

RCMP has laid marijuana trafficking charges in Fort Simpson.

The charges have been sworn against two men from Alberta after RCMP in Fort Simpson carried out a search warrant on two vehicles June 23.

James Beck, 60, and Gordon Harrold, 55 have been charged with possession of a controlled substance for trafficking and trafficking a controlled substance, according to an RCMP news release.

They've been released and will appear in court Sept. 2.

- Shane Magee

Tourist centre opens in Tsiigehtchic

A new tourist centre opened last week in Tsiigehtchic that will be open from late June to early September.

The centre has a shower and kitchen facility for paddlers on the Mackenzie River and Arctic Red River. The Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment has contributed $153,000 since 2012 to establish the centre.

During the opening event, a replica of a 13,650-year-old steppe bison skull found in the community in 2007 was exhibited.

- Shane Magee

Fabian re-elected as K'atlodeeche chief

Roy Fabian has been re-elected chief of K'atlodeeche First Nation on the Hay River Reserve.

In an election on June 24, Fabian received 91 votes, compared to 81 for challenger April Martel.

The election also chose four members of council - Fred Martel, Robert Lamalice, Jeanna Graham and Pat Martel. They were among eight candidates seeking a seat on council.

The turnout was 174 of the 456 eligible voters, or 38 per cent.

Elsewhere in the Deh Cho, Tthenaago/Nahanni Butte will hold a band election this summer, although a date has not been set and Pehdzeh Ki First Nation will have an election July 15.

- Paul Bickford

Cook challenges Erasmus

Incumbent Bill Erasmus will have a challenger when he runs to be re-elected as Dene National Chief next month.

Harold Cook, originally from Fort Good Hope and now living and working in Yellowknife has thrown his hat into the ring.

The two are the only candidates who will be vying to become Dene national chief when the election is held on July 22 during the Dene National Assembly in Deline.

- John McFadden

Oceans celebrated in Aklavik

Aklavik

Residents of Aklavik celebrated the world's oceans June 19.

The day's events, put on by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, began with a parade from the Sittichinli complex to the river.

Monica Arey won for best-decorated truck and Deandra Greenland took the title of best-decorated four-wheeler.

Madison McLeod of Moose Kerr School was also recognized for winning the World Ocean's Day logo contest, run by the department.

McLeod was awarded a fishing rod and an iPod speaker and her logo was used on special T-shirts and sweaters made for the day.

The fun continued with a harpoon-throwing contest, a three-legged race, animal calling, tug-of-war, balloon toss and a barbecue.

World Oceans Day committee co-ordinator Corrine Bullock said the day's weather started off cool but warmed up later on.

"It was a really great event," she said.

"It's a time to celebrate the importance of the oceans and what they mean to us. The theme for this year was healthy oceans, healthy planet."

World Oceans day events are traditionally held around the globe.

- Miranda Scotland

Replica steppe bison skull to be put on display

Tsiigehtchic/Arctic Red River

A museum exhibit featuring a cast of a 13,650 year-old steppe bison skull came to Chief Paul Niditchie School June 24.

Tsiigehtchic's Shane Van Loon discovered a steppe bison skull and some of the animal's remains poking out from a hill by the Arctic Red River in 2007.

He brought the unique find to the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre, which went on to create the exhibit inspired by the discovery.

Called Ice Age Discovery, the exhibit also features a mammoth tooth, a mastodon tooth, a giant beaver skull and a large mural of two steppe bison during rutting season.

The exhibit will spend a week in the school's library before being moved to the local visitor centre for the summer.

At the end of tourist season it will return to the school and be kept there indeterminately.

- Miranda Scotland

Salt River celebrates anniversary of signing

Thebacha/Fort Smith

Salt River First Nation in Fort Smith celebrated the 13th anniversary of its treaty land entitlement agreement on June 22.

The agreement, which included both land and money, was signed with the federal government on June 22, 2002.

Such an agreement settles the land debt owed to a First Nation that did not receive all the land it was entitled to under a numbered treaty entered into with the Crown.

Salt River First Nation was entitled to a settlement based on Treaty 8, which was signed at Fort Fitzgerald, Alta., in 1899.

- Paul Bickford

Solstice marked in Smith

Thebacha/Fort Smith

The summer solstice was celebrated in Fort Smith on June 20, the day before the actual official arrival of summer, with a solstice solar show presented by the Thebacha and Wood Buffalo Astronomical Society and Wood Buffalo National Park.

At Fort Smith Mission Park, people enjoyed looking at sunspots and solar prominences through special telescopes set up by the society and learned about the sun's impact on Earth.

They then experienced a journey through space and time under the park's mobile planetarium, the Great Northern Discovery Dome.

The summer solstice occurred on June 21 at 10:39 a.m. MST.

- Paul Bickford

Sovereignty patrol on Mackenzie River set

Hay River

Operation Gateway - the RCMP's annual patrol of the Mackenzie River and delta as well as the coastal waters of the Beaufort Sea - is slated to take place in July.

A launch ceremony for the 17-day patrol is set for 10 a.m. on July 7 at the Canadian Coast Guard dock in Hay River. The RCMP will be deploying a Zodiac vessel called Mackenzie for the patrol, which will conclude in Tuktoyaktuk.

The goals of Operation Gateway include exercising sovereignty, maintaining and enhancing operational readiness, responding to calls for service, and engaging communities, according to an RCMP news release.

Operation Gateway will run concurrently with Operation Nunakput, a Canadian Armed Forces maritime patrol. The purpose of the collaborative operations is to demonstrate how the different organizations work together while working within independent mandates.

Throughout the patrol, the RCMP will participate in co-operative training exercises with the Canadian Armed Forces, along with Environment Canada and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. The first Operation Gateway took place in 2003.

- Paul Bickford

Year-end awards

Tthek'ehdeli/Jean Marie River

Students at Louie Norwegian School had their annual year-end awards on June 24 followed by a barbecue.

Chief Gladys Norwegian and four delegates are travelling to Fort Simpson to attend the Dehcho Annual Assembly. Five female band members have signed up to take flagperson training in Fort Simpson on June 25.

The community wishes happy birthday to Kyla Norwegian on June 25.

- April Hudson

Youth care for community

Tthenaago/Nahanni Butte

Youths in the community have started maintaining the grass around Nahanni Butte.

Last week, the community held a boating safety course as well as a First Aid course.

A few delegates from Nahanni Butte have gone to Fort Simpson for the Dehcho Annual Assembly. The community wishes a happy birthday to Ryley Matou, whose birthday was June 14; Tom Betsaka, whose birthday was June 18; Kayla Betsaka and Elsie Marcellais, whose birthdays were on June 19; Destiny Ekotla, whose birthday was June 22; Faith Vital, whose birthday was June 24; Vicki Marcellais, whose birthday is June 25 and Laine Moreau-Betsaka, whose birthday is June 26.

On June 23, the community held a retirement celebration for local teacher Laura Vital. The celebration was also for Principal Reed Smith. The community thanks Cathryn and Earl Bertrand, Violet Tesou, Marlene Matou, Jayne Konisenta and Qualin Matou for their help.

- April Hudson