Liidlii Kue/Fort Simpson

There were a few extra eyes on the banks of the Mackenzie River July 20.

To mark National Drowning Prevention Week, representatives of the Deh Cho Friendship Centre and Health Promotion held a riverfront beach party between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.

Set up beside the arbour, the team was educating children, youth and adults about water safety.

National Drowning Prevention Week ran July 15 to July 21 this year.

Around 500 Canadians “die in preventable water-related incidents annually,” states the Lifesaving Society, which designates the week on the third week of July each year.

“Even one drowning is too many.”

– Erin Steele

Mackenzie Days to kick off

Deh Gah Got’ie Koe/Fort Providence

The long-time favourite festival in Fort Providence is set to kick off its return to the area Aug. 2 to Aug. 5.

Mackenzie Days, in the works for months, promises four days jam-packed with events.

Just a few of the many scheduled events include a family scavenger hunt, parade, fish fry, fish derby, cake decorating contest, handgames, a country western dance, talent shows, canoe races and a carnival.

This year has a country-western theme.

Unlike Mackenzie Days festivals of the past, there is no tent city permitted.

Alcohol is prohibited in all locations except the licensed adult events.

This is the first festival after a four-year hiatus.

– Erin Steele

Scholarships up for grabs
Sahtu

Certain Sahtu students have until Aug. 31 to apply for the Norman Wells’ Imperial Oil scholarship program.

“The purpose of the scholarship program is to encourage and assist Sahtu beneficiaries to pursue undergraduate post-secondary studies in disciplines relevant to the petroleum industry and Imperial’s Norman Wells operation,” states a bulletin advertising the program.

The maximum amount a student may be awarded is $3,500 per year for collage and technical schools and $4,500 per year for university.

Relevant disciplines include engineering, geology, geophysics, accounting, computer science, business administration and petroleum technologies.

Applicants will know by Sept. 15 whether their application was successful.

– Erin Steele

Handgames tournament inches closer

Acho Dene Koe/Fort Liard

The schedule is now out for the 4th annual Acho Dene Koe Handgames Tournament Aug. 17 to Aug. 19 at the Fort Liard Arbour.

The $25,000 tournament follows a triple knockout style with eight players per team and an optional alternate.

Participants must be 12 years or older.

Aug. 17 is a travel day, followed by dinner at the community hall and a drum dance at the arbour.

After breakfast and a fire feeding ceremony Aug. 18, registration closes. The handgames begin after lunch at 1 p.m.

Awards and the closing ceremony are set for 6 p.m. Aug. 19.

Also planned throughout the weekend are meals, youth activities, cultural workshops and much more.

Prizes depend on the amount of entries, at a cost of $1,000 per team.

– Erin Steele

Arts workshop leaders sought

NWT

Fort Simpson-based Open Sky Creative Society is putting the call out to NWT artists and makers to lead workshops on their craft this fall and winter.

“Interested, but never led a workshop before? That is okay. We can help you with the planning,” states a bulletin advertising the initiative.

“The options are endless.”

Suggested workshop categories include, but aren’t limited to, traditional or contemporary crafts and artwork, woodworking, photography, leatherwork, quilting, sewing, song writing, playing an instrument, jewellery making, preserving jam and making sushi.

The society will pay for accommodations and help with travel.

– Erin Steele

The search for Sahtu champions

Sahtu

A group seeking to publish a third volume of Dene Heroes of the Sahtu is looking for community champions in the region.

“The Dene Hero Team need you to: compile stories, submit them to the team, help organize the community celebration in January,” states a bulletin advertising the initiative.

Each “hero” will be paid to collect at least 20 stories and five photographs of local leaders, educators and community members.

All these will be compiled into a book.

The community celebration intends to bring everybody together where each contributor will receive a book and be photographed.

Each participant will also be eligible to win a free trip to Vancouver Island. Two winners will be drawn during the Colville Lake celebration.

Both previous editions originated out of Royal Roads University.

– Erin Steele

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