Chronicling a community
Sambaa K'e Then and Now, almost reality

by Arthur Milnes
Northern News Services

Fort Simpson (Mar 20/98) - The excitement in Robbie McGregor's voice was obvious. Only slightly short of funding for the goal of creating a community chronicle of life in Trout Lake over the years, the Dene Cultural Institute came through just in time.

"We received notice that the institute will be giving us $1,000 for the project," she said over the phone to the xxxDrum excitedly last Wednesday. "Now, it's going to be finished."

McGregor, an Aurora College adult educator and based in the tiny Den Cho community, has been coordinating efforts on the project since last fall. It was then that the Sambaa K'e community decided at a feast to embark on the community book project.

That was in October. Now, only scant months later, the project is on the verge of completion.

"When it's finished it will be about 100 pages, including more than 80 photos," McGregor said. "It will go to print in less that a month."

Besides participation from within the community, McGregor says strong support has been received from: Aurora College, NWT Literacy Council, the GNWT's Department of Education, Culture and Employment, Liidlii Kue First Nation, the Dene Cultural Institute, Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre in Yellowknife and numerous other groups and individuals.

The book chronicles events and stories from the community since the early 1920s to the present day. Various elders in Trout Lake have contributed their memories to the book.

Plans are in the works to have the book printed and bound over the summer.