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News Briefs: Monday, January 7, 2013

Energy fair approaches

The Energy Fair and Trade Show kicks off Jan. 13 inside Inuvik's Midnight Sun Complex.

The three-day event is a great opportunity to learn about renewable energy, efficient energy use, and how to save money, said Peter Clarkson, an organizer of the event.

"I think energy consumption and the price of energy consumption is something that everybody is concerned about so this is just a great way to bring all those people involved in energy in one room and a great opportunity to learn more about how you can save energy and what different options are out there," he said.

Exhibitors include Arctic Energy Alliance, Inuvik Gas, and a number of local businesses, and government departments.

The fair continues in Norman Wells Jan. 17 to 19.

- Thandiwe Vela

Foster homes needed in the Sahtu

The Sahtu Health and Social Services Authority has put out a call for foster homes.

A bulletin was circulated last week stating the organization was looking for "loving foster homes to provide care to children in need in the Sahtu region."Interested residents 19 years or older are asked to contact a community social worker.

- Thandiwe Vela

New SAO for Enterprise

Terry Testart is the new senior administrative officer (SAO) for the Hamlet of Enterprise.

Testart, the former chief executive officer with the Yellowknives Dene First Nation, will begin his new job on Jan. 7.

The position of SAO with the Hamlet of Enterprise became available when council did not renew the contract of Peter Groenen, whose last day of work was in October.

- Paul Bickford

Swearing in councillors

Newly-elected and acclaimed councillors will be sworn in on Jan. 7 for two South Slave hamlets following elections in December.

In Fort Resolution, new councillor Tammy Hunter and incumbents Brandie Miersch and Gordon Beaulieu will be sworn in.

In Enterprise, incumbents Jim Dives and Tammy Neal, and former mayor Allan Flamand, will take the oath to serve on council.

The councils in both Fort Resolution and Enterprise consist of six councillors and a mayor.

- Paul Bickford

Family Literacy Day at Res school

Deninu Ku'e/Fort Resolution

Family Literacy Day is planned for Fort Resolution's Deninu School on Jan. 18.

The special day will be part of an ongoing focus on literacy at Deninu School, where levels of literacy have improved in recent years.

- Paul Bickford

Society to hold annual meeting

Thebacha/Fort Smith

The Fort Smith Society of Persons with Disabilities will hold its annual general meeting on Jan. 14.

The meeting will be held at Roaring Rapids Hall, beginning at 6 p.m.

The society is inviting young and old residents of Fort Smith to attend the AGM to support the work it is doing in the community and to offer new ideas.

- Paul Bickford

Moccasin workshop in Fort Smith

Thebacha/Fort Smith

A workshop is about to start in Fort Smith on how to create traditional beaded moccasins out of tanned moose hide.

The workshop will begin on Jan. 13 and will be held twice a week - Sundays and Mondays - for three weeks at the Northern Life Museum and Cultural Centre.

Participants will learn the traditional art forms of beading and sewing. Each person will make one set of beaded moccasins.

The instructor will be Edna Schaefer.

There will be a $150 fee per participant in the workshop.

- Paul Bickford

Jigging in the new year

Tsiigehtchic/Arctic Red River

A jigging contest was scheduled to take place at Tsiigehtchic's New Year's feast on Jan. 5 as residents welcomed 2013.

The event takes place every year, said Bobbie Jean Van Loon, recreation co-ordinator.

"It's to bring people together to celebrate the new year," Van Loon said.

The menu for the feast included turkey, ham, salads and stuffing.

A number of volunteers were lined up to help out, she said.

- Thandiwe Vela

Past mayor hands over the reins


Former mayor Janet Kanayok is looking back on her four-and-a-half years in office warmly, as she hands over the reins to newly-elected Mayor Susan Koadloak.

Kanayok said she enjoyed her term as mayor, which ended Dec. 31.

"I did. I always hold this community close to me - I was born and raised here. But I'm pretty confident that the new mayor, Susan, she'll do a really good job," Kanayok said.

Kanayok will now have more time to devote to her small children, she said, and her role as community development facilitator at the self government office.

- Thandiwe Vela

Royal event returns


The annual king and queen event was scheduled to take place in the community Jan. 6 at Angik School.

A marble is placed in a batch of cupcakes for the men and for the women, and the winners rule the evening, selecting the games and activities to take place through the night.

"It's just a tradition that's been going on here in Paulatuk for years and years," said Lily-Ann Green, recreation co-ordinator.

The event usually draws 60 to 70 adults and children.

- Thandiwe Vela

Back to school

Tsiigehtchic/Arctic Red River

School is back in session today at Chief Paul Niditchie School, following a long winter holiday.

Last term, attendance was good, reported principal Darcy Douglas, adding that they will be working on punctuality in the new term.

Attendance and positive behaviour is rewarded at the school.

- Thandiwe Vela

Christmas hamper helpings


At least 200 Christmas hampers were delivered to communities around the territory this year, wrapping up another season of the Salvation Army's seasonal program.

The Salvation Army aims to provide toys and gifts as well as a full turkey dinner for Christmas for single people and families in need each year.

"A special thank you to Salvation Army in Yellowknife," said Ulukhaktok recreation co-ordinator Joanne Ogina, after a dozen Christmas hampers arrived in the community.

A Salvation Army representative was not able to confirm last week which communities received hampers this year.

- Thandiwe Vela

Outdated radio technology


The radio station in Pangnirtung could use a significant, much-needed upgrade to its equipment, says Jukeepa Akpalialuk with the Allaniq Radio Society.

The volume often wavers up and down and there's a long delay when radio hosts try to play music. The station's tape deck is no longer in use.

"This is old, 1950s-style radio. It's hardly working," said Akpalialuk, who added she and others had hopes of getting new station equipment last October. "We've been waiting (on the hamlet) and nothing has been happening."

While the radio station holds several on-air fundraisers, Akpalialuk said most fundraising is for people who have lost a family member and need money to pay for a flight to attend the funeral.

"When someone needs help to see relatives is the only time we do that," she said about the hamlet's main source of local information. "Everybody listens to the local radio - all of Pangnirtung."

- Peter Worden

Turkeys grounded over holidays


Former Kuglukturmiut, present Edmontonian, Phyllis Ongahak tried to send two turkeys to her old hamlet of Kugluktuk for its Christmas hamper project but was thwarted over the holidays.

"Some food made it up, but she couldn't find someone to bring the turkeys," said Jessica VanOverbeek with Kugluktuk's recreation department.

Turkeys or no turkeys, VanOverbeek said the hamlet still raised enough money through donations and a gala night to jam-pack 131 Christmas hampers, which were distributed to thankful recipients Dec. 23.

Ongahak said she hopes someone can be found to bring the turkeys up from Edmonton in the new year. VanOverbeek said the turkeys would go to the food bank and be distributed from there.

- Peter Worden

A good time without cigarettes

Hall Beach/Sanirajak

As National Non-Smoking Week approaches, a community health representative with the Department of Health and Social Services in Hall Beach is gearing up for a good time.

"This is the first time National Non-Smoking Week will be a huge event in Hall Beach," said Manasee Ulayuk, the representative.

The night will feature the popular six-member band Sulee; a square dance; door prizes; county food such as tuktu fat; ingunaq and maktaq from Arctic Bay and Repulse Bay; and a display about the health risks of smoking. The event is aimed at all ages.

"I think it's not just important for one community but for all Nunavut communities. There's a high percentage in Nunavut of people who start smoking at a young age," said Ulayuk.

This is the second year National Non-Smoking Week events have taken place in the hamlet. The event will take place at the community hall Jan. 23 from 7 p.m. to 12 a.m.

- Peter Worden

Gifts purchased in secret

Ausuittuq/Grise Fiord

Ever wonder how Ausuitturmiut get their Christmas shopping done without the whole hamlet knowing? The Co-op store opened its doors exclusively Dec. 18 to men, Dec. 19 to adults, Dec. 20 to women and Dec. 21 to children in order to alleviate family and friends peeping gifts.

The annual system of gift-getting is helped by the Co-op that won't allow men in on women's night, for example, or adults over 14 on kids night, while offering 10 per cent off sales.

- Peter Worden

Trapping foxes

Ausuittuq/Grise Fiord

More and more foxes seem to be popping up around Grise Fiord and in other Nunavut communities and the increasing number has again raised the spectre of rabies.

Over the holidays, the hamlet took precautions to immunize dogs against the disease. Hunters have also started to take advantage of the numerous foxes around town, setting more traps and catching foxes almost daily.

- Peter Worden

Let the games begin

Ikpiarjuk/Arctic Bay

Dice games, finger pulls, mitt tosses, scavenger hunts and numerous other mainstay elimination games were featured during the holidays in Arctic Bay.

The seasonal festivities kicked off in Dec. 18 with a school concert and continued until an elders event, held Jan. 1. The whole community got behind the Christmas games, with different local organizations sponsoring new events for every night, followed by a dance.

- Peter Worden