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Residents get training, jobs

John Curran
Northern News Services
Published Monday, August 27, 2007

YELLOWKNIFE - Deline is a community of willing yet largely untrained workers.

The project has given them a chance to get the skills they need to build careers without leaving home or giving up their traditional lifestyle, said Leroy Andre, president of the Land Corp.

"In the heavy equipment operator course, for example, we had 15 people take part," he said.

Of the approximately 57 people directly employed at the site this summer, about 49 of them have been Deline First Nation beneficiaries.

"It's a beautiful spot, it's so awesome I don't mind spending my 37th birthday here," said labourer Hughie Kenny.

Greg Kenny agreed the location is breathtaking, and he feels good about what the team is accomplishing.

"I like the fact I'm part of cleaning this place up," he said. "We're part of history."

The crew includes people like cooks Bernadette Yukon and Denise Bayha, housekeeper Blair Yukon and bear monitor George Dolphus, who also serves as the camp carpenter.

"I like working on the carpentry best," he said. "Being a bear monitor can get really boring unless there's a bear around."

For camp attendant Jonas Kenny, the job is amazing.

"I'm happy to be working so close to the land," he said.

While it's good the site is being cleaned, he said regretfully there's still a stain in his mind that all the fill in the world will never cover.

"I wish we could take back the bombs, it feels like we were guilty parties."