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News Briefs: Monday, September 12, 2011

Offshore drilling criticized

Canada's regulatory system for Arctic offshore drilling is severely flawed, according to a report released by Oceans North Canada on Sept. 9.

The organization, which is a part of the Pew Environment Group, put forward 11 recommendations to improve the process.

These included more consultation with Inuit groups, ensuring oil spill preparedness and giving the government power to revoke drill rights it deems necessary.

- Nathalie Heiberg-Harrison

Hypnotist to perform

A hypnotist from Alberta will present a free family show at Diamond Jenness Secondary School in Hay River on the evening of Sept. 14.

J. R. Mathews, a certified clinical hypnotherapist, will use comedy and hypnosis to focus on stimulating imaginations and creating confidence.

The show is being sponsored by the school's leadership and resiliency program.

- Paul Bickford

Hearing on Brown Town

A public hearing will be held at Hay River Town Hall on Sept. 12 to allow interested persons to comment on a proposed rezoning of the so-called Brown Town.

The owners of the property - seven buildings which were once Cedar Rest Motel - are seeking rezoning from multi-family residential to highway/service commercial.

The zoning had previously been changed with the idea of converting the buildings into apartments, but the owners want to renovate them into a 39-unit motel in a $3-million project.

They will be renamed the Hay River Suites Motel.

The buildings have been boarded-up for years.

The public hearing will begin at 7 p.m. on Sept. 12.

- Paul Bickford

New schedule in Sachs Harbour

Inualthuyak School in Sachs Harbour started classes at the same time as other NWT schools this year - something that's a first for the school and its students.

In the past, students in the Beaufort Delta community have had summer from May to July to allow them time to take part in the goose hunt, but recently many residents have shortened the amount of time they spend on the land in the spring.

According to school staff, the changeover has been seamless and all feedback from parents and students has been positive.

- Nathalie Heiberg-Harrison

Superintendent wins award

Thebacha/Fort Smith

Over the summer, the superintendent of the South Slave Divisional Education Council was recognized with a prestigious national award.

Curtis Brown and an educator from Ontario were named co-winners of the EXL Award as the 2011 superintendents of the year by the Canadian Association of School Administrators at its annual conference in Niagara Falls on July 7.

Brown was honoured for his innovative educational leadership in the NWT and Nunavut for more than 23 years, including a literacy initiative in the South Slave.

The co-winner of the award was Linda Fabi, director of education with the Waterloo District School Board in Ontario.

- Paul Bickford

Tuk school opens doors


Aug. 6 marked the first day back at school in Tuktoyaktuk for elementary students, while high school students returned back to class Aug. 7.

Agnes Cudmore, principal of Mangilaluk School, said most students were counting down the days prior to school starting again. "I think they were all happy to see their friends," she said.

The school has 20 teachers on staff this year but so far has no estimates for how many students will register.

The school schedule has yet to be finalized, but Cudmore said there are already some cultural activities planned for the new teachers on staff.

They will likely do a driving tour of the community, as many teachers live without cars, and she said they hope to visit the ice house and go fishing as well.

- Nathalie Heiberg-Harrison

Last stop before winter

Ikaahuk/Sachs Harbour

The last barge of the summer is scheduled to arrive in Sachs Harbour on Sept. 13 after making its way through Tuktoyaktuk, Paulatuk and Ulukhaktok this week.

Northern Transportation Company Limited, which services all of the Beaufort communities, expects the barge to be in the hamlet for two days before heading back to Tuktoyaktuk.

It is carrying non-perishable foods, building supplies and other goods.

- Nathalie Heiberg-Harrison

Run for Our Lives planned

Hay River

The annual CIBC Run for Our Lives will be held in Hay River on Sept. 18.

The fundraiser in support of breast cancer research, awareness, prevention and treatment will begin at 11 a.m. at the CIBC branch.

Kim Wilkins, manager of the bank branch, said the run in Hay River has been moved to September this year from October last year in hopes of better weather and a bigger


All participants with pledges will have their names entered into a draw for a return ticket on First Air from Yellowknife to Edmonton.

Wilkins also noted that Thomas Whitton, an employee at the CIBC branch, will have his hair dyed pink at the start of the run. Whitton promised the colour change if people supported his participation in the run with at least $250 in pledges.

Four other CIBC Run for Our Lives will be held in the NWT: Fort Simpson (Sept. 18), Norman Wells (Sept. 24), Inuvik (Sept. 25) and Yellowknife (Sept. 30).

Money raised from all the events stays in the NWT.

- Paul Bickford

Free Nordic walking training

Hay River

A two-hour workshop on how to teach Nordic walking will be offered in Hay River on Sept. 17.

The free training by the Town of Hay River's recreation department will be presented from 3-5 p.m. at Doug Wieterman Hall in the recreation centre.

Participants will learn how to instruct Nordic walking and how to teach other instructors.

No experience is necessary and all ages are welcome.

Nordic walking is an activity involving walking with poles similar to ski poles.

- Paul Bickford

Former chief of Deline dies

Deline/Fort Franklin

Residents of Deline gathered Aug. 31 for the funeral of Victor Beyonnie.

The service was held at the church and more than 100 people attended, including some from other NWT communities. The elder and former chief of the Great Bear Lake community was born March 30, 1919 and died Aug. 26, 2011.

- Nathalie Heiberg-Harrison

Co-op sells off its old pop

Mittimatalik/Pond Inlet

If you were at Pond Inlet's Tununiq Sauniq Co-operative in the days leading up to the early September sealift, you might have looked twice to see pop selling for $5 for a 12-pack, but that price was not a typo.

"We had so much because we received a double order last year," said store manager Dave Pike, noting the sale was required ahead of the Sept. 1 sealift.

"The warehouse has to be cleaned out when the sealift comes in. That's automatic. It can't not be done. We had to do something to get rid of it."

At $5 for 12 cans, Pond Inlet customers got a discount of more than 75 per cent off the normal price for the cases, which had best before dates of June or July. Fresh cases coming off the sealift sell for $23.99.

"I sold off what was there," Pike said. "We had about six pallets."

With pop making up about 90 per cent of the annual sealift order, the warehouse is "stuffed" now, he said.

The store is out of cigarette lighters, though, and will not be getting more any time soon.

"Not a problem," he said, adding they have "thousands and thousands of matches. Shouldn't be any complaints."

- Casey Lessard

Sending support to Resolute

Kangiqliniq/Rankin Inlet

The Hamlet of Rankin Inlet sent caribou meat to the families affected by the Aug. 20 plane crash in Resolute that took the lives of 12 people.

Meat was donated by Paul Anawak, Mary Anawak, Willie Adams, Nellie Kusugak, Jackson Lindell and the Hunters and Trappers Organization. First Air shipped the cargo free of charge.

Also sent was $250 to the Hamlet of Resolute.

- Nicole Veerman

High winds cause damage

Kimmirut/Lake Harbour

High winds in Kimmirut Aug. 27 forced at least one resident to remain on shore while others braved the winds to continue fishing in the channel.

One resident told hamlet administrator Akeego Ikkidluak he was looking for a new motor for his canoe after his old motor was damaged by an object blown by the winds.

"People were scared of being in their homes figuring something would fly at it and damage the house they are in," Ikkidluak said.

Qaqqalik School principal Ron Pate said winds were blowing at 98 km/h when he checked.

- Casey Lessard

Meet the teacher and clean up events


Parents, students and teachers at Ataguttaaluk High School had a busy end of August as the school held a "meet the teacher" event as well as a shore clean-up.

Principal Vince Pickett stated in an e-mail about 100 residents came to meet the high school staff on Aug. 30 and ask questions about this year's school programs. Residents and staff also socialized and played Inuit games.

"It was a great evening and enjoyed by all," Pickett stated.

Three days later, both the elementary and high school students participated in the annual shoreline clean-up, Pickett added.

- Jeanne Gagnon

Recycling bins set up at facilities


Arviat Recreation has partnered up with Padlei Co-op to launch a recycling program.

Last month, Arviat Recreation equipped all of its facilities with recycling bins to collect pop cans.

The cans will be collected and then put into a shipping container. Eetak said about 40,000 pop cans can fit into one shipping container. As part of a territory-wide initiative through Arctic Co-operatives, the Co-op will give the recreation committee $1,500 for every 40,000 cans it collects. That money will then go towards recreation events and equipment.

Eetak said the program is still in the beginning stages, so he doesn't yet know how the cans will get from Arviat to a recycling depot. He said he hopes to have all of the details hammered out in the next month.

- Nicole Veerman

New road equipment

Pond Inlet and Kimmirut

New road equipment will be keeping the streets of Pond Inlet and Kimmirut clear of snow this winter. Pond Inlet received an order of a new bulldozer worth $395,000 and a rear-loader worth $284,000 in the Sept. 1 sealift delivery.

Kimmirut is getting a new bulldozer worth $350,000 when the sealift arrives this month. The bulldozers help clear the road in the winter and are used for other roadwork in the summer.

- Casey Lessard

Surprise cruise ship visit

Ikaluktutiak/Cambridge Bay

A cruise ship made a surprise visit to Cambridge Bay on Sept. 3.

Cruise ship co-ordinator Vicki Aitaok said ice conditions prevented the MV Clipper Adventurer from going to its planned stop in Ulukhaktok from Kugluktuk. They decided to go to Cambridge Bay instead.

"We only had 24 hours notice. We weren't expecting it at all," she said.

The 110 passengers shopped and were engaged in Inuktitut songs, Aitaok added. She said the passengers also got involved in activities and Arctic sports.

"They really spent a lot of money so it was really good."

- Jeanne Gagnon