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Monday, February 3, 2014

Hamlet to begin budget discussions

The Enterprise hamlet council will begin budget discussions on Feb. 12 for the 2014-2015 fiscal year.

Council members discussed preparations for a draft budget and set the date at their meeting on Jan. 28. The hamlet's fiscal year runs from April 1 to March 31.

The operations and maintenance budget for 2013-2014 had expenditures of $1.18 million.

- Paul Bickford

Enterprise gets more councillors

Two more councillors were sworn in on Jan. 28 at the Hamlet of Enterprise.

Chaal Cadieux and Craig McMaster took the oath of office after being elected to council in December.

John Leskiw II, who was previously serving as a councillor, was sworn in as the new mayor on Jan. 6 at council's first meeting of 2014. At that meeting, the mayor's son John Leskiw III was sworn in as a councillor.

- Paul Bickford

Deline agreement vote in March

Voting on the Deline Self Government Agreement is scheduled to take place on March 10, 11 and 12, says the agreement's chief negotiator.

Danny Gaudet said an advanced poll will take place on Feb. 23, with final voting dates in March.

Gaudet said now, the task is to get the word out there and encourage members to vote.

"We are pushing really hard to communicate with all our members," he said. "The mail-out ballots have already been mailed out to our members that don't live in the community. The voters' list has been published and finalized. Other than that, that's pretty much it."

The agreement will create a new government that will combine the First Nation, the land corporation and the charter community into one entity, known as the Deline Got'ine Government (DGG), according to information from the agreement's website,

More than 50 per cent of eligible voters must vote yes.

If it passes, the Government of the Northwest Territories and the federal government can then approve the agreement and determine legislation.

- Kassina Ryder

More money for school

Mackenzie Mountain School in Norman Wells received another cash infusion to help but new computers. Husky donated $5,000 to the cause. It was the second donation in as many weeks, the first was $16,000 from ConocoPhillips.

- Chris Puglia

Archbishop emeritus to present workshops

Thebacha/Fort Smith

Archbishop Emeritus Sylvain Lavoie of the Archdiocese of Keewatin-Le Pas in Manitoba will lead a series of workshops at Fort Smith's St. Joseph Cathedral from Feb. 1 to 9.

The workshops - entitled Images of Hope - are designed to help people with personal growth and healing.

On Feb. 7 and 8, the workshops will focus on how to deal with addictions.

Lavoie retired as archbishop of the Archdiocese of Keewatin-Le Pas in July of 2012.

Bishop Murray Chatlain of the Diocese of Mackenzie-Fort Smith was named to replace him as archbishop.

The Archdiocese of Keewatin-Le Pas includes 45 parishes and missions in sections of northern Saskatchewan, Manitoba and northwestern Ontario.

- Paul Bickford

Peel Watershed protest

Telit'Zeh/Fort McPherson

Fort McPherson planned to organize a walk along to the Peel River on Jan 30, as a protest against the Yukon government's decision to allow development in the Peel Watershed.

"It's important because we are the people that near live the Peel River," said resident Ina Koe. "They may gain financially but we'll lose culturally."

Koe said the protest intended to start at 1 p.m. in front of the band office before continuing along highway on the way the way to the river.

People were encouraged to take photos and videos during the walk to show that the Peel River, which runs alongside the community, is an important source of drinking water and fish for residents.

"We're going to make one video and put in on Facebook to show that we don't agree with what's going to be done," said Koe.

The walk was originally supposed to take place on Wednesday, however the death of an elder in the community lead to the walk being rescheduled.

- Cody Punter

Ministers on tour

Mackenzie Delta

Minister of transportation, Tom Beaulieu, and Robert C. McLeod joined Mackenzie Delta MLA, Frederick Blake Jr. were on a constituency tour last week.

Blake and the ministers were in Aklavik on Jan. 27 before heading to Tsiigehtchic the following day. The ministers were also supposed to head to Fort McPherson on Jan. 28, but a death of an elder meant the meeting had to be rescheduled.

The Mayor of Aklavik, Charlie Furlong, said the meeting was a success.

"There's a good understanding between the government and the municipality," he said.

Amongst the issues discussed were the need to build a road to access much needed gravel for the community.

"This year it looks like we're going to commit some money to build a bridge over the creek to access gravel," said Furlong.

Furlong said there was also a need to build up one of the roads in the community as it is regularly flooded in the Spring.

The road provides access to the dumping site for the community and when the road is washed out, the community has had to resort to dumping garbage and raw sewage in the river.

"We've been told by Environment Canada we can't do that anymore," said Furlong.

Furlong said Mcleod was willing to commit money to build up the road.

"It seemed pretty positive. It's going to provide some much needed employment in the community," said Furlong.

- Cody Punter

Respected elder dies

Telit'Zeh/Fort McPherson

Respected elder, Rowena Blake, from Fort McPherson died on Jan. 27 at the age of 85.

"For years she raised her children and her grandchildren and had her home open to anyone in need," said community organizer, Ina Koe.

Koe described Blake as a "very kind lady with lots of culture".

Blake's funeral was scheduled to take place on Jan. 29 at 3 p.m. at the St. Matthew's Anglican Church.

A meeting with territorial ministers as well as a walk to protest the Yukon government's decision regarding the Peel Watershed was rescheduled as a result of the death.

"In our culture we do not do anything when there is a death in the community," said Koe. "We're a strong cultural community that is closely knit. So we stop everything."

- Cody Punter

Nomination call for volunteer awards

Somba K'e/Yellowknife

Municipal and Community Affairs (MACA) Minister Robert C. McLeod is inviting the public to submit nominations for the NWT Outstanding Volunteer Awards.

This marks the 24th year of the awards, which recognize the contributions volunteers make in communities across the NWT.

Residents are being encouraged to nominate a youth, elder, group or individual volunteer in their communities.

"We have a strong volunteer sector with committed people doing great work in our communities," said McLeod in a statement. "Strong volunteers help build sustainable, vibrant communities."

The deadline for nominations is March 31.

Nomination forms are available at all MACA and community government offices, or on the department's website.

- Paul Bickford

Enterprise seniors to hold AGM


The Enterprise Senior Society will hold its annual general meeting this month.

The meeting is set for 7 p.m. on Feb. 12 at the community hall.

The guest speaker will be Marion Smith, a member of the Hay River Seniors' Society. She is the regional representative for Hay River and Enterprise with the NWT Seniors' Society.

Smith will be updating Enterprise seniors on the activities of the territorial society.

Along with seniors, all residents of the hamlet are welcome to attend the meeting.

- Paul Bickford

Sunrise festival rescheduled

Ikaahuk/Sachs Harbour

Sach's Harbour's sunrise festival, originally scheduled for the weekend of Jan. 25, was postponed due to a lack of fish and volunteers to organize the event.

Kyle Donovan, acting recreation coordinator, said organizers were unable to get the event ready in time due to conflicting schedules of organizers, who had to travel to various other events over the weekend.

He added that there was no dry fish for the community feast, which was scheduled to be a part of the celebration.

Donovan said the president of community corporation has since brought some dry fish to the community and the festival was rescheduled to Jan. 31.

Donovan said there would also be traditional games to celebrate the return of the sun.

Donovan said nothing would stop the festival from taking place this Friday.

"This is one is 100 per cent because everyone is here."

- Cody Punter

A picture is worth $1,000


The Qulliit Nunavut Status of Women Council is holding a photo contest in honour of International Women's Day.

The organization is calling for pictures that celebrate the strength of women and girls by showing females engaged in activities, such as leading, advocating and being active.

Prizes of $1,000, $500 and $250 will be awarded to the top three entries. The competition closes at 5 p.m. Feb. 28.

- Miranda Scotland

Parole set for murderer


A man sentenced to life in prison for killing his common-law wife with a steak knife in 2004 will be eligible for parole after 13 years, according to court documents.

During a retrial last year, a jury found Adrien VanEindhoven guilty of murdering Leanne Irkootee.

Second-degree murder automatically carries a sentence of life in prison but parole eligibility can vary from 10 to 25 years.

The jury recommended the maximum.

After considering the facts, on Dec. 9 Justice Earl Johnson set VanEindhoven's parole eligibility at 13 years from when he was first taken into custody on April 23, 2004.

Nunavut has an extremely high rate of domestic violence and deterrence was a key factor in Johnson's decision.

He also took into account the number of years VanEindhoven spent in jail while awaiting his trial and retrial.

"I hope you are able to continue to work on your issues and that you will be able to rejoin the Nunavut community and contribute something to make up for what you have done," Johnson told the accused, according to a court transcript.

- Miranda Scotland

Oil and gas meetings set


Representatives from three departments will be touring Nunavut in February to gather public input on future oil and gas exploration in Baffin Bay and Davis Strait.

The Qikiqtani Inuit Association, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada and the Government of Nunavut will share plans and timelines for the strategic environmental assessment for potential exploration. They will also gather comments from residents.

The meetings will take place in Pond Inlet, Clyde River, Cape Dorset, Iqaluit, Pangnirtung, Qikiqtarjuaq, Resolute, Grise Fiord, Arctic Bay and Kimmirut between Feb. 2 and 20.

The meeting dates are subject to weather conditions and meeting times will be announced on local radio.

Snacks and refreshments will be provided.

- Myles Dolphin

Bomb threat at high school


Inuksuk High School was the target of a bomb threat on the morning of Jan. 30.

Students and staff were sent home around 11 a.m. before the RCMP and fire department searched the building.

"The Iqaluit District Education Authority (IDEA) got a phone call from the principal of Inuksuk High School reporting that the school was going to close for the afternoon," said IDEA administrator Taylor LaVallee.

"The principal followed any and all appropriate security measures to evacuate the school and secure the safety of the staff and students. However, we have received no other details at this time."

- Myles Dolphin

College meets


In an effort to profile its initiative of moving towards outcomes-based curriculum reforms with its program offerings, Nunavut Arctic College hosted an Outcomes Based Education (OBE) conference in Iqaluit from Jan. 15 to 17.

The focus of the event was to provide an educational opportunity for college personnel and their Government of Nunavut partners to share knowledge and dialogue, while working to develop plans for the implementation and growth of OBE.

The conference was facilitated by curriculum specialists Janet Honsberger, Anne Larson and Camilla Wheeler.

- Darrell Greer

Fundraiser for sledders a success


An Iqaluit duo heading to the world's longest and

most demanding snowmobile race is close to reaching its

fundraising goal.

Jimmy Noble Jr. and Jason Aliqatuqtuq raised $5,300 during a fundraiser at the Elks Lodge, featuring all sorts of food and a silent auction on Jan. 25 and find themselves $4,000 away from their goal. They are one of 30 teams registered for the 2014 Cain's Quest Snowmobile Endurance Race that starts March 1 and crosses six climates and 20 checkpoints, from Churchill Falls to Labrador City, N.L.

"We're pretty close to meeting our target and we were very happy with the turnout," Noble Jr. said.

The total cost of the trip is estimated at $97,000.

- Myles Dolphin

Elders discuss language

Uqsuqtuuq/Gjoa Haven

Six elders from three communities came together last week for a meeting on the Netsilik dialect at Quqshuun School.

They held discussions about terminology and translated material provided by the Department of Education.

The elders also talked about how the information should be taught to students.

Schools in Gjoa Haven, Taloyoak and Kugaaruk came to the decision some years ago to use the Netsilik dialect but made the move official last year, said Quqshuun School principal Margaret Joyce.

Currently, the group of elders meets a couple times a year. But there has been talk about the schools getting a video conferencing system, which would allow them to speak more regularly without having to fly.

The gathering has helped teachers and other residents get a better handle on the dialect, said Joyce.

"(The teachers) said it's so rich to be able to listen to the elders explaining and bringing up words that they might not have used for a long time and they go, 'Oh yeah, that's that word for that'."

- Miranda Scotland

Elders and students connect


Staff and students at Nuiyak School in Sanikiluaq have been enjoying a cultural event for the past two weeks. The activities bring young students and elders from the community together to learn more about traditional life.

"The elders show students how to play games they played a long time ago, and they teach them old songs," said Isabell Mickiyuk, a teacher at the school.

The annual event also features snacks such as tea, bannock and cookies.

- Myles Dolphin

Baker man wins trip

Qamanittuaq/Baker Lake

Russell Toolooktook of Baker Lake was one of two lucky winners for a pair of airline tickets to anywhere First Air flies last month.

The two winners were drawn from among 780 tickets sold by Nunavut Sivuniksavut (NS) Training Program students while home during their Christmas holidays. Shawn Lester of Iqaluit was the other name drawn.

The raffle tickets raised $15,600 toward the NS students' end-of-year trip. The students have chosen Panama as their destination in 2014.

- Darrell Greer

Dogs found with rabies

Ikaluktutiak/Cambridge Bay

There have been two confirmed cases of rabies among dogs in Cambridge Bay this year.

Stephen King, senior administrative officer, said it's not out of the ordinary and there were more cases last year.

"Residents are always notified of the risk of rabies," stated King in an e-mail to Nunavut News/North. "Dog owners are required to prove their dog has a rabies vaccination or to have it vaccinated in order to get a dog licence.

"Cases where rabies is spread from foxes to dogs usually comes down to an unlicensed and unvaccinated dog."

Rabies is a viral infection typically spread through the bite of a rabid animal.

An infected dog may show signs of aggression or paralysis.

Humans can also contract the illness and will usually die a few days after symptoms appear.

In Cambridge Bay, free rabies vaccines are available for dogs through the bylaw officer.

"Even if all dogs in town were vaccinated, wildlife still can carry rabies," added King. "People have to be careful if they see a fox in town displaying aggressive behaviour. They should contact the wildlife officer or bylaw officer."

- Miranda Scotland

Programmer to visit youth


A technology company from Pangnirtung is working with one of the world's most influential video game producers to help youngsters learn more about computers and how to make their own games.

Pinnguaq is teaming up with a lead programmer from EA Sports in February, who is also organizing daily video conferences with the EA Sports NHL team in Burnaby, B.C.

No experience is necessary and space is limited. Registration can be completed on Pinnguaq's website and the event takes place at the Youth Centre between Feb. 17 and 21.

- Myles Dolphin

Prizes for the best


Iglulik residents celebrated the return of the sun last month with a week-long festival.

During the activities, cash prizes of between $20 and $150 were awarded to residents. The winners include Madeline Ivalu and Martha Qattalik for best traditional amautiks, Mary Qattalik for best dog mushing caller and Martha Arnatsiaq and Reena Qulittalik for best jugglers.

Best square dancers' prizes went to the pair of Louisa Kipsigak and Isa Akittirq, the pair of Janet-Mary Issigatok and Johnny Malikki and the pair of Leah Apak Sarpinak and Andrew Kunnar.

Christopher Piugatok won for strongest male in the finger pull and Victoria Perron won for strongest female in the finger pull.

The festival was planned and hosted by Tuukaq Society with help from the hamlet's recreation department.

- Miranda Scotland