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NWT News/North April 22 Edition

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Cece Hodgson McCauley dead at 95

Writer and champion for the North Cece Hodgson McCauley died Sunday night. She was 95. Sometimes controversial but never afraid to speak truth to power, Hodgson McCauley wrote an award-winning column in News/North for more than 40 years. Much ink was devoted to her passion, extending the Mackenzie Valley Highway from Wrigley to Inuvik, which...
Britney Nadli, despite posing with a haul truck, works in the process plant at the Diavik diamond mine. "The job that I'm doing now in the process plant was way beyond my expectations of where I thought to see myself," she says. photo courtesy of Diavik Diamond Mines

Double duty for diamond twins

Gemini is the astrological sign for twins, and gems are one of the things that twins Britney and Shelby Nadli have in common. Both work at NWT diamond mines. Shelby has been an employee at Ekati since December 2015, operating a 240-tonne haul truck for most of that time. “I enjoy it, yeah. It gets...

Man fights for treaty payments

Dave Heron expected to get his yearly $900 treaty land entitlement payment through the Salt River First Nation last Monday— until he got a form letter from the chief on Oct. 30 telling him he and 144 other members wouldn’t be getting one again. He says he’s filed a human rights complaint against the First...
When Diavik goes offline in 2025, three up and coming mines won’t be enough to make up for labour demand losses in the territory, says Tom Hoefer, executive director of the NWT and Nunavut Chamber of Mines. NNSL file photo

Debate grows of mining royalties in new legislation

Depending on who you talk to, mines in the NWT either pay a pittance of mining royalties or the hurdles of remoteness, operational costs and taxes are strangling investment in new mines. By 2019, the GNWT will debate a new Mineral Resources Act, intended to “create homegrown legislation to increase competitiveness in the mining sector,”...

Woman pleads guilty to trafficking cocaine in Hay River

A 25-year-old woman arrested in 2017 after Mounties infiltrated a Hay River slo-pitch tournament has pleaded guilty to trafficking cocaine. Starr Martel appeared before NWT Supreme Court Justice Andrew Mahar in a Yellowknife courtroom Tuesday. She re-elected to be tried by a judge alone, and entered a guilty plea to the lone trafficking charge. Martel...
Raymond Pidzamecky is a social worker with First Nations and Inuit in the NWT and Nunavut.

GUEST COMMENT: A response to National Addictions Awareness Week

by Raymond Pidzamecky, provides mental health support in NWT and Nunavut Today marks the start of National Addictions Awareness Week, which runs Nov. 26 to Dec. 2. To write this column I asked myself: what would I do if I were the premier? Here are some thoughts: First, I would divide the Department of Health...

Nuclear reactors for the North?

Economics, geography and “unknown” regulatory complexities makes proliferation of small modular reactors (SMRs) very unlikely in the Northwest Territories says the Canadian Nuclear Association (CNA). According to John Stewart, CNA president, 10 years is the soonest any such device could be employed anywhere in Canada, more likely in places where the primary power source remains...

Inuvik wind project to offer high source of energy

The Town of Inuvik has the highest dependency on diesel fuel in the NWT but the Inuvik Wind Generation Project is now well on the way to providing an alternative. The Government of Canada and territorial government announced a joint funding announcement of $40 million for the project Nov. 13, which is seen as a...
The Mackenzie Place highrise remains empty of tenants following a fire on the 11th floor on March 15. NNSL file photo

A ‘brutally honest’ opinion of highrise landlord

Wally Schumann is not impressed with the idea of providing government money to the owner of Mackenzie Place highrise to help repair damage from a March 15 fire that has displaced about 130 residents. The owner, Harry Satdeo, did not have insurance on the 16-storey apartment building. At a meeting of some of the displaced...

‘We should all be ashamed,’ says MLA of AG report

In the legislative assembly, Yellowknife Centre MLA Julie Green said she “wept” when she read the latest auditor general report. Hay River North MLA RJ Simpson is “terrified” for what the future holds, based on the lack of progress since 2014. “We should all be ashamed for being a part of a system that treats...

Cartoonist draws his way to No. 1

A Yellowknife cartoonist has had his recently published book reach number one on Amazon.ca’s political humor bestseller’s list.John Henderson’s You Might Be From the Great White North If … is a compilation of cartoons that satire life across Canada’s three territories. The collection surpassed works such as Charlamagne Tha God’s ‘Black Privilege and Bill Maher’s...

Dog problem in Fort Resolution

A property in Fort Resolution has close to 25 dogs living in poor conditions, according to the NWT branch of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA). NWT SPCA president Nicole Spencer said there have not been allegations of mistreatment of the dogs, but there have been calls made to the society...

Bathurst and Bluenose-East caribou herd decline ‘deadly serious’

The latest population surveys conducted by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources indicate both the Bathurst and Bluenose-East caribou herds “continue to decline significantly,” officials announced on Nov. 20. “The news that I am sharing with you today is not good. The really troubling results are for the Bathurst and Bluenose-East herds,” said Minister...

Give communities a say in child welfare, chiefs say

Start integrating Indigenous peoples and principles into community-controlled delivery of child and family services in the NWT, says Dehcho Grand Chief Gladys Norwegian. “For years we, First Nations, have been saying we want control of our own programs and services and trying to make it based on our values and principles,” said Norwegian. Norwegian penned...

GNWT will cover cost Mifegymiso abortion pill for uninsured residents

The Mifegymiso pill can terminate pregnancies up to nine weeks and now the GNWT will pay for prescriptions if a patient is not covered by their own insurance or health benefits. Access outside regional centres is still limited due to insufficient diagnostic capabilities.  Yellowknife Centre MLA Julie Green asked Health and Social Services Minister Glen...

MLAs will motion to remove Schumann and Abernethy from cabinet

MLAs Kieron Testart and Shane Thompson announced they will motion for a debate on the removal of Health Minister Glen Abernethy and Wally Schumann, minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment from their cabinet portfolios. MLAs will debate and vote Wednesday on whether the ministers have “mishandled” their portfolios. Abernethy spoke to media shortly after Testart...

New Arctic Region could increase resources, sovereignty

The Department of Fisheries, Oceans (DFO) and the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) announced the creation of a new Arctic Region that will include the four regions of Inuit Nunangat in Inuvik Oct. 24. The new region is a step towards reconciliation and resetting the way the federal government works with the North, said Jonathan Wilkinson,...

Territorial university gets green light

The territorial government will turn Aurora College into a polytechnic university but its eventual headquarters remain a mystery after Education Minister Caroline Cochrane announced the upgrade in the legislative assembly Oct. 26. Cochrane’s announcement follows a foundational review of Aurora College earlier this year, which urgently recommended the creation of a polytechnic university, headquartered in...

Kam Lake at a crossroads

Flanked by a labyrinth of kennels and surrounded by a chorus of canine calls, Jordee Reid wades into a lush, narrow corridor, its tall grass kneeling to the hot July sun. The path is one she knows well – it’s just around the corner from the doghouses she would crawl into as a young girl...

Boil water advisory issued in Deline

A boil water advisory has been issued in Deline by the Chief Environmental Officer for the NWT. A public health advisory was issued Wednesday afternoon by the Office of the Chief Public Health Officer  stating that the advisory was precautionary and issued due to muddy water in the community.”There have been no illnesses associated with...

Tuk mayor and former MLA ask feds to build up port infrastructure

Two Tuktoyaktuk leaders were in Ottawa last week to make the case for federal investment in the community’s port infrastructure. “BP, Imperial – they are going to be coming back,” said Tuk Mayor Merven Gruben, referencing the oil and gas companies that have explored offshore in the Arctic in the past. “We fix up our...
Hay River is still dealing with the aftermath of a March 15 fire on the 11th floor of the Mackenzie Place apartment building. No residents are currently living in the structure and it is uncertain when they may return. NNSL file photo

Owner plans to reopen fire-damaged highrise in Hay River

The owner of the Mackenzie Place highrise – damaged by a fire on March 15 and now empty of tenants as a result – says he plans to repair and reopen the building. “We’re starting to repair it already,” said Harry Satdeo in a March 23 telephone interview with The Hay River Hub from his...

Snowking kicks off raffle after costly new measures imposed by fire marshal

Fire alarms in a snow castle? The odd pairing is just one of the demands organizers of the Snowking Winter Festival will have to meet following a list of orders put forth by NWT Fire Marshal Chucker Dewar. Creators of the annual castle say they’re now scrambling to comply before construction begins. “They have to...

Fight for traditional names on birth certificate enters fifth year

Five years into Shene Catholique Valpy’s fight to have her daughters’ Chipewyan names Náʔël and Sahᾴí̜ʔᾳ printed on their birth certificates, she is asking MLAs to support her push for the GNWT to register traditional Indigenous names in formal documents. “When we had our daughter we knew we wanted traditional spelling. When we got denied, it...

Arctic Inspiration Prize nominates first Western Arctic project

A joint submission from the Gwich’in Tribal Council (GTC), the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation (IRC) and the Aurora Research Institute (ARI) is the first-ever project from the Western Arctic chosen as a finalist for the Arctic Inspiration Prize. The prize provides up to $3 million cash to recognize and promote the contribution of teams working to...

Project Gloomiest part of ‘assertive’ drug enforcement plan: RCMP

A 14-month long investigation that disrupted two alleged Yellowknife cocaine trafficking networks and led to charges against 15 suspects is the result of the RCMP’s continued crackdown on the illicit drug trade, says a Mountie close to the probe. “We have undertaken a very assertive enforcement strategy, which is underscored by the amount of arrests...
Norman Yakeleya is the newly elected chief of the Dene Nation.

Former Sahtu MLA running for Dene National Chief

Former MLA for the Sahtu region  Norman Yakeleya has announced his candidacy for Dene National Chief and Assembly of First Nations Regional Chief. Born and raised in Tulita, Yakeleya spent three-terms serving the public in the legislative assembly. His announcement comes months after current chief Bill Erasmus said he would not return to the position...

GNWT to build fish plant in Hay River

The GNWT has decided to proceed with building a new fish plant in Hay River. Speaking in the territorial legislature on Oct. 20, Infrastructure Minister Wally Schumann noted that there is $1.4 million in the budget for a new fish plant and it is moving forward. After discussion with the federal Freshwater Fish Marketing Corporation...

Joining forces

It’s early on the morning of July 16 and the sun struggles to peak through dark storm clouds as rain spits over Bear Rock near Tulita. A cold wind whips through the air as a CC-138 Twin Otter from 440 Transport Squadron touches down on the local runway, unloading supplies and Tim Hortons donuts for...