AROUND THE NORTH: Fitness classes for fire prep


Tthek’ehdeli/Jean Marie River

As the weather warms up in the Northwest Territories, the community of Jean Marie River is doing what it can to prepare for another fire season.

“We would like to hold some fitness classes, three to four times per week,” stated a bulletin from the band.

In 2013, 2014 and 2015, the Jean Marie River was put on evacuation alert, due to fires burning near the small Deh Cho community of around 80 people.

– Erin Steele


The healing power of music

Lli Goline/Norman Wells

The streets are alive with the sound of music, well, the streets of Norman Wells at the very least during Mental Health Awareness Week May 7 to 13.

The Town of Norman Wells is partnering with Health and Social Services to play outdoor music throughout the week in a promotion called Music in the Air.

Prior to the week, community members were asked to drop off CDs to the town, to become part of the rotation.

In numerous studies, music has been shown to have a positive effect on people’s mental health.

One in five people will experience a mental health problem in their lifetime.

– Erin Steele


Norman Wells health centre moves

Lli Goline/Norman Wells

The new health centre in Norman Wells is one step closer to opening its doors.

Between April 27 and May 4, the Health and Social Services Centre was expected to complete its move to the Sahtu Got’ine Regional Health and Social Services Centre.

To prepare for the move, Monica Loomis Health Centre was on emergency services only between April 23 and May 7.

As of April 30, the health centre was set to be no longer operational.

“We are moving towards occupancy step-by-step,” stated a Health and Social Services bulletin.

The next step will be a long-term care facility occupancy date, which will be announced once confirmed, according to the bulletin.

“Formal public opening celebration also to be announced.”

The regional office had already moved into the new facility and is fully operational.

– Erin Steele


Learning to fiddle

Tulita/Fort Norman

Any Tulita community members with big dreams of becoming fiddlers could have taken a first step in that direction recently.

Calvin Cairns and Nellie Quinn of the Kole Crook Fiddle Association were scheduled to be in Tulita between April 23 and April 30 to provide fiddle lessons “for those interested.”

According to its website, the association exists “to do our utmost to preserve and promote the art of fiddle-playing – especially in remote Northern communities where there are no qualified fiddle players.”

The association was named after the late Kole Crook, who “travelled all over the Northwest Territories and beyond, bringing joy through his music.”

Lessons were scheduled to take place at Chief Albert Wright School Wednesday through Friday at 4 p.m.

– Erin Steele


Traditional crafters sought

Liidlii Kue/Fort Simpson

The Open Sky Society is looking for Deh Cho artists and craftspeople interested in leading workshops during the upcoming Open Sky Festival this summer.

This follows a call-out earlier this year for artists and musicians to participate in the 18th annual festival, set for June 30 in Fort Simpson.

“We are particularly looking for artists/craftspeople who would like to lead short 2 or 3 hour workshops on a traditional craft/art form,” stated a bulletin from the society.

“This can include earrings, beading, embroidery, etc.”

Those interested are asked to contact the society.

– Erin Steele


Community garden to grow

Liidlii Kue/Fort Simpson

The community garden in Fort Simpson is preparing for another season of growing.

The Fort Simpson Community Garden Society was scheduled to hold its annual general meeting May 2 at Aurora College.

Community members interested in being on the board of directors were asked to put their name forward during the meeting.

New members of the society were also welcome.

There was also expected to be some casual gardening-related discussion at the meeting over tea and bannock.

“Share your ideas … and help shape the activities of our local food growing group,” stated a bulletin advertising the meeting.

– Erin Steele