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Canada : Northwest Territories

The Northwest Territories is a territory of Canada. With a population of 41,462 in 2011 and an estimated population of 43,537 in 2013, the Northwest Territories is the most populous territory in Northern Canada.

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Northwest Territories Latest News
Great-grandmother accused of trafficking acquitted, daughter found guilty

A jury acquitted Vitaline Lafferty, a 79-year-old great-grandmother, of eight drug trafficking-related charges in NWT Supreme Court Friday.  Her daughter, 58-year-old Marie-Anne Lafferty, was found guilty of all eight offences. The two Ndilo women were stopped in Vitaline’s Ford Escape near Fort Providence on March 18, 2016 in a targeted RCMP interception. A search of... The post Great-grandmother accused of trafficking acquitted, daughter found guilty appeared first on...

A jury acquitted Vitaline Lafferty, a 79-year-old great-grandmother, of eight drug trafficking-related charges in NWT Supreme Court Friday.  Her daughter, 58-year-old Marie-Anne Lafferty, was found guilty of all eight offences.

The two Ndilo women were stopped in Vitaline’s Ford Escape near Fort Providence on March 18, 2016 in a targeted RCMP interception.

A search of the SUV netted 1.7 kilograms of cocaine, 5.8 kilograms of marijuana, 11 bottles of liquid codeine and 85 grams of MDMA.

Marie-Anne closed her eyes as a juror read “guilty” for each of the eight charges.

Supporters of Vitaline broke down and wept as she was acquitted.

Both women pleaded not guilty to possessing drugs for the purpose of trafficking and trafficking, sending the case to trial.

Earlier this week, both women testified they didn’t know they were traveling with hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of drugs.

After hearing closing arguments from defence and Crown prosecutor Duane Praught on Thursday,  a 12-person jury began deliberating Friday afternoon.

They returned with the verdict after deliberating for just over two hours.

Outside of the Yellowknife courthouse, a friend of Vitaline’s said she wasn’t sure what the verdict would be, but said she was glad the trial was over.

“It’s a relief,” the woman, who wished to remain anonymous, told Yellowknifer.

She added the trial was especially hard for Vitaline given her age.

Marie-Anne Lafferty will be back in court on Nov. 9 to speak to a sentencing date. Justice Shannon Smallwood has ordered a pre-sentence report for Marie-Anne.

Full story to come.

The post Great-grandmother accused of trafficking acquitted, daughter found guilty appeared first on NNSL.COM.



Ko K’e festival to wrap up in Inuvik

The 14th annual Ko K’e Spoken Word and Music Festival is set to wrap up its tour of the Northwest Territories in Inuvik September 27. Marie Coderre, executive and artistic director of the Northern Arts and Cultural Centre, said the festival is a celebration of Northern culture. This year’s theme is cross-generational Indigenous perspectives, and... The post Ko K’e festival to wrap up in Inuvik appeared first on...

The 14th annual Ko K’e Spoken Word and Music Festival is set to wrap up its tour of the Northwest Territories in Inuvik September 27.

Ernie Lennie is a former Olympic cross-country skier and is now an advocate for Indigenous rights.
Photo courtesy of the Northern Arts and Cultural Centre

Marie Coderre, executive and artistic director of the Northern Arts and Cultural Centre, said the festival is a celebration of Northern culture.

This year’s theme is cross-generational Indigenous perspectives, and Coderre said all of the performers have deep connections to the North.

“We put a strong emphasis on artists who are from here, from the North, because storytelling is integral to the culture here, and I think it is very important to continue oral traditions of this region,” said Coderre. “In this time of reconciliation, it is so important to have elders and people of different generations speak up and tell their stories. It is a beautiful way to educate people and learn.”

Coderre said the festival will travel to the territory’s five regions, with stops in Hay River, Fort Simpson, Yellowknife, Fort Smith, Norman Wells and Inuvik.

One of the festival’s performers, Maggie Mercredi, said she will be telling stories about

her life experiences and triumphs.

Maggie Mecredi will be telling stories about her life experiences and triumph at the Ko Ke Festival. Photo courtesy of Bill Braden

Photo courtesy of Bill Braden

Photo courtesy of Bill Braden

“It’s important that we all come together in a space where we can share our experiences and stories … and it’s important that we create spaces like this for each other and for other people who are interested in listening who also might have stories to tell,” she said. “These stories are being offered in a way that creates a safe space for sharing talents, traditions, ceremonies and experiences.”

Ernie Lennie, another performer at the festival, said he will be sharing stories of how he overcame the challenges that followed his time in residential school in Inuvik.

Lennie, who was also an Olympic cross-country skier, has spent time as a counsellor assisting those with addictions and trauma related to colonialism.

“This performance isn’t going to be about Ernie Lennie and cross-country skiing. What they’ve asked me to do is address the intergenerational impact of residential school and colonization, which is very real today,” said Lennie. “As someone who has been impacted by residential school … the story that will go on stage is about how I have dealt with that. It will be how to overcome adversity, how to overcome negative thinking and overcome everything we’re dealing with today.”

Lennie said through telling his stories, he hopes that he will restore hope in his community and show people it is possible to overcome the challenges and adversity that they are experiencing in their lives.

“Storytelling comes from our culture … it is able to show the incredible challenges human beings are able to overcome,” he said. “I want to share my story because a story makes a ripple around the world.”

The Inuvik slot of the festival will be held at the Midnight Sun Recreation Complex September 27 at 7 p.m., and performers will give a shortened performance at East Three Secondary School earlier in the day for students.

Adult tickets cost $10, and senior and youth entry is by donation.

The post Ko K’e festival to wrap up in Inuvik appeared first on NNSL.COM.



Nunavut braces for Canada Post shutdown

Barring a last-minute agreement on a new contract, unionized Canada Post employees are set to strike on Wednesday and Nunavummiut are preparing for repercussions. Those running businesses in the territory have more alternatives to Canada Post than they used to in the past, but arranging for customer payment still involves a significant volume of mail,... The post Nunavut braces for Canada Post shutdown appeared first on...

Barring a last-minute agreement on a new contract, unionized Canada Post employees are set to strike on Wednesday and Nunavummiut are preparing for repercussions.

The mail at Canada Post outlets across Nunavut will stop flowing if a strike takes place on Sept. 26. NNSL file photo
Mail at Canada Post outlets across Nunavut will stop flowing if a strike takes place on Sept. 26.
NNSL file photo

Those running businesses in the territory have more alternatives to Canada Post than they used to in the past, but arranging for customer payment still involves a significant volume of mail, said Wilf Wilcox, president of the Kitikmeot Chamber of Commerce.

“Getting your bills out and bills in is really pretty much a mail thing,” Wilcox said. “There’s alternatives but you still need paper flowing and good access to mail, for sure… If they do strike, hopefully it’s a short one. If they don’t, we’ll all be better off.”

For the Government of Nunavut, the greatest impact of a mail stoppage will be on residents who don’t use electronic funds transfers (EFT) or pre-authorized payments for billing, according to Wende Halonen, communications staff member with Executive and Intergovernmental Affairs.

In the event of a postal strike, Qulliq Energy Corporation customers who receive their power bills in the mail will start seeing their bills sent to community power plants instead, Halonen noted. Methods of paying those bills during a Canada Post shutdown will be outlined in a communications campaign, she added.

Most transactions by GN vendors are done via EFT, making the impacts of a strike “minimal,” Halonen stated. The remainder of vendors have the option to subscribe to EFT or to pick up cheques in Iqaluit, Rankin Inlet or Cambridge Bay, she advised.

Most other government services no longer rely on the mail, said Halonen.

“Generally speaking, most correspondence, transactions and communications are done electronically or via courier,” she said.

Pay cheques for government employees won’t be affected and neither will income assistance payments, which are issued directly in clients’ home communities, or through Northern and Co-op stores if the payments come from regional offices, Halonen explained.

She added that the GN has government liaison officers in every community “who are able to support GN communications and service delivery to Nunavummiut, where and when needed.”

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers is seeking a 3.5 per cent annual wage increase for the duration of its next contract. Canada Post has countered with an offer of 1.5 per cent annual pay hikes.

The union is also demanding minimum guaranteed hours and improved job security. As well, it wants Canada Post to once again offer community banking services and have postal outlets act as internet hubs, particularly in Indigenous communities.

The union represents 42,000 urban employees and 8,000 rural workers. Earlier this month, 94 per cent of urban postal workers and 96 per cent of rural postal employees voted in favour of job action, according to the union.

The post Nunavut braces for Canada Post shutdown appeared first on NNSL.COM.



Science and culture in Chesterfield Inlet

More than 40 students and teachers from across the Kivalliq hit the water in the name of science during the annual Kivalliq Science Educator’s Community (KSEC) Science Camp in Chesterfield Inlet from Sept. 6 to 10. The theme of this year’s camp was qajaqing and, in addition to nine regional science teachers, the event attracted... The post Science and culture in Chesterfield Inlet appeared first on...

More than 40 students and teachers from across the Kivalliq hit the water in the name of science during the annual Kivalliq Science Educator’s Community (KSEC) Science Camp in Chesterfield Inlet from Sept. 6 to 10.

The theme of this year’s camp was qajaqing and, in addition to nine regional science teachers, the event attracted volunteer instructors such as longtime Kivalliq (award-winning) science teacher Katharine O’Connell (who took personal vacation time from her position in North Bay to attend) and Agnico Eagle Mines program instructor Katelyn Proulx.

KSEC vice-president and science camp co-ordinator Glen Brocklebank of Victor Sammurtok School in Chester said KSEC always tries to have the same theme for two consecutive camps.

Science student Melanie Qaqqasig gathers plants for the perfect tea blend during the annual Kivalliq Science Educator's Community Science Camp in Chesterfield Inlet from Sept. 6-10, 2018. photo courtesy of Juamita Balhuizen
Science student Melanie Qaqqasig gathers plants for the perfect tea blend during the annual Kivalliq Science Educator’s Community Science Camp in Chesterfield Inlet from Sept. 6-10, 2018.
photo courtesy of Juamita Balhuizen

He said the annual event is slated to move on to Baker Lake for 2019 and 2020.

In addition to the qajaqing, our camp activities this year were first aid and learning the GPS (Global Positioning System),” said Brocklebank.

The entire region was represented this year, and it was great to have Whale Cove back after missing the past three years.

In reading through the student comments we have them leave with us every year, many of them were very nervous and afraid when they began the qajaqing portion of the program, but, by the end of the camp, they looked like they had been doing it for a lot more than four hours.

They were just an incredible group of students to work with this year,” said Brocklebank, before adding with a playful chuckle, “and some of them even said they’d rather stay in Chester and qajaq than return to their home community.”

Although this year’s gathering did include a few Grade 9 students, Brocklebank said the program is geared toward students in grades 10 to 12 because they earn a high school credit for participating in the camp.

He said this year’s event went through a major change compared to previous years in that the land-based camp had to be held in Victor Sammurtok School due to bear issues in the region.

We’ve had a lot of bear sightings in our community and, combined with the two deadly bear attacks our region has recently suffered, we decided to stay in the school and take day trips rather than actually stay out on the land during the camp.

The first thing the students did once they arrived and were settled, was to get into our cold water gear and life jackets and take a swimming test at Third Lake.

Their confidence grows a bit with the swimming test because they realize the wet suits do keep them dry and the life jackets do actually keep them afloat.

Following that we had an elder’s talk, with Louis Autut coming in for a couple of hours and sharing his knowledge on qajaqing, as well as qajaqs of the past.”

The visiting students were keenly interested in seeing the qajaqing artifacts that can be found on the land outside of Chester.

Brocklebank said the students still got to cook on Coleman stoves inside the school’s covered porch, and the camp ran smoothly with three groups taking qajaqing, first aid and GPS instruction simultaneously throughout the day.

He said the camp came to a close with a huge fireworks display for the students to enjoy.

We took about a 2.5-hour hike around the community on Sunday (Sept. 9) to look at all the qajaq stands and various artifacts from the past.

Then the students had to draw them and try to figure out which were a fish cache or a fox trap, and which ones were winter qajaq stands and which ones were meant for the summer.

On Sunday afternoon the students took our big GPS Challenge, which had elements of first aid, setting-up a tent, lighting a stove and boiling water, getting a lantern going and putting on the qajaqing gear.

The top group completed the challenge in about an hour and 45 minutes, with the others taking about two hours and 15 minutes, he said.

Brocklebank said holding the camp inside will probably become the new norm, unfortunately, especially camps held along the cost, but student safety is of paramount concern with the rising bear threat in the region.

He said there is hope, however, that the students will be able to stay in tents for next year’s camp focusing on rocks and minerals in Baker Lake.

This camp and the science fair are KSEC’s two flagship programs, and the comments from teachers – both new and returning – and students this year were overwhelmingly positive – which is extremely encouraging moving forward under our official motto of ‘powered by imagination’ and our unofficial motto of ‘powered by human resources,’” said Brocklebank.

The post Science and culture in Chesterfield Inlet appeared first on NNSL.COM.



Grizzly shot in Kugluktuk

A local hunter shot and killed a two-year-old male grizzly bear on Sept. 18. The predator wandered into the community that day, as it had the previous two days. The bear, which was within a normal weight range, was not “overly aggressive” but it was foraging for food and attempting to get into garbage bins,... The post Grizzly shot in Kugluktuk appeared first on...

A local hunter shot and killed a two-year-old male grizzly bear on Sept. 18. The predator wandered into the community that day, as it had the previous two days.

A grizzly bear, similar to the one in this photo, was shot and killed in Kugluktuk in the morning of Sept. 18 after it repeatedly came into the community.
Pixabay photo

The bear, which was within a normal weight range, was not “overly aggressive” but it was foraging for food and attempting to get into garbage bins, which could have led to more aggressive behaviour, according to Daniel Pimentel, director of policy, planning and legislation with the Department of Environment.

The bear’s carcass was taken to Kugluktuk high school, where it was used for educational purposes, Pimentel noted.

“Students learned about skinning techniques, and were able to ask questions to the hunter as well as to the conservation officers,” he stated. “It became a learning opportunity for the whole community.”

The post Grizzly shot in Kugluktuk appeared first on NNSL.COM.



Stranded boaters rescued on Prosperous Lake

Half a dozen unprepared boaters spent a chilly few hours on Prosperous Lake before being rescued early Wednesday morning. Yellowknife RCMP responded to a report of stranded boaters near Tartan Rapids just after 10:30 p.m. Tuesday. With help from the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary volunteers, RCMP officers located and rescued six boaters whose vessel had... The post Stranded boaters rescued on Prosperous Lake appeared first on...

Half a dozen unprepared boaters spent a chilly few hours on Prosperous Lake before being rescued early Wednesday morning.

Yellowknife RCMP responded to a report of stranded boaters near Tartan Rapids just after 10:30 p.m. Tuesday.

With help from the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary volunteers, RCMP officers located and rescued six boaters whose vessel had stalled.

Conditions at the time were “dark and cold with temperatures below freezing,” according to a news release from RCMP.

The boaters weren’t dressed for the weather and didn’t have any survival gear onboard.

“This incident serves as a reminder for the public to be prepared for an emergency on the water or land with fall/winter conditions approaching. Have a plan, practice water safety and encourage others to do the same,” stated an RCMP spokesperson in the release.

RCMP offer the following safety tip:

  • Be familiar with the operation of your equipment and ensure it is in proper working condition prior to heading out on your trip
  • Check incoming weather conditions, temperatures, and daylight conditions prior to departure monitor the weather for changes
  • Pack extra clothing for protection from the elements – Hypothermia is a serious risk if you go out unprepared for the weather conditions. Be prepared to shelter in place overnight, if required.
  • Pack essential items – flashlight, signaling devices, extra food or water, GPS or compass, first aid kit, shovel, hand saw, matches/lighter etc. Especially if your trip lasts longer than anticipated.
  • Carry extra fuel
  • Have a spare battery or a means to repair your vessel/vehicle if required to do so
  • Have everyone wear a lifejacket or personal floatation device if on or near open water
  • Familiarize yourself with the area you will be travelling, learn about local hazards
  • Ensure that you have the appropriate required safety equipment for your vessel or vehicle
  • Carry a satellite phone, marine radio, in-reach or other means of communication
  • Inform someone of your travel plans, where you are going, and when you plan to return
  • Carry emergency supplies and learn survival skills

 

 

The post Stranded boaters rescued on Prosperous Lake appeared first on NNSL.COM.