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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
Sixth annual YK Grand Prix kicks into gear

Young Yellowknifers brought their soapboxes – and need for speed – to the sixth annual YK Grand Prix Saturday morning.  From the super hero-inspired to the aerodynamic-attentive, 35 colourful soapboxes and their wee drivers took to the top of the hill on School Draw Avenue –vying for a chance to crowned this year’s winner. The yearly event, hosted... The post Sixth annual YK Grand Prix kicks into gear appeared first on Northern News...

Young Yellowknifers brought their soapboxes – and need for speed – to the sixth annual YK Grand Prix Saturday morning.  From the super hero-inspired to the aerodynamic-attentive, 35 colourful soapboxes and their wee drivers took to the top of the hill on School Draw Avenue –vying for a chance to crowned this year’s winner.

The yearly event, hosted by the NWT Disabilities Council, is set to wrap up around 2:30 p.m., after speedsters from all age groups – 6 to 7 years olds, 8 to 9 year olds and 10 to 12 year olds – have competed in the downhill race.

Click to view slideshow.

 

 

The post Sixth annual YK Grand Prix kicks into gear appeared first on Northern News Services.



Grand chief wins conservation prize

“I’m just humbled,” said Dehcho First Nations Grand Chief Herb Norwegian on being awarded the $10,000 Glen Davis Conservation Leadership Prize on May 24. World Wildlife Fund Canada and the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society awarded Norwegian, 66, the prize for his decades of work on the Dehcho Land Use Plan, which is in development... The post Grand chief wins conservation prize appeared first on Northern News...

“I’m just humbled,” said Dehcho First Nations Grand Chief Herb Norwegian on being awarded the $10,000 Glen Davis Conservation Leadership Prize on May 24.

World Wildlife Fund Canada and the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society awarded Norwegian, 66, the prize for his decades of work on the Dehcho Land Use Plan, which is in development to protect 100,000 square kilometres of land in the region.

Dehcho First Nations Grand Chief Herb Norwegian was awarded the $10,000 Glen Davis Conservation Leadership Prize on May 24 for his work on the Dehcho Land Use Plan. Greg Nyuli photo

“When you do this type of work, especially in the whole conservation area, you, you just go all out and just take a very humble approach,” said Norwegian.

“You go out there and do your work, uh, working for mother earth as much as you can, get out there harvesting, trapping and doing everything you can to make sure that the land is intact. I’m humbled that something like this would happen.”

Norwegian said his big focus has been on the land use plan, which he said is “95 per cent complete,” with protections on half of Dehcho territory and the rest open for development.

Another big conservation measure has been lobbying for protections of Edehzhie, the Horn Plateau. The Dehcho First Nations took the federal government to court in 2010 for not renewing subsurface protections for the area and won in 2012.

Since then, the DFN – along with the Tlicho Government, the GNWT and the feds – have been working to establish the Edehzhie National Wildlife Area, which Norwegian said he expects to be finalized “within the next few months.”

“It’s an exciting time for all of us,” he said.

Opening up session in the legislative assembly on Thursday, Premier Bob McLeod confirmed that a new offer in the Dehcho Process was made to the DFN on May 3 in Fort Simpson and that the GNWT expects the offer to be formally considered at the DFN’s annual assembly in Wrigley in July.

“Our negotiators have done some innovative and forward work with their counterparts from the Government of Canada on this offer,” said McLeod. “We are hopeful this work will help us get beyond past disagreements and old ways of thinking and result in the settlement of this claim.”

Norwegian said he’s optimistic about the process and how things are moving along.

The Glen Davis Conservation and Leadership Prize is awarded in honour of its namesake, a Canadian businessman and philanthropist who was murdered in Toronto 11 years ago.

“Everyone talks about bringing together traditional knowledge with western science, but under Grand Chief Herb Norwegian’s leadership the Dehcho have actually done that through their land-use plan,” stated Monte Hummel, president emeritus of WWF-Canada, in a press release.

Calling Norwegian a “visionary,” Hummel went on to state that, “He is responsible for deploying conservation action on the ground at the scale of achievement that inspired the life of Glen Davis.”

The post Grand chief wins conservation prize appeared first on Northern News Services.



Lone crew battling spring fire near Fort Liard

One crew is actively fighting a forest fire south of Fort Liard which was detected last Wednesday. The blaze was caused by a downed survey line 25 kilometres south of the hamlet and to-date has affected less than one-hectare of land. Depending on the depth of the burn the fire could continue, said manager of... The post Lone crew battling spring fire near Fort Liard appeared first on Northern News...

One crew is actively fighting a forest fire south of Fort Liard which was detected last Wednesday.

The blaze was caused by a downed survey line 25 kilometres south of the hamlet and to-date has affected less than one-hectare of land.

A helicopter works on a forest fire near Gameti in July, 2014 as part of a burnout operation that aimed to keep the fire from creeping closer to the lake near the community. There have already been three small fires in the Dehcho region with one fire currently being manned by a fire crew. photo courtesy of Jenn Wetrade

Depending on the depth of the burn the fire could continue, said manager of fire operations, Richard Olsen.

As of press-time it had burned through a small amount of land. However, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources is closely monitoring it because of the thick organic layer made up of moss, sticks and branches on top of the soil. Olson said fires rarely get hot enough to burn through soil.

He added identifying the depth of the burn – how much of the organic layer is being burned – is key in determining how long the blaze will continue and how much land will be affected.

A NWT fire update conference takes place today and Olson will provide further updates on the fire.

As of press-time the one crew containing the fire on the ground is being assisted by an air-tanker which is releasing fire retardant over the problem area.

“We don’t find anything unusual with (the fire in Fort Liard),” said Olson. “Our major season typically starts around mid to late June.”

The NWT fire update was released last week stating the fire near Fort Liard was one of three which have been reported so far in 2018.

The other two instances have been reported to ENR as man made fires in the industrial area of Fort Simpson.

The first a winter-brush burning commenced and finished on May 6.

The other fire – another winter-brush burning – was reported on May 22 and extinguished on the same day stated a release from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

In total the three blazes have affected three-hectares of land in the Dehcho region at this time.

The post Lone crew battling spring fire near Fort Liard appeared first on Northern News Services.



Man found with over a hundred grams of cocaine in Norman Wells sentenced

A former Norman Wells resident who pleaded guilty to drug trafficking-related charges was sentenced to two years less a day on May 17. Thirty-year-old Kelly Sweeney was convicted by deputy judge Brian Bruser on one count of possessing cocaine for the purpose of trafficking, a charge he pleaded guilty to in April. The conviction stems... The post Man found with over a hundred grams of cocaine in Norman Wells sentenced appeared first on Northern News...

A former Norman Wells resident who pleaded guilty to drug trafficking-related charges was sentenced to two years less a day on May 17.

Thirty-year-old Kelly Sweeney was convicted by deputy judge Brian Bruser on one count of possessing cocaine for the purpose of trafficking, a charge he pleaded guilty to in April.

The conviction stems from an RCMP-led investigation into drug trafficking in the community of Norman Wells.

The probe, dubbed Project Gate Crash, was launched in January 2016 after police received reports of drug dealing in the community.

On June 23, 2016, the investigation led RCMP to Sweeney’s apartment where 112.5 grams of cocaine and $25,780 in cash were located.

Paraphernalia associated with drug trafficking was also found inside the unit.

With remand credit for time already served in custody – a total of 285 days – Sweeney has just under 15 months left to serve behind bars.

The post Man found with over a hundred grams of cocaine in Norman Wells sentenced appeared first on Northern News Services.



EDITORIAL: A world of difference

The more education on sexual health in the territory the better. A recent influx of financial support from Health Canada to the tune of $1 million over five years for FOXY (Fostering Open eXpression among Youth) and SMASH (Strength, Masculinities and Sexual Health) will undoubtedly help. “Knowing that we have five more years of being... The post EDITORIAL: A world of difference appeared first on Northern News...

The more education on sexual health in the territory the better.

A recent influx of financial support from Health Canada to the tune of $1 million over five years for FOXY (Fostering Open eXpression among Youth) and SMASH (Strength, Masculinities and Sexual Health) will undoubtedly help.

“Knowing that we have five more years of being able to talk to young men about community responsibility and sexuality, it just warms my heart and makes me so hopeful for the future,” said Nancy MacNeill. co-founder and co-ordinator of FOXY and SMASH.

And the statistics show this is much needed programming in communities in the territory.

In 2015, the Department of Health and Social Services tabled a summary of public performance measure which reported the NWT’s rate of STIs was seven times the national average. That report illustrated there were 70 cases per 1,000 in the communities in 2014.

Some will remember an outbreak of syphilis in the territory between 2008 and 2009, which saw numbers rise to 100 cases per 1,000. Prior to that outbreak there had not been a single reported case in the five years leading up to the 2008 outbreak.

Taking out fears and stigma through education for youth in school-based programming, on-the-land programs and peer leader retreats means these young people are being given the tools to have a voice and the knowledge to create change in how sex, consent, sexual health and abuse are talked about.

Liberal MP Michael McLeod said during a press conference on May 15 that the sexual health organization’s programming complements a federal goal to eliminate AIDS and other sexually transmitted illnesses and blood borne infections by 2030, in line with targets set by UN and World Health Organization targets.

“FOXY has done a lot of good work with the youth and female population and now the younger male population. I think we’re going to see people with more knowledge about the more serious challenges we have with infectious diseases,” said McLeod.

And with FOXY and SMASH speaking to close to 300 boys, men, educators, social workers, RCMP, teachers, parents and elders since winning the $1-million Arctic Inspiration Prize in 2014, we are sure they are well on their way to reaching that goal.

MacNeill said improving health outcomes requires changing an “overall perception” that STIs don’t need to be discussed.

“These are things that are part of our health and we want to pursue them,” she said.

Continued support, by government and the public at large, is something we hope persists for this organization for many years to come.

Here’s to a healthier future for the territory.

Keep up the good work you FOXY women and SMASH(ing) men!

The post EDITORIAL: A world of difference appeared first on Northern News Services.



GN, RCMP respond to Pang’s plea for help

The Government of Nunavut and RCMP sent nine representatives to attend a special Hamlet of Pangnirtung council meeting May 22 after the community’s appeal for help to three GN departments earlier this month. The hamlet’s plea came after a rash of suicide attempts and an upsurge of violent incidents in the community. “They’ve agreed to... The post GN, RCMP respond to Pang’s plea for help appeared first on Northern News...

The Government of Nunavut and RCMP sent nine representatives to attend a special Hamlet of Pangnirtung council meeting May 22 after the community’s appeal for help to three GN departments earlier this month.

photo courtesy of Hamlet of Pangnirtung
Nine Government of Nunavut and RCMP officials met with the Hamlet of Pangnirtung’s council to discuss it’s plea for help earlier this month.

The hamlet’s plea came after a rash of suicide attempts and an upsurge of violent incidents in the community.

“They’ve agreed to have a working group with the hamlet and a few of the (GN/RCMP) people locally to look at trying to address some of the issues that we brought forth,” said Pangnirtung’s senior administrative officer Ron Ladd.

The meeting was very productive, director of communications for the GN’s Department of Executive and Intergovernmental Affairs Catriona Macleod stated in an e-mail.

Council made a presentation to its visitors.

“Currently people seeking urgent support in Pangnirtung either do not receive the support they need and/or they do not get the support they need in a timely fashion. Evidence for this is that, as a rule, individuals go in vicious circles from crisis to crisis,” council stated.

“The current system is fragmented and uncoordinated and therefore not effective in providing multi-disciplinary support.”

The solutions the hamlet suggests echo some jury recommendations from the 2015 inquest into the high rate of suicide in the territory, and are also similar to action items in the 34-page Inuusivut Anninaqtuq Action Plan 2017 to 2022, the third action plan deriving from the Nunavut Suicide Prevention Strategy.

The Department of Health’s Quality of Life Secretariat, which oversees Inuusivut Anninaqtuq for the GN, did not send representatives.

However, Macleod noted the Cabinet Committee on Quality of Life – which consists of the premier and ministers of Health, Housing, Education and Family Services – “is planning to meet soon to discuss this situation as well as territory-wide priorities to ensure the needs of all Nunavummiut are addressed.”

 

Community states needs

photo courtesy of Hamlet of Pangnirtung
The Hamlet of Pangnirtung’s presentation to government and RCMP representatives seeks to demonstrate the need for a person-centered approach to support and care (Figure 2), rather than the system-centered approach to support and care (Figure 1) currently in use.

The hamlet is calling for an integrated and coordinated approach to helping people in need. Council wants to see the old health centre renovated into an “urgency support centre” specifically for people requiring urgent support, with offices for government and community support services, an emergency shelter, a soup kitchen and a child-care facility, all under one roof. It also seeks the resources necessary to reopen the youth centre with programs for youth and a place to meet.

Further, council is advocating for a person-centered approach rather than the system-centered approach now in use by the GN.

“Mayor and council think that old health care building here that’s been sitting empty for eight years can be used as an interagency building, and have everybody linked,” said Ladd.

Council believes its plan would reduce suicide, substance abuse, family violence, and the number of individuals requiring medical care or medevacs for mental health and medical emergencies, as well as a reduction in law-enforcement and legal services costs.

It also stated its model would lead to improved gathering and analysis of statistics to ascertain measurable outcomes and to identify areas for further research or support.

The community does have an informal interagency group, which started up late last year.

“To get everyone around the table on the issues,” said Ladd, adding the hamlet is not driving it.

“The hamlet is not responsible for health. The hamlet is not responsible for education. (Those are) GN responsibilities. The hamlet does hamlet business, it’s not responsible for GN responsibilities.”

At one recent meeting, the interagency group discussed the suicide attempts in the community.

“The Department of Health decided they would go door-to-door and get all the Tylenol – because that’s what was happening, a lot of kids were taking Tylenol – and all the medication that wasn’t supposed to be there, what was old, out of the houses. At the same time the RCMP went around with them and gave free trigger locks for guns,” he said.

The group is completely independent of the hamlet, but the hamlet gets invited if the group wants to talk about by-law enforcement or other hamlet-related items.

Ladd says the interagency group asks itself what it can do as individuals to help combat what needs combatting.

But it’s not enough, and that’s why the hamlet turned to the GN.

Department of Justice assistant deputy minister Riita Strickland, speaking on behalf of her department as well as Family Services and Health, read from a prepared document at the special council meeting, Ladd said.

“She had the other departments do a paragraph or two,” said Ladd. “It was a document in response to our document.”

Nunavut News requested the document, but the Department of Justice did not provide it, nor did it respond to several questions by press deadline.

 

Opportunity for a new model

“There was definitely an understanding of the issues. They did bring in nine senior people,” Ladd said.

They included Health’s director of mental health Victoria Madsen, acting regional director of health programs Charleen Austin and director of population health Malcolm Ranta, Family Services’ director of poverty reduction Deatra Walsh and regional director Donald Mearns, Justice’s public safety advisor Lisa Tootoo, and RCMP Chief Supt. Mike Jeffrey and Sgt. Mark Crowther.

photo courtesy of Hamlet of Pangnirtung
The Hamlet of Pangnirtung’s timeline for implementing its plan, with the support of the Government of Nunavut, would see a redesign of how support and care are offered in the community.

Council asked for more resource staff: an additional social worker; one or two additional mental health workers specifically to provide counselling to individuals with PTSD, adverse childhood experiences and addictions; an additional RCMP officer; an additional by-law officer; a life-skills coach; a manager for the proposed urgency support centre; and around-the-clock security staff for the proposed centre.

According to Ladd, Strickland told hamlet council there are two vacant nursing positions, two vacant Family Services positions, and three vacant casual positions.

“The Department of Family Services has two active staffing competitions in Pangnirtung to fill vacancies for a supervisor of children and family services position and a community social services worker trainee position,” stated deputy minister Yvonne Niego by e-mail. “These positions were advertised. The department expects these positions to be filled in the coming months.”

Macleod said the GN would provide an update after the cabinet committee meets.

Ladd said hamlet council realizes it’s not only their community in distress.

“Obviously, our stats are up … but we’re not the only community. But this is an opportunity for a new model,” he said.

 

If you need to talk

Kamatsiaqtut Help Line

Iqaluit: 979-3333

Outside Iqaluit: 800-265-3333

Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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