Archived News Stories
Dene Chief Worried About Truth and Reconciliation Commission (29-Oct-2008)
The Chief of the Dene Nation is wondering what will happen to the Indian Residential Schools Truth and Reconciliation Commission since the chair, Justice Harry LaForme, resigned yesterday. Bill Erasmus says it's not good news, since the commission has hardly had a chance to get off the ground. “Like most people, (I’m) very disappointed that Justice LaForme has stepped down, we were looking forward to this process moving on and gaining momentum, after the apology that took place this spring, but that hasn’t happened, so quite concerned.” LaForme stepped down, saying two of the commissioners on the panel question his leadership and authority on the commission. Erasmus says the point of reconciliation will be lost if they don't move forward with the commission, pointing out 4 to 5 former Residential School students are passing away each day. “They are passing on, on a daily basis, and many of them have not gotten their story out. And the whole reason for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission was to have a safe environment for these people, so they could tell their story and this could be part of reconciliation with themselves, with the churches, with the government.” Erasmus says once the commission actually gets working, he hopes it will make stops in the communities of the NWT, since the territory has 7000 to 8000 residential school survivors.

Road and Water Main Concerns for Dettah (29-Oct-2008)
Anyone who has driven the road to Dettah, can confirm it's a bumpy ride. The CEO of the Yellowknifes Dene First Nation, John Carter, says the road and drinking water are two major concerns for the small community across the bay from Yellowknife. “The reconstruction of the Dettah Road, it’s a very, very dangerous road to drive, I know I drive it every day, sometimes two and three times a day. And of course the issue of the cost of delivering water here in Dettah. It costs about 1.5 cents a litre for the city to deliver water in the city and it’s costing me 6.5 cents a litre to deliver water here.” Carter says he and the community have received moral support from their MLA, Bob Bromley. Bromley, who represents Weledeh, says Carter has to cover a large expense for water, which needs to be transported over the rough road. “They actually spend about $160,000 per year to purchase water from the City of Yellowknife’s pump house which is situated at the Yellowknife River. It’s a 16 km drive for them with their water truck.” Both Bromley and Carter hope to resume talks with the department of Municipal and Community Affairs about both issues.

JTFN Awards Long-Serving Members (28-Oct-2008)
Four long-serving members of the Canadian Forces were honoured in Yellowknife last Friday. Brig.-Gen. David Millar presented each of the men with Distinguished Service medals. “We were recognizing members today that had served 22 years and one of our members had served 32 years to the Canadian Forces and so we were recognizing that with the presentation of the Canadian Forces decoration for distinguished service." There was also another reason for Friday's ceremony. “The importance of today’s ceremony is two-fold. We’re welcoming a brand new member into the Canadian Forces. Indoctrinating him into our culture means a new way of life for him: pride professionalism and teamwork. We are recognizing that next step in his life that he’s about to take through an enrolment ceremony where we actually welcome him into the family." Eighteen-year-old Donavin Carlberg is following in his father's and grandfather's footsteps, joining Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry as a soldier. Carlberg, who has never before stepped foot outside the north, left for Quebec on Saturday.

Wink's Convenience Store Robbed (28-Oct-2008)
Yellowknife RCMP are looking for a male suspect after a robbery early Sunday morning. Sergeant Larry O'Brien says a man entered the Wink's Convenience store on Franklin Avenue at about 7:30 am. “Sometime around 7:30 yesterday morning a male walked into the Wink’s Convenience store on Franklin Avenue. He made his way behind the counter. There was a lone female clerk working at the time. He began to take some cigarette packages, tried to get into the till but was unsuccessful and he then fled the store on foot and the clerk called the police.” O'Brien says the clerk was not injured in the robbery and anyone with information is asked to contact the Yellowknife detachment.

Changes to How Inmates Earn Money (27-Oct-2008)
The Territorial Department of Corrections is changing how inmates in correctional facilities earn money while incarcerated. Colin Gordon, Director of Corrections, says changes to how inmates can earn incentive pay, that took effect October 1st, will save the department about $200,000 in its operating budget. Previously, inmates would earn anywhere from $1.00 to $7.00 a day for work that included keeping their living areas clean or attending classes. But, Gordon says there is inherent value in some of those tasks and they have decided inmates should no longer earn cash for those duties. “Folks I think appreciate that, you know, if they’re on an outside crew there is some benefit to that, you know. They’re out in fresh air and having the opportunity to be outside the facility, same with working, or going to a classroom.” Gordon says inmates still will receive pay for working in either the kitchen or laundry facilities. He adds that most receive outside support when it comes to extras that require money. “So everybody will get their shampoo, they’ll get their soap, they’ll get all the necessities and not so much the pop and chips kinds of things that they might have spent some money on before and we think that’s kind of important from a health perspective as well.” Gordon says any money earned is applied to inmates' accounts which they can use at a commissary through electronic debiting of trust accounts the department keeps on their behalf.

Suspected Arsonist Detained in Alberta (27-Oct-2008)
RCMP in Grand Prairie, Alberta, will keep suspected arsonist Sheila Jewell in detention… for now. A spokesperson for the Grande Prairie detachment, Shantha Rasiah, says police found Jewell at a residence on Saturday night. “The Grande Prairie RCMP acted on a tip they received, and attended a local northeast residence where they subsequently arrested Sheila Jewell without any incident.” Jewell broke out of the Fort Smith Women's Territorial Correctional Centre on Oct. 12th with another inmate Teri-Lynn Buggins, who is still at large. Rasiah says Jewell will remain in custody to face an outstanding charge in Alberta. “At this time we’re just waiting for a court date regarding that outstanding charge. And once that is dealt with and a date will be scheduled for when she will be leaving Grande Prairie.” Rasiah would not say what that charge is. In the NWT, Jewell faces one count of arson endangering life and one count of mischief endangering life in connection with the Bison Estates fire in Yellowknife earlier this year.

Fort Smith Jail Doors Left Unlocked (27-Oct-2008)
It's not clear whether two female inmates, one suspected of causing the Bison Estates fire in Yellowknife, broke out of the Fort Smith jail through a window, or walked out the door. The Director of Corrections, Colin Gordon says the Territorial Women's Correctional Centre is similar to a group home. “It’s a wood framed facility, minimum security, and the doors are not locked because of the fire regulations, we have to provide the egress for residents if there is a fire. We’re not 100% sure as I said whether it was a window or a door, but basically they walked out of the building just after midnight.” Sheila Jewell is charged with arson endangering life and mischief endangering life, and Teri-Lynn Buggins was detained for property- related crimes. The two have been on the run since Oct. 12 and are believed to have gone to Alberta by vehicle. Gordon says the facility depends on staff to maintain security, but since June they have been reviewing the situation at the centre. “Exploring the addition of surveillance equipment of various makes and models to see if that would help, but you know, at the end of the day that doesn’t keep people from going out the door, it may let you find out that they’ve gone a little bit sooner.” Women charged with more serious crimes are kept in RCMP cells on a temporary basis or sent to higher security prisons in Alberta and BC. Police were not available for comment on why it took five days to notify the public that the women had escaped.

Convicted Pedophile in YK Charged Again (27-Oct-2008)
A former lawyer and convicted pedophile has been charged with possesssing child pornography after RCMP searched and found the obscene materials on his computer in Yellowknife. Charles McGee, who served nine months in 2006 for sexually abusing a girl in the 1980s, is due in court November 4th to face the new charge. Police were allowed to search McGee's computer and internet usage at any time as a condition of his recognizance.

Suspected Arsonist Breaks Out of Jail (27-Oct-2008)
The woman suspected of starting the fire at Bison Estates in Yellowknife earlier this year has escaped from the women's prison in Fort Smith. Sheila Jewell, along with Toni- Lynn Buggins, broke out through a window at the Territorial Woman's Correctional Centre on Sunday morning. RCMP believe the two women fled the territory immediately by vehicle and are now in Alberta. Both were in prison for property-related crimes. The Bison Estates fire in February destroyed eight apartment units and Jewell is the sole person charged with arson.

RCMP Hoping to Reunite Owners and Bikes (24-Oct-2008)
With winter fast approaching, the RCMP are getting ready to clear their yard of lost and stolen bicycles. RCMP spokesperson, Kathy Law, says that at the end of the month, the RCMP will be holding a bike viewing so that anyone who's lost a bike or had one stolen in the past two months can come and have a look to see if it's being held by the RCMP. But, she says owners will have to prove the bike is theirs. “They’re going to have to bring documentation for proof of ownership such as a bill of sale with the serial number on the bike because almost every bike has a serial number somewhere on it.” Law says they have about 15 to 20 bikes at the moment and they hold them for a period of 60 days. Once those sixty days are up, the bikes are donated to a good cause. “If the bicycles aren’t claimed then the RCMP will be donating them to the Rotary Club for their annual charity bike auction that they hold once a year.” The bike viewing will be held on Thursday, October 30th and any bikes that aren't claimed will be donated the following day.

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