NWT climate goals cant raise cost of living premier NWT Premier Bob McLeod says the rest of Canada needs to recognize the Norths chal- lenges when it comes to reduc- ing greenhouse gas emissions. See page 3. NWT boarders catch air at territorials in Yellowknife Youth aged 14-18 are already prepping for slots on the team that will head to the 2016 Arctic Winter Games in Greenland. See page 19. TALKS COLLAPSE Strike continues after failed negotiations in Hay River. See page 2. Fort Smith Fishing Derby organizers retire after 25 years Barb and Richard Mercredi are hoping to do a little more shing and a lot less work at next years shing derby after overtwodecadesoforganizing. See page 10. Northern farm school sprouting new growers Classes are set to begin this weekend at the Northern Farm Training Institute in Hay River where a new crop of students is starting seeds. See page 7. V IS IT W W W .N O R J.C A A national award winning independent newspaper serving northern Alberta and the Northwest Territories since 1977 1.00 April 21 2015 Vol. 38 No. 49 South Slave bison TB study ofcially axed as scientists remove tracer collars By DALI CARMICHAEL A study examining tuberculosis TB and brucellosis in Wood Buf- falo National Park WBNP bison herds has been cancelled at the behest of local indigenous groups. Scientists were hoping to study more reliable means of diagnos- ing buffalo with the diseases but members of Smiths Landing First Nation SLFN Salt River First Na- tion SRFN and the Fort Smith Mtis Council stated they were improperly consulted. The groups pulled the plug on the project which was headed by Adam Her- ing a Masters student at the Uni- versity of Saskatchewans school of veterinary medicine and Parks Canada wildlife health specialist Todd Shury. These kind of things are maybe hard to do but they have to be done said Fort Smith Mtis Council presi- dent Ken Hudson. There has to be proper consultation in place. The Journal reached out to Parks Canada SRFN and SLFN for com- ment but received no response be- fore press time. A skin test is the only method currently available to check bison for TB and brucellosis though sci- entists agree the practice is not very reliable. Alternatively the research- ers were looking into ve different blood tests already used to check for diseases in cattle. It would have been administered to around 200 older male bison over the course of three years both from the South Slave herd and from bison located in southern parts of the park. After a period of time the ani- mals would have been culled and samples taken in for necropsy the only reliable way to conrm an in- fection and to determine the ef- fectiveness of those blood tests. Any meat clean of infection would have been handed out to local in- digenous groups. This past winter 29 bison were sedated and given the blood and skin tests tagged to signify to hunt- ers they were part of the study and tted with tracking collars. By the end of March the study was can- celled at least for 2015. After some debate it was decided the collars would be removed for the long-termsafetyoftheanimals.Her- ing said he was hesitant to take off the devices in the warmer weather worried about how the stress might impact the health of the animals. Ultimately the removals were suc- cessful and all but one of the col- lars retrieved Hering believed its battery had died in the eld. The captures all went really well. Wedidnthaveanyinjurieshesaid. Therewasoneanimalthathaddied in between the period - there was a wolfkill-sowerecoveredthatcollar as well. All of the ones that we cap- tured the chase times were all very shorttheanimalsbodytemperatures werereallyverymuchwithinaccept- able range so we were really pleased with how it all turned out. While removing the collars the scientists determined through the skin test that about 70 per cent of the bison appeared to have TB matching their hypothesis. Theresearchersrequestedtolethally removethecollarstosavesomepartof theexperimentHeringsaidbutwere rejected by the indigenous groups. If we had been able to lethally remove the collars we would have gotten results for the animals that were killed Hering said. It would give early indications of what we might expect to see after getting the nal numbers. We were hoping for 70-80 infected animals in the study over three years and the infected animals would count towards that. Without lethally removing any col- lars we cant say for sure which of the animals were infected. See Future on page 3. PhotoMeaganWohlberg Author Richard Van Camp left and local actor Joel Evans gift a raven from the set of The Lesser Blessed lm to the Northern Life Museum and Cultural Centre in Fort Smith. The NWT-born author was in his hometown for a book reading signing and lm screening last Monday. See page 11.