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Tuesday May 26 2015 9 By DALI CARMICHAEL Students across the NWT were encour- aged to step away from modern life to take a look into their pasts in preparation for the 2015 Territorial Heritage Fair. Following competitions at the local and regional level the annual event was held at Chief Albert Wright School in Tulita this year from May 7 to 9 where the best projects from NWT students in Grades 4 through 9 were put on display for a nal round of judgement. Grade 7 student Kea Furniss 13 from Wil- liam McDonald middle school took home the overall award. Her project was dedicated to the history of pictorial indigenous calendars in a French presentation called Les comptes dhiver or winter counts. It felt pretty good because it was a lot of work and this was something that was re- ally interesting to me Furniss said of her win. Theyre pictographic calendars that Plains Indians used to do. They used to choose one event each year so that it was memorable to them and they used to draw it on a bison hide. Furniss was inspired to complete her project on winter counts after encounter- ing them at an Edmonton museum last year. I was with my family visiting Head- Smashed-In-Buffalo Jump - its a museum in Alberta - and I saw they had a win- ter count there one that was done by the Blackfeet Nation and I got really inter- ested. I did more research and chose to do my project on it. Furniss set-up included a variety of el- ements to describe the winter counts. The majority of her project revolved around the work done by the Lakota people who had some of the most comprehensive Youth highlight history at Territorial Heritage Fair EDUCATION HERITAGE information available on their winter counts. I talked about what it was and I talked about the keepers - the people who looked after it and drew on it - and I talked about pictographs she said. She used examples from the Smithson- ian Institutions collection to demonstrate what the calendars look like and how they function. A good sport Furniss said she was im- pressed with the other presentations on display at the territorial nals. There was a lot of cool projects from other places she said. One of my friends did hers on sh preserving and then someone did it on biathlon - thats one of my favourite sports so that was pretty cool. Ministers Awards In addition to Furniss project students from six regions of the NWT were given Min- istersAwardsonbehalfofEducationCulture and Employment Minister Jackson Lafferty. Grade 9 student Dacho Poole from Lutsel Ke took home the South Slave award for his project highlighting the legacy of Chief Akai- tcho. Fort Simpsons Abigail Pascua-Matte a Grade 6 student won in the Dehcho region for her presentation on the communitys old schoolhouse at Bompas Hall. From Yellowknife Lucia Nakehko Grade 6 was recognized for her topical project on the Walking with our Sisters traveling art ex- hibit which honours the lives of missing and murdered indigenous women. Sahtu region representative Sheyla Kunkel also of Grade 6 shone on home turf as the Tulita student who won for her project on Shutaotine elder and storied leader Fred Andrew. From the Tlicho Garra Dryneck a Grade 5 student from Whati won for her work on an ances- tor whom she called The Bravest Woman. From the Beaufort Delta Grade 4 student Angelina Jerome of Inuvik was tapped for her project on her great great grandmother Susie Sydney. All of the winners were clearly passion- ate about their topics of choice something that Furniss saw as a dening factor for the selection of winners. Just work hard and make sure your proj- ect is on something interesting Furniss offered to students angling to compete in future Heritage Fairs. If its no fun to pres- ent or its not fun to do then there isnt re- ally any point. PhotoscourtesyoftheNWTHeritageFairsSociety Angelina Jerome winner of the Ministers Award for the Beaufort Delta presents her project on her great great grandmother Susie Sydney to one of the event judges. Garra Dryneck winner of Ministers Award for the Tlicho region displays her heritage project dedicated to one of her ancestors. Kea Furniss the overall fair winner presents her project Les Comptes Dhivers to the judges. Finalists from this years Territorial Heritage Fair gather in Tulita at Chief Albert Wright School from May 7 to 9. Competitors ranged from Grade 4 to Grade 9 from the South Slave region all the way up to the Beaufort Delta.