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Wednesday November 25 2015 5 COLUMNS 15 Years Ago... Mackenzie River crossings Premier Stephen Kakfwi and Western Arctic MP Ethel Blondin-Andrew have announced 3.7 million in federal funding for the completion of permanent river crossings alongtheMackenzieHighwayswinterextensionbetween Wrigley and Fort Good Hope. Funding for the two-year project approved by Indian Affairs and Northern Devel- opment minister Robert Nault comes in response to the GNWTsNon-RenewableResourceDevelopmentStrategy. Issue November 21 2000 20 Years Ago... TB outbreak in Lutsel Ke A recent outbreak of tuberculosis in Lutsel Ke has medical ofcials across the North monitoring other communities. Over 30 cases of tuberculosis TB have been recorded in the North so far this year but 19 of those were found in Lutsel Ke since August says Andr Corriveau chief medical ofcer for the western NWT. Issue November 21 1995 30 Years Ago... Fort Smith may lose Social Services to Pine Point A plan to move the regional ofce of the Department of Social Services from Fort Smith to Pine Point is being considered by the government executive in meetings this week in Yellowknife. There is nothing ofcial as of yet said Bruce McLaughlin the Minister of Social Services. McLaughlin is also the MLA for Pine Point. Issue November 21 1985 ARCHIVES Northern Journal 2015 Join us online Like Northern Journal on Facebook and get the weekly news delivered to your feed FACEBOOK FEEDBACK Enterprise eyes an expansion of its population of about 120 with a signicant milestone on the road to the NWTs rst wood pellet mill coming up. Enterprise eyes expansion with pellet land deal signing on horizon Joanne Hirst-Adams This is wonder- ful... for everyone in the area... LOVE seeing the Northern communities grow. The questions concerned public service job safety and public-private partnerships P3s such as the one that will see a private company build and manage the new Stanton Territorial Hospital in Yellowknife. Union confronts GNWT job cut rumours in election survey Patricia Sepp Why are they using tax- payer money to build privately operated Hospital Something is crooked First Nations must demand no privately oper- ating services By DAWN KOSTELNIK Allen hunts the giant Arc- tic snowshoe hares out on the tundra behind our house. While he is out hunting rab- bits he hears strange noises. Soundcarrieswellonthetun- dra and in the cold clear air. He follows his ears and nds a den in the vast and frozen tundra. These babies have White Girl Soldiers of God crawled out of an entrance that is barely visible in the white drifts. Snow has blown inandcoveredmostoftheen- trance to the den. It appears that the mother has not been here for days. He walks back ward and begins to circle the den. There are no tracks. The mothermustbedeadthereis nosignofher.Shewouldnever leave her babies by choice. The creatures have in- stinctively sought refuge back in their frosty home. He reacheshishandintotheden cautiously.Mommaybeinside and wounded... she will give him a good chew if she can. Slowlyhereachesinonetwo three whimpering babies are stashed in his parka three pompoms of plush grey fur. What are they Allen What will you do with them can we have one Theyarebabywhitefoxes. They look pretty grey to us. They get white as they get older. What do you feed them Canned milk and seal oil. They are hungry all of the time.Ithinktheyarestarved You kids can help me feed them. Like the Pied Piper he heads towards Graces house with a herd of kids in tow. P.S. It is stories like this onethatmakemerealizehow partsofmychildhoodwereas- tonishing. Some of the things thatweallexperiencedaschil- dren are gone and will never be seen again. Take nothing forgranted.Protectourearth. www.thewhitegirl.ca By STEPHEN KAKFWI The phrase Water is Life iscommonplaceintheNorth- west Territories. It is still the Indigenous way of thinking and how we relate to each other and our place in the universe. The words can be heard spoken around dinner tables in community halls andevenechoingoffthewalls of the Legislative Assembly. This week NWT residents once again reafrmed the importance of those words. A poll released Monday by Ducks Unlimited Canada conrms the vast majority of people in the territory place the health of water high above other pressing matters like resource extraction and want to see their regulatory system strengthened not streamlined. A simplistic reading of the pollresultsmightsuggestthat NWTresidentsareopposedto industrial development. This is not the case. Rather most Northernersrejectthenotion that economic development shouldrequiretheweakening ofenvironmentalprotections. They give the clear mandate that jobs and prosperity must not come at the cost of land water and wildlife voicing environmental concerns as second only to cost of living. It is no secret that the ter- ritory is facing a downturn in resource activity. Let us capitalize on this lull to set the stage for future devel- opment to ensure it is done right and reects the wishes of Northerners. We must take this time to build up our communities strengths in environmental protection and monitoring creating jobs for our people on the land. The work that is currently underway to estab- lishatrainingprogramforIn- digenousBorealGuardiansto manageourprotectedareasin the NWT is a key example of economic opportunities that canemergefromconservation. This is our opportunity to conduct a proper assessment ofhydraulicfracturingtolook to other jurisdictions for an- swersandtoincludethepublic in the review process. Let us ensure that the negotiations of outstand- ing Indigenous rights are completed along with land use planning during the life of the 18th Assembly as two-thirds of NWT resi- dents are demanding. This will both secure a positive future for Indigenous gov- ernments and create cer- tainty for investors. The territorial government has already taken many ac- tions to ensure our land and water is protected for all time. Important policies like the NWT Water Strategy the bilateral water agreements being negotiated with our neighbours and the Pro- tected Areas Strategy show a rm commitment to conser- vation and the protection of our life-source. With 63 per cent of residents asking for at least half of NWT lands and waters to be protected this work must continue. Recently elected Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has promised to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the recommen- dations of the Truth and Rec- onciliation Commission and more importantly to deal with Aboriginal governments on a nation-to-nation basis. For many years the chiefs of the Dene Nation refused to have a relationship with what was formerly the Ter- ritorial Council. In 1978 a motion was made to have Dene representatives put their names forward to be elected as territorial repre- sentatives forever chang- ing the way forward for the Government of the North- west Territories. We have come a long way in starting to build a nation- to-nation relationship. This work must continue. Our new MLAs must reect on and honour that history as they seek ways to work with our Inuvialuit Mtis and Dene governments to develop a collective vision and pave the road for the 18th Assem- bly that prioritizes land use planning and protection. Stephen Kakfwi is a for- mer premier of the North- west Territories and presi- dent of the Dene Nation. He currently serves as president and CEO of Canadians for a New Partnership. Mining lull offers new MLAs rare chance to reset resource economy Its time to protect our lands as nation-to-nation partners