Dawson City, Yukon Friday, December 10, 1999

The Han Drummers and Singers were on hand as part of the celebrations honouring Older Persons on November 27. Photo by Dan Davidson

Feature Stories

Seniors Celebrated at Gerties
Peggy Kormendy Honoured by Commissioner
The Klondike Institute of Arts and Culture Opens its Doors
Speak - The Audience was Listening
Dawson District Renewable Resources Council
Round Raven! Round Raven!
New Berton House Writer
FH Collins Dominate Volleyball's Senior Divisions in Dawson

Welcome to the December 10th on-line edition of the Klondike Sun. This is the abridged version of our Dec. 7th hardcopy edition, which was 20 pages long, containing 24 photographs and 24 news stories, the cartoon strips "Paws", and "City Snickers", and our regular homemade Klondike Krossword puzzle. Getting a subscription (see the home page) is the only way you'll ever see it all.

Seniors Celebrated at Gerties

by City of Dawson staff

The Seniors Celebration hosted on Saturday November 27, 1999 went over very well. There were a few glitches, but in the end everything worked out for the best. All in all everyone present seemed to enjoy themselves.

There were three plaques presented, two by Mayor Everitt and one by Commissioner Judy Gingell. Mayor Everitt presented the first plaque to Wallace Caselman for his dedication and service to the people of Dawson. Unfortunately Mr. Caselman was unable to attend the celebration and therefor Mayor Everitt will personally present it to him later in the week.

The second plaque went to (a quote from Mayor Everitt) "a nice young lady" by the name of Nancy Taylor. This plaque was presented by Mayor Everitt to Mrs. Taylor for her years of dedication and service to the citizens of our community.

Commissioner Judy Gingell presented the Community Volunteer Award to Peggy Kormendy. Judy Gingell gave a very warm speech about Mrs. Kormendy and all she has contributed to our community. Mrs. Kormendy received the plaque and passed on a few wise words herself.

Thank you to all the people who volunteered to help make this celebration a great success. Thank you to Marg & Lee from the Nursing Station; your help was greatly appreciated. A big thank you to Laura Lynn for all her help and support from the start to finish. You were absolutely fabulous and we appreciate all you did for us to keep everything together. Thank you to MacDonald Lodge for your transportation services and help with this event. The Robert Service School Choir and Band did a beautiful performance, thank you all.

Now about those grads that participated, you four were awesome. You are going to go a long ways in life. All of you are fantastic workers. Thank you so much!

And a special thank you to all you businesses out there who, once again, made such great donations to make our celebration a success:

Maximilians, Klondike Nugget & Ivory, Dawson Hardware Store, Curly's Hair Shop, A Ray of Sunshine, Dawson City Museum, Gold City Travel, Klondike Visitors Association, Klondike Centennial Society, Downtown Hotel, Beaver Lumber, Eldorado Hotel, Bonanza Market, Tr'ondek Hwech'in, Raven's Nook, Riverwest, Canada Post, The Grubstake, Tintina Bakery and Northern Superior.

Thank you to the Tr'ondek Hwech'in Chief & Council, Han Dancers & Drummers as well as Freda Roberts for your support, contributions and assistance to achieve our goal. We are a community united.

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Peggy Kormendy Honoured by Commissioner

by Dan Davidson


Peggy Kormendy receives her Volunteers Award from Commissioner Judy Gingell. Photo by Dan Davidson

Commissioner Judy Gingell told her Dawson audience that she was very happy to be at the Older Person's gathering in Diamond Tooth Gerties on November 27

"We've always looked to the elders for their wisdom, guidance and vision," she told the crowd, and added that she has always counted on this factor in her public life.

But Gingell had another special reason for being in Dawson that day. The Commissioner's Office has a number of annual awards which are given out for public service and bravery, but a new award, created just recently, honours volunteers.

A Dawson elder was to be one of the first people to receive this award.

"The individual we'd like to recognize is someone who has been very helpful, has dedicated a lot of her own personal time and has helped people in the community. She has worked quite greatly with the Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in first nation, with the youth, with the drumming and at community meetings and teaching traditional values.

With that introduction Gingell named Peggy Kormendy as the winner of this most recent award.

Gingell said that when she met Kormendy earlier in the she commented on her warms and wondered if she had really good gloves. Joking, Peggy replied, "No. It's my warm heart."

"Well, I agree with her," Gingell told the room. "She does have a very warm heart."

Peggy Kormendy had a few words she wanted to share with the room.

"First of all I want to say that we have these young people - it doesn't matter what race they are - in our community. We're a small community and I think we all have to work together for the future of our young people today and try and help them deal with their problems. This is what I'd like to see."

Peggy said she is writing down what she knows of the tales and information from her mother, an NWT woman, as well as from elders in this community.

"I'm sad to say that I can't speak my mother's tongue, but what I do now is for my grandkids. I write it down - pages and pages of what I know of my background and from the elders.

"Sometimes people get too busy and it's nice to write down these things... and I'm making a book for them, for their future. Someday, maybe the whole community will benefit from it."

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The Klondike Institute of Arts and Culture Opens its Doors

by Dan Davidson


The actors from the play "Speak" take a bow in the spacious ball room. Photo by Dan Davidson

The freshly christened Klondike Institute of Art and Culture (KIAC) opened its doors on the evening of Sunday, November 22, to its very first live theatre performance.

Nakai Theatre's production of the Greg Nelson play, "Speak", was the first official event in what the board of the Dawson City Arts Society hopes will be a long list of many events to come.

The choice was both fortuitous and symbolic, since DCAS and KIAC hope to "speak" for the arts throughout the territory in a major way over the years to come, developing into a centre for educational and cultural growth that will attract teachers, students and performers from far and wide as well as from right here at home.

Gary Parker, executive director of DCAS, welcomed the sell-out crowd to the almost totally completed grand ballroom on the second floor of the Oddfellows Building. Aside from the wiring for the removable chandeliers and the completed plaster cast mouldings for the upper wall trim, the large room looks much as it will when it will be finished.

DCAS president Greg Hakonson explained that the chandeliers will be removable, and it will be possible to pop them out of the ceiling and hide them in their storage area whenever the space is needed for lighting.

For "Speak" wiring for the light was extension cords hung from the ceiling mounted light supports, but that will not be necessary in the future.

DCAS has already decided to mount a big community event for New Year's eve. While it has been known locally by the playful name of the Oddball, the organizing committee has decided it will be a gala affair with millennium implications, a dress ball in which people will be asked to come as any historical figure from the last 2000 years.

The ball room will feature dancing to some of the greatest hits of the last two thousand years, beginning with very early music and probably ending with some variation on rock and roll. In the first floor rooms there will be an all night lounge and buffet, and one room where the nicotine challenged can seek relief.

Tickets (not on sale yet) will be $40 per person and there will be a limit of 200.

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Speak - The Audience was Listening

by Palma Berger


James hides while Lloyd and Sarah discuss her book. Photo by Dan Davidson

There was a standing ovation at the end of this play. The audience had sat riveted throughout except for laughter now and again, and this was a release for them as well as a show of appreciation for a great play, performed by three exceptional actors. The play is the first ever to be performed in the Klondike Institute of Arts and Culture which is to say, the Oddfellows Hall under its new beginnings. Nakai Theatre staged the play in Whitehorse for the previous three weeks, where it was produced by Michael Clark who accompanied it to Dawson. The author, Greg Nelson, could not make it.

It was thanks to a lot of effort by Dominic Lloyd that it managed to get here, and due thanks were given him.

The play was not on a stage, it was in the centre of the ball-room and audiences' chairs were three sides of a square which surrounded the 'stage', so the entrances and exits were from different corners of the performing area. The props were minimal but used to great effect. The first actor Lloyd is an older slim, blue-eyed man who carries himself like one to be trusted. But then he breaks into a tirade against the corruption in the world, tosses girlie magazines on to the floor. He certainly displays his command of words.

The music changes the mood and the rest of the cast, James and Sarah enter and face each other. They are a married couple but this meeting is confrontational. Sarah leaves, and the scene shifts and James and Lloyd confront each other. James is distinctly ill at ease, and Lloyd, the more poised one who has such a way with words is in charge of this meeting. He reminisces about when James was part of his law-firm, thus making James more uncomfortable. The audience do not yet know what has happened in the past. Lloyd mentions that "Jane is doing better. No longer suicidal". The audience can tell that this is the bitter pill for James, because he squirms even more uncomfortably.

Lloyd has a past too, but has changed because 'of becoming a Christian'. A squirming James explains he too has changed because of Sarah, 'like Christ, you know'.

As the scenes unfold, Lloyd and Sarah meet each other. Lloyd likes Sarah's book. 'Such honesty,' he exclaims. It is this natural honesty that does not let Sarah be swayed by any of Lloyd's intentions. As she and Lloyd discuss a possible scenario for the new book, the story comes out of what it is in James' past which Lloyd finds hard to forgive. These real characters from Lloyd's past are given false names by Lloyd as the story unfolds in the form of the new scenario. Lloyd's teenage daughter had become pregnant by James, who left her. It is unclear who forced the girl to have an abortion which has affected her mentally, but Lloyd is in denial that he had anything to do with it. Although the wife was appalled. Now Lloyd has lost his job as a lawyer, his wife and the affections of his daughter.

As the situations in the play see-saw back and forth the play always stays strongly focussed. James eventually believes in himself, maturing, and takes a stand against Lloyd.

Sarah becomes stronger also. The scene where she handles the slimy Lloyd so well was most appreciated. Yet she was also strong enough to accept James back on her terms, more or less.

Lloyd remains the ultimate survival politician who believes that since words can make such an affect that is all that really matters, not the rights or wrongs of a situation.

The play as a play was developed beautifully, and kept the audience guessing. The three actors Amanda Leslie, Stephen Sparks and Ken Bolton all gave strong performances, with Ken Bolton as really outstanding. The audience enjoyed being able to mingle with the actors afterwards, and in fact were loath to leave.

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Dawson District Renewable Resources Council

Greetings from your Dawson district Renewable Resources Council (DDRRC)! your local Renewable Resources Council is dedicated to the management of renewable resources Issues in the Tr'ondek Hwech'in Traditional Territory. The DDRRC is very pleased to welcome our newest member to our council. As a reminder, here are your Dawson District Renewable Resources Council members:

Angie Joseph- Rear - Chair
Bill Bowie - Vice Chair
Bruce Taylor
Marcia Jordan
James Roberts
Aedes Scheer
Clara (Sis) Van Bibber
Jake Duncan

All the members of the DDRRC are ready to hear their community's beef and bouquets on Renewable Resources Management in the Dawson District. Please feel free to drop by our office located in the Mme. Tremblay building and give your input to our Executive Secretariat- Gwen E. Hogarth- she always has the coffee on and a warm welcome. The DDRRC has regular council meetings twice a month and the community is encouraged to attend. Meeting notices with agenda details and highlights are posted in the Post Office as well as on the front of our offices. We hope to see you there.

Your council has been very busy dealing with many community Renewable Resources matters.

Dawson City was pleased to host the Porcupine Caribou Management Board Meeting on Nov. 3 and 4 1999. James Roberts is the Tr'ondek Hwech'in appointee to the Porcupine Caribou Management Board and Bruce Taylor along with Gwen Hogarth attended the lively two day meeting. Among issues discussed were the 500 meter Dempster Highway hunting corridor and the Dempster Highway closure. Please let us know what your thoughts are on these issues.

Your council also took part in the Federal Sustainable Strategies Workshop in Whitehorse on Nov. 15 and 16 1999 along with five other Renewable Resources Councils the respective First Nations and the Fish and Wildlife Management Council would like to thank the council for Yukon First Nations for sponsoring this important workshop.

The Annual Renewable Resources Councils Meeting was held in Haines Junction from Nov. 24-26/99 and Angie Joseph-Rear, Bill Bowie and Gwen Hogarth attended. The gathering of all Renewable Resource Councils provides a much needed opportunity to exchange information and familiarize other Councils in the Yukon with our respective community concerns. Issues discussed ranged from effective methods of community consultation to Outfitters Quotas to Forest Management. Copies of the minutes of this meeting and the action items arising from it will be available in the DDRRC office in the new year. Your Council is pleased to announce that Dawson City will see the arrival of six Renewable Resources Councils to attend the 2000/2001 Annual Renewable Resources Council Meeting in November of 2000. Your DDRRD is proud to host this event and provide our community with the benefits of a large meeting in our winter shoulder season. Watch this column for more information!

Time is flying and the Christmas Season is upon us. Your renewable Resource Council invites you to come out and meet your Council members at our Christmas Open House. The DDRRC Open House will he held on Thursday, December 16/99 from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM in the DDRRC Council Office (corner of King and Third). Please come by for some stimulating conversation on Renewable Resources issues.

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Round Raven! Round Raven!

by Kim Adams


If you've been wondering what it looks like inside Berton House, here's you chance to see. The living room was packed during the recent open house/poetry reading. Photo by Dan Davidson

About 30 enthusiastic Dawsonites crowded into Berton House on Thursday evening, November 25th to feast on finger foods, literature and song. Elaine Henderson sang her original melodies and accompanied herself on guitar at the beginning and end of the evening, to appropriately abundant applause. Local writers and literature enthusiasts presented a poetry Round Raven, reading selected connected pieces aloud. Carmine Starnino, then resident writer, began the literary conversation weeks earlier by selecting one of his poems and passing it on to me. I selected one of my poems which is connected to Carmine's, and passed it on to Bonnie Nordling. Bonnie in turn wrote a poem in response to mine, and passed it on to Jim Kincaid. The cycle continued through a total of 8 people, until it reached full circle with Carmine book-ending the whole process & performance with another of his poems.

Three of Mike Yuhasz's original oil paintings now grace the walls of Berton House, and will be displayed there for the next several months. Vern Spangler's $100 bid at the evening's silent auction secured him a copy of Pierre Berton's Klondike Quest, 100th anniversary edition, autographed and donated by the author. Proceeds go to help pay the Berton House fuel bill. Thank you to everyone who participated, provided refreshments, and/or attended, thus making the first ever Berton House Open House, an exceptionally fine evening and a definite success! A special thank you goes out to Sylvie Martin, my charming and cooperative Relief Librarian, who kept the Library open so I could be at Berton House all Thursday evening.

The evening's ample edibles and beverages were appreciated, especially by Carmine who was able to enjoy many of the leftovers before his Wednesday December 1st departure. Carmine is creative and charming company, whose culture shock quickly melted in warmth of our Northern hospitality. His intelligence and amiability will be missed. Now he's back to his home in Montreal to take comfort in the skyscrapers, shopping, and urban setting.

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New Berton House Writer

by Kim Adams

The newest writer to become resident at Berton House arrives in the Yukon next week. Darlene St. Pierre will be traveling from Vancouver where she lives with her husband Nick Adams. (As far as I know, Nick and I are not related). Darlene is a free-lance journalist who usually writes non-fiction. She plans to spend her Berton House residency, from December through February, working on the final draft of her first novel. We'll be planning an upcoming reading/literary evening where you'll be able to come and hear her work. Do keep reading this column and looking about the town for announcements about this impending event.

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FH Collins Dominate Volleyball's Senior Divisions in Dawson

by Dan Davidson


The RSS Junior Girls hard at work during the tournament. Photo by Dan Davidson

Another step towards the Yukon Volleyball Championships has come and gone, and while teams from Whitehorse dominated the results at the Dawson Invitational Tournament, there was still a strong showing from some of the rural teams.

In the women's division there were three age classes. The squad from Porter Creek defeated a challenge from Robert Service School to take the 7/8 gold. In the 9/10 class it was Whitehorse all the way, with FH Collins beating Vanier for the gold. FH only managed a silver medal at the 11/12 level, with Porter Creek capturing the top spot.

In the men's division Faro's Del Van Gorder School showed that its spirit is still strong, defeating Porter Creek in the finals to take gold. The 9/10 class came down to a contest between Mayo's JV Clarke School and FH Collins, with the latter taking the top spot. In the senior 11/12 category it was a city shootout once again, with FHC beating Porter Creek in the final match.

As always the weekend, which began on Thursday evening and ran to Saturday night, was a great success. Twenty-eight teams took part in the tournament this year, which involved about 250 players and probably another 50 volunteers. Teams from Robert Service were joined by those from Mayo, Faro, Carmacks and Whitehorse.

The RSS grad class ran a dance for all players on the Friday evening and the Young Women Exploring Careers group looked after the concession on both Friday and Saturday.

The event itself was organized primarily by Mr. Dragoman's grade 11/12 Physical Education class as a part of their course work.

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