Education

Northerners help girl in PEI with school project


Many students need help with their homework from time to time. For one girl in Prince Edward Island, that meant turning to people in the Northwest Territories.

Last month, Lori Wakelin’s daughter Lily – who is in the fourth grade – was assigned a project on the territory. While some information was easy to find, like the capital city, coat of arms, and territorial flower, they decided to take their research a bit further.

Wakelin posted to the page of a Yellowknife Facebook group on Lily’s behalf, asking northerners to share stories and fun facts about the territory.

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“We really wanted to dig a little deeper and find out what the people who live there had to say about their home, what they like, and what was interesting,” she explained.

Northerners obliged. The post ended up receiving more than a hundred responses.

“We definitely had way more responses than I ever expected. It was just really fantastic,” Wakelin said. 

Lily’s favourite story was that Yellowknife has a bylaw forbidding anyone from owning a lion in town, after a resident had a pet lion in the 1970s called Sheba.

She also giggled over the fact that in 1996, some NWT residents voted to change the territory’s name to Bob. She got to explore the legend of a monster in Great Slave Lake named Ol’ Slavey. 

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Lily said she “felt pretty awesome” about being assigned the NWT for her project.

It was also a hit with her teacher and classmates, who liked the territory’s signature polar-bear licence plate.

“I’m pretty sure she gave it a 10 out of nine. She liked it a lot,” Lily said of her teacher. 

Lily found it interesting that the territory has 11 official languages, and that Great Slave Lake is the deepest lake in North America – but people can drive on it in the winter. She also learned about the territorial bird, the gyrfalcon.

“What’s interesting about it is the females are bigger than the males,” she said. 

Wakelin said she’s thankful for everyone in the NWT that helped with Lily’s project. 

“These stories were really helpful to sort-of fill in the gaps of doing a search on Google.”

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