by Echo Dene school students beat out more than 100,000 across Canada.
A Web site http://188.8.131.52 created by students was named the National Grassroots Committee's project of the
month for September.
Leo Ehrenberg's Grade 5/6 class created the site last year, which features cultural aspects of Fort Liard, and
registered it with SchoolNet. It was initially named project of the week for Sept. 4. It then went on to capture
the monthly award and is now enshrined in the GrassRoots' Hall of Fame.
"It's incredible the amount of work they did on that," said Ehrenberg, who added the site was part of
a social studies project on culture. "And they learned some technology to boot."
The students received a great deal of traditional knowledge from Fort Liard resident Eva Hope.
They have sections on birch-bark baskets, plant use, plant dyes, and stories about the raven and the chickadee.
They explain how snowshoes and moose hides are used and have an on-line photo album. There's also an introduction
to Fort Liard. They even created an audio feature where Slavey words can be heard.
Janine Hardisty, who transcribed a story about a raven and assisted with the old photos, said she and her classmates
have received compliments on the project.
"Some people have said that it's really good work ... I learned more about the legends and stories and what
went on a long time ago," she said, adding that she enjoys working with computers and hopes to create more
Web pages in the future.
Jonathon McLeod, the team's "expert scanner," typed the text for a page on moose hides. Dustin Hope also
helped with the scanning, story writing and on the computer. Phillip Betthale Jr. and Junior Lomen were the artists
among the group. Tiffany Berreault, Janetha Berreault and Ashley Lomen conducted the interviews, did research and
Trevor McLeod and Stacey McLeod wrote good stories and typed up text. Alaina Duntra designed the tree logo, drew
one of the pictures and did some writing. Darren Klondike and Kyle Bertrand assisted in scanning, photography and
The students reaped rewards for their efforts. They received Encarta Encyclopedia software, another $240 worth
of software and $300 in cash. The money is being divided equally among the students to purchase reading material
at a book fair, Ehrenberg said.
He isn't through with Internet projects yet. He's planning to have his Grade 4 class design a site for the school.
Sample some of the traditional skills, stories and crafts which make
up Dene life and culture in the Fort Liard area of Canada's Northwest Territories. Collected and presented by class
5/6 at Echo Dene School as a Grassroots Project for Schoolnet Canada.
Ft. Liard, Northwest Territories, Canada