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Canku Ota

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(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


November 1, 2003 - Issue 99


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Enterprising Schoolteachers Win BDC's Young Entrepreneur Award for Nunavut


KUGLUKTUK, Nunavut, Oct. 20 /CNW Telbec/ - The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) today acknowledged the success of Jeanne Scarfe and Russ Sheppard with its 2003 Young Entrepreneur Award for Nunavut. Schoolteachers Jeanne, 26, and Russ, 28, founded The Grizzly Den Inc., a non-profit organization to promote sports, team building and extra-curricular activities for Kugluktuk's youth.

"With increasingly limited entertainment options, it wasn't surprising that the children were bored and getting into trouble," explained Jeanne.

"This was reflected in the classroom as well. Russ and I saw firsthand the need to provide our students with recreational activities."

"Our goal with The Grizzly Den Inc. is to give young people a positive, community-oriented environment where they can enjoy themselves and feel like they belong," added Russ. "In a community as small as Kugluktuk, everyone knows one another and we need to make an extra effort to keep children stimulated and in school."

Although teachers oversee The Grizzly Den Inc., it is the students of Kugluktuk High School that run the organization's activities. Funds, raised through clothing sales, a mini canteen, donations, and an arcade, are used to provide students with recreational opportunities.

Last year, The Grizzly Den Inc. created the first ever Northern Lacrosse Team, which travelled to Edmonton and was named Most Sportsmanlike Team. The organization also sent four athletes to a U19 Team Canada Lacrosse World Cup tryout camp, and 23 athletes and coaches to the Iqaluit/Nuuk Arctic Winter Games.

In order to partake in The Grizzly Den's activities, students must maintain an overall school attendance record of at least 80 percent every two weeks. They must also score at least 7 out of 10 on their performance log, which rates effort in school rather than academic success. In addition, students must maintain a healthy community life, which includes being drug-free.

The Grizzly Den's popularity is changing Kugluktuk for the better. There was a 122 percent increase in overall school attendance at Kugluktuk High School in 2001-2002, compared to the previous school year. Also, at least 30 percent more students are expected to graduate in 2003, compared to 2000.

"Jeanne and Russ epitomize a new generation of young Canadian entrepreneurs who, in creating their organizations, are giving a great deal back to their communities," says BDC President and CEO Michel Vennat. "I salute their drive and determination."

The founders of The Grizzly Den Inc. will be honoured at a ceremony this evening in Halifax, along with other BDC Young Entrepreneur Award winners from across Canada.

About BDC's Young Entrepreneur Awards
BDC's Young Entrepreneur Awards celebrate this year's winners with the theme: YOU'RE THE POWER behind the Canadian economy, let's share the energy! It recognizes the achievements of Canadian businesspeople between the ages of 19 and 35, paying tribute to a young entrepreneur from each province and territory. Winners are chosen by a selection committee, based on a number of criteria that range from operating success and innovation to involvement in the new economy, community work and export performance.

The new BDC Ongoing Achievement Award, presented to a YEA winner between 1988 and 2002 whose business has continued to grow steadily since receiving the award, will be given during the BDC Forum on Tuesday, October 21. The names of the winners of the Laurentian Bank Export Achievement Award - for the most outstanding export results -, and the Bell Creative Mind Award - for having shown daring and originality in the creation, marketing or promotion of a product and/or service and giving the business an edge over the competition, therefore ensuring growth -, will be announced during the evening of October 21st.

Winners of the 2003 Young Entrepreneur Awards will also be invited to the second BDC Forum, where they will have an opportunity to meet senior BDC executives, distinguished academics and business leaders who have made their mark in a specific business sector. The BDC Consulting Group will also hold information sessions for this year's winners.

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  Canku Ota is a free Newsletter celebrating Native America, its traditions and accomplishments . We do not provide subscriber or visitor names to anyone. Some articles presented in Canku Ota may contain copyright material. We have received appropriate permissions for republishing any articles. Material appearing here is distributed without profit or monetary gain to those who have expressed an interest. This is in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.  

Canku Ota is a copyright © 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 of Vicki Lockard and Paul Barry.

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