Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
April 27, 2009
K of C link into native community culture
As numbers fell, the Yellowknife Knights adopted a more public image
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER
YELLOWKNIFE, NWT – Despite a year and a half of inactivity, the Knights of Columbus in Yellowknife are now striving to rekindle their involvement in the community.
Knights from Father Gathy Council #7725 were involved in the annual Caribou Carnival, March 27-29.
Defining life in Canada’s Far North since 1955, the carnival’s past has featured the rich smell of caribou stew and the thump of Dene drums from the handgames tent.
But the event has since faded over the years to a ghost of its former self – its waning popularity paralleling that of the local Knights. Both the carnival organizers and the Knights have been trying to change all that.
The Knights, along with the assistance of some schoolchildren, caught fish locally and set up tent at the carnival.
THE TRADITIONAL WAY
“They learned some traditional skills. They put nets out and provided us with the fish. The buffalo, in fact, came from a culling of a herd that’s along the highway down near Providence, supervised by the wildlife people. So we got that as our buffalo meat,” explained Grand Knight John Dalton.
The Knights then sold northern fish chowder, buffalo stew, hot dogs, hamburgers and hot apple cider at the carnival.
Food sales that day brought in almost $1,000. The money goes towards the club’s debt payments, scholarship program and financial assistance for a group of parishioners going to Africa.
“A lot of our funds go out into the community and projects of that nature,” said Dalton.
The Caribou Carnival, set on frozen Frame Lake, has been an annual event for 54 years, and it has been a fulfilling experience for all ages.
“It’s an event to sort of celebrate the coming of spring. It’s in association with the Canadian Dog Derby Championship, which is a three-day event, a 150-mile dog team race,” Dalton said.
Dog teams from all over the world participated in the race. Other events included snowmobile races, Carnival Queen contest, ice-sculpting contest, children’s activities and an impressive fireworks display set to music.
This year’s event also provided opportunity for service clubs, charity organizations and sports teams to do fundraising.
This was especially true for the local Knights, trying to revitalize interest in the council and become more active in community events.
“The council is looking to become more active publicly, so we will endeavour to have booths at these events from this point on. We have a spring fair coming up, in which we’ll also have a booth. We’re looking at a couple of other projects to give the Knights a greater visibility,” said Dalton.
The Knights will help organize a barbecue and a weekend carnival in conjunction with St. Patrick Church’s jubilee celebration in June. More than 1,000 people are expected to attend. The carnival will feature activities for children.
“We have always been active in the parish ever since the Knights started out here. We have been active as individuals, and different times as an organization, depending on what years,” said Dalton. “Now we are starting up again, and we’ve got things planned. We’re rebuilding, reforming. There are lots of opportunities to go out and provide the witness as far as the Knights being a community-centred, family-centred organization.”