Students find their roots in Hay River

Deanna DaRosa, Nicole Irwin, and Sara Buth stand together after telling their stories of how they connect to Hay River on the national day of action through the Girls Action Foundation.
— Angele Cano/NNSL photo

Some younger Hay River residents revealed their connection to the town on Feb 13.
It was part of a Girls Action Foundation project and day of action celebrated across Canada on Feb. 13. Girls across Canada were challenged to tell the stories of how they were connected with their communities by examining their personal histories. While only three girls were brave enough to present, 15 people came out to hear them speak, and share some stories of their own of how they got to Hay River.
Both Nicole Irwin and Deanna Da-Rosa connected with winter sports, specifically skating. They read their poem together of how recreation and sports can be formal and informal in Hay River.
Although Sara Buth’s roots in town are not so deep, there was a lengthy story to how she became a first-generation Hay Riverite.
Line upon line detailed asking her parents to account for their arrival here.
“I wanted to know how my parents moved here and it really bugged me,” said Buth. “Everyone was always busy rushing and getting ready for things. Finally they told me when we sat down to watch my sister play hockey.”
Mother Lynne Buth said her three children wouldn’t have the opportunity to take part in sports if they lived elsewhere. Originally from Saskatchewan, Buth and her husband moved to Hay River together from Haida Gwaii in B.C. Buth said the family’s 22 years in Hay River is the longest she’s lived anywhere in her life, and it’s gone by in the blink of an eye.
“This is a great place for kids, a great place to raise a family,” she said. “You go through the life stages. We went through them from young and having fun to having a young family and we decided this was the place we wanted to stay.”
All of the girls received certificates of participation and feedback from a panel of three women with their own roots in town.
Kim Rapati, for example, told a zany story of how her Hay Riverite boyfriend chased her around the world, and finally she decided it was only fair to return the favour. Marilyn Barnes, meanwhile, came to the North, and eventually Hay River, as a result of a fit of temper from dealing with a colleague in Saskatchewan. She moved north in 1972 and never looked
Bette Lyons was the third member panel.

— Angele Cano