Summarized by Kent Larsen
LDS High School Student Wins Award For Book
Northern News Services (Yellowknife Canada Yellowknifer) 2Feb00 P2
By Cindy MacDougall: Northern News Services
YELLOWKNIFE, CANADA -- 17-year-old LDS Church member Ryan Silke has been
honored by the City of Yellowknife with its 1999 Heritage Award for his
book on the forgotten mine sites in the region. Silke has a passion for
old mining sites, and the passion developed into a book published last
Silke lived at the old Con camp site as an infant, and has somehow
developed a passion for old mine sites since then, "There's a certain
flair to visiting an old property when, 50 years ago, there was quite an
operation there," said Silke. "I'm interested in the change from then
to now, over 50 years. The visual history."
As he came upon old mine sites on trips into the bush, Silke started
researching their background, and was surprised to find that there was
little information available about them. "I couldn't find a book on the
subject," he said. "Someone had to do it, you know? I started looking
for information for my own use. I wasn't looking to publish a book, but
people got wind of it and asked me to do it."
And now Silke's book, "Report on Mine Sites in the Yellowknife Region,"
has been recognized by the City of Yellowknife. City councilors praised
the work, which includes 100 pages of hand-drawn maps, photos and
information. "I think it's a wonderful piece of work," said Coun. Kevin
O'Reilly. "I particularly enjoyed the maps."
An LDS City Coun., Robert Slaven, said he wasn't surprised that Silke
could produce the professional-quality book, "I've known Ryan since he
was three or four," Slaven said, "and we always knew he was bright. You
sort of expect this award to be given to an older person. Usually
younger people are not into this type of thing."
Silke had help from Joe Heimbach, a Department of Indian Affairs and
Northern Development archive geologist, who edited the report. Heimbach
is also impressed by Silke's work and interest in mining heritage. "I
wish the youth of today would be more motivated to do things like this,"
Heimbach said. "Ryan shouldn't be an oddity for following his passion."
But Silke shrugs off the praise, "I didn't do it for anyone else," he
said shyly. "I did it for me."