Monday, September 15, 2014

Welcome to Napatak from the Napatak Community Association

Welcome to Napatak

from the

Napatak Community Association

(updated Sept 15, 2014)
Welcome to Napatak. We are the Napatak Community Association, and we’d like to tell you about our community and our association.

Your community association

Who we are

Your community association is made up of all the residents, landowners and lessees at Napatak. We elect an executive, and have an annual meeting each year on the Sunday of the May long weekend.
The community association advises Northern Municipal Affairs, which governs our community. We have no decision-making or spending power, but the NMD usually asks for and listens to our advice about spending and projects.
The executive for 2014-15 is:
·      Maureen Bingham (President) (306) 425-2569 or cell (306) 292-9206 or email
·      Laurence Thompson (Vice President) – Bylaws
·      Tracey Fesiuk (Secretary)
·      Laura Johnston - Roads and Natural Gas
·      Jody Watt - Emergency Preparedness
·      Nicole L’ Heureux - Boat Launches and Recreation
·      Kona Guest - Sewage Lagoon and Brush Dumps, and Recreation

What we do

Your executive members are elected at the annual meeting for three-year terms. We are all volunteers. Each executive member has taken on responsibility for one of the community association portfolios. The main functions of the community association and its executive are:
·      Roads: maintenance, snow clearing, and signs on the local loops that run off the two main access roads (Waskos, Niskemin, Kinoosao, Kagwa, and Niska.)
·      Representing the interests of the community where needed, such as in organizing support for natural gas, or organizing an emergency preparedness plan;
·      By-laws: (We don’t have authority to pass by-laws, but we advise Northern Municipal Affairs.)
·      Brush dump and sewage lagoon maintenance;
·      Recreation: trails and boat dock parking lots development and maintenance (the docks and boat launch ramps are the responsibility of the provincial park)
·      Anything else we as community members want to do for ourselves.

What others are responsible for

Others are responsible for:
·      the road into Napatak from Highway 2 to the B-side boat dock and the entrances to the five residential loops (Sask Highways),
·      garbage (there is a regional dump south of La Ronge on the old highway that runs north from Potato Lake);
·      water: The Town of La Ronge, Village of Air Ronge and the Lac La Ronge Indian Band operate a common water system from which water can be purchased and loaded at an Air Ronge filling station;
·      electricity: Sask Power
·      phones: Sask Tel operates land lines and cell towers
·      building permits: Northern Municipal Affairs provides permits; contact Dee Johns, Northern District Planner in La Ronge at (306) 425-6642
·      docks and boat ramps: Lac La Ronge Provincial Park

Staying in touch

The community association publishes a newsletter three times a year to keep the community up-to-date on community happenings and news. To get it, make sure the president has your email address. You can also now find it at As well, we have a community alert service for the community that will send a text to your cell phone. We have used it in the past to alert community members when wildlife was sighted in the community (human, wolf or bear) and when our road in was flooded at the bridge. To get this service, make sure the president has your cell number. Your cell number will be used only for urgent alerts and will not be shared with others.

Getting here


If you are giving directions to friends, Napatak is at kilometre 146 north of the Waskesiu (Prince Albert National Park) corner. Turn off east (right) to Napatak. There is a small sign on the highway. Follow the gravel road for about 5 km to the big white map signboard at a T-junction. From this map junction, Napatak A is off to the right, Napatak B is straight ahead, on two sides of a little bay.

Cell coverage

There is cell coverage along Highway 2. At Napatak, you may have to go to the top of a rise on the road or an open area to get reception. Residences in low areas may have to use a signal booster. Reception out on the lake is great, though!


LT’s at the Waskesiu turnoff corner is the only gas station between Christopher Lake and Air Ronge. LT’s closes at 10:00 pm. If you are coming from the south, it is best to arrive in Napatak with enough gas to get back south to LT's or Prince Albert; otherwise you will have to go farther north into La Ronge for gas before the return trip (an extra 30 minutes of travel). Keep a few jerry cans of gas on hand in case we or our visitors are short.


This is a remote road north of the Christopher Lake turn off, although there is regular traffic, you are far from settlements. At night or in the winter, make sure you have proper clothes, supplies, and emergency kit. Carry a cell phone, shovel, and tow rope.
Usually people will stop on the road to help. If you need them, tow trucks are:
·     at Christopher Lake, Northern Towing: (306) 982-2777;
·     at La Ronge, Lakeshore Service: (306) 425-2155.
The highways and the road into Napatak are reasonably well maintained. Check the Highways Hotline and the highway camera at Weyakwin before making the trip in the winter. Good snow tires and allowing a little extra time makes the trip safer in winter conditions.

First steps in building

Your lot

All sites have been surveyed and are marked with iron survey pins on all corners. These are sometimes hard to find. Best way is to measure based on the mapped dimensions, then either dig around or use a metal detector to find them.


Napatak is part of a regional planning area with a zoning bylaw. You can find zoning maps and the zoning bylaw at Zoning restrictions include:
·     Development permits are required for all buildings over 100 square feet. The building must conform to the zoning bylaws.
·     Restrictions on storage of unlicensed vehicles
·     No mobile homes or sea cans
·     Site requirements / setbacks for new buildings


You must get a permit to build any buildings larger than 10 m2 (100 sf). There are certain site requirements, and you must build to the National Building Code, although there is no building inspection (except for plumbing connections, electrical wiring, and gas fitting). To find out what is required, call the community planner, Dee Johns, at (306) 425-6642.

Clearing, filling and grading your lot

The soil at Napatak is glacial till, which is a fancy name for clay and boulders. You will find it difficult to dig even postholes or piles, because there are so many rocks. Drainage can also be a problem, as surface water sits on the soil. There are also underground layers in the soil where water runs. This can make a foundation tricky because of water problems.  Be sure you have some good advice or someone with experience in building in the area if you plan a foundation. Many people fill their lots and build on surface pads.
There are local contractors who will clear, grade and remove stumps, and bring in fill for your lot (usually local sand). Ask around and local people can give you names and numbers. (You will find that everybody knows just about everybody else around here!)
You cannot remove live trees from crown land (off your lot). Note that no lots extend to the waterfront. The waterfront is crown land, and you cannot clear trees on it. You can remove deadfall and standing dead trees for your own use, unless they are within 30 metres of Lac La Ronge, where you need a permit from the Park office at Mistasinihk Place in La Ronge.
You can haul brush from your lot to the local Napatak dumpsite. THIS DUMP IS ONLY FOR BRUSH, NOT FOR BUILDING MATERIALS OR GARBAGE.  IF THIS IS ABUSED THE DUMP WILL BE CLOSED. The Napatak brush dump is the first good road on your left (south side) as you drive out of Napatak to the highway. When you use it, put your brush as close to the pile as possible so others have room.

Security and emergencies


Emergency services (fire, police, ambulance) can all be reached by calling 911.
Emergency services are in La Ronge, which is 20 minutes away, so they will take a while. You should be prepared to deal with emergencies until help comes (such as a first aid kit, and fire extinguisher and/or pump).
The La Ronge district fire department provides service to Napatak. However, they will charge the property owner a firefighting charge, which can be as much as $10,000. You may want to have a fire coverage rider on your property insurance, which costs very little.
Make sure you and everyone in your house know your street, lot, and block number and can give directions so emergency services can find you. A provincial bylaw requires that you have your address clearly visible from the road. It is your lot number followed by your block number.

Power outages

Power in rural areas is subject to power surges and outages more than in the city. Rarely, it can go out for hours or even days. Make sure you are prepared with candles, flashlight, and radio. It is a good idea to keep a phone charger in your vehicle to charge your cellphone if there is no power.


Napatak is a quiet, safe community.  The neighbourhood watches each other's properties and are willing to help each other out. 


Once every year or two, a bear will wander through Napatak. They are usually more scared of you than you of them. Keep your dogs away and call SERM (Environment) at (306) 425-4234 to have them come and set up a bear trap. In recent years we have also had occasional wolves on the lake ice in winter and in the forest surrounding the community in the summer.


The biggest risk around here is fire. Take care with fires; your neighbours will appreciate it. Don’t burn garbage, and remember that fires can smoulder underground in the peat even when they appear to be out.



Telephone lines come to the front of your lot, but you will have to arrange for a connection with SaskTel, and pay for that connection. It costs about $400 to connect up.


An electric power connection is prepaid with the price of your lot. Call Sask Power to arrange for a connection.


You are on your own for sewer and water. For water, some people have wells, some people pump from the lake, some haul their own water, some use a La Ronge based water service that hauls water with a tanker truck from Air Ronge on Thursdays. Hauled water from Air Ronge is safe to drink out of the tap. H & H Enterprises, the water hauler, can be reached at (306) 425-1489.


There are two suppliers of propane for heating in La Ronge, Co-op and Superior. They will provide a tank for an annual rental and regularly fill it.

Natural gas

A natural gas trunk line runs to La Ronge, but does not yet connect to Napatak. Sask Energy plans to bring natural gas to Napatak in the summer of 2015. If you want gas and have not yet signed up, contact Jeff Schewaga at (306) 953-8323 or by email at A gas connection will be about $5,000, which Sask Energy will finance. It will very likely be cheaper to connect when gas first arrives than it will be after service is established.


You must have a sewer holding tank (public health rules). Any new construction must be inspected by the Public Health Department for a sewer connection at the time of installation. Lakeshore Towing & Septic pumps tanks, and can be reached at (306) 425-2155. They come to Napatak on Wednesdays. If you haul your own, the sewage lagoon for dumping is by the brush dump.


You are responsible for disposing of your garbage. To keep critters away, keep garbage in a shed, metal cans or in the house. There is no dump at Napatak. The local brush dump is not for garbage. The La Ronge area dump is on the old highway to La Ronge. As you head north to La Ronge, turn off at the main Potato Lake entrance (the one after South Drive) and turn left when you hit the road that heads north. The dump is on the left close to town. It is not open Sundays or Mondays.

Roads and snow removal

In winter our road in from the highway is ploughed after Highways has finished clearing highways; this can sometimes be days if there is frequent snowfall. Local loops get done when we can find a contractor willing to come out - not every snowfall - just when conditions warrant. Property owners are responsible for clearing their own driveways including the windrow left by the grader.

Shopping and services

There are no services at Napatak. Downtown La Ronge is 20 minutes and 20 km away. La Ronge is actually several communities grouped together. The main communities are Air Ronge, La Ronge, and the Near and Far Reserves of the Lac La Ronge Indian Band. There are also outlying communities up and down the lake, such as Eagle Point, Sucker River, Wadin Bay, Potato Lake, and of course, Napatak. La Ronge and area includes 7,000 people, so there are good services, mostly along Highway 2 and La Ronge Avenue, along the lakefront in La Ronge. There are well-stocked grocery stores, lumberyards, a hardware store and many others.


Dogs (along with roads), are the biggest topic the Napatak Community Association hears complaints about. You can go a a long way to getting along with your neighbours by taking care with your dog.
Napatak has a dog bylaw. Dogs must be licensed. Lifetime licenses for Napatak are available for $5 from the Northern Municipal Affairs office in the Mistassinihk provincial building on La Ronge Ave. in La Ronge.
Dogs are required to be under the owner’s control or tied up. If you let yours off, do it where it won’t bother anyone and keep it under control so that you can recall it if other people, dog, or cars are around.
Neighbours appreciate, and the dog bylaw requires, that you keep your dog from barking and that you keep it under control or on your property. If you have a concern about a dangerous dog on the loose (that is threatening people or other dogs) call the RCMP in La Ronge, who will deal with it with a written complaint from you.

The good stuff


Once you have got your place built, emptied your sewer, filled your water tank, and tied up your dog, you’ll want to get on the lake. There are two public docks, one on each side of the bay. In Napatak A, the dock is at the end of Kinoosao, which is appropriate, because that is the Cree word for fish. On Napatak B, follow the road in all the way to the end.
Fishing licences are available on line from the Saskatchewan government. To fish on Lac La Ronge requires a special endorsement on your fishing licence to keep track of and limit fishing of lake trout.
You can usually catch jackfish in the shallows around the bay or just outside the bay. With a big boat, you can cross the lake to Hunters Bay (1 ½ hours across) or to other deep water to go lake trout fishing. Pickerel/walleye fishing isn’t great, but if there are any, they are likely in Hunter’s Bay too. Pickerel fishing good on the Churchill River - head up to Stanley Mission or Missinipe.

The beach

The great secret of Lac La Ronge is that most of the south end of the lake is surrounded by beaches. Pile into the boat for a day on the beach with the whole beach to yourself.

Other outdoor activities

There are several walking / skiing / snowmobiling trails around Napatak. Look for signs at the trailheads; they are marked with small signs and there are maps posted. There is also a trail all along the lakeshore in front of the cabins, although it is a little hard to find in places.
The Nelson Lake trail follows the shore of a little landlocked lake. One entrance is on the north side of the road a few yards to the east of where the road splits to Napatak A and B; the other entrance is off the road into the Sask Tel microwave tower near Napatak B. A well marked trail follows the lakeshore for several kilometres.
La Ronge has skiing and canoeing clubs, well maintained ski trails, and a golf course. There are canoe outfitters at Missinipe, north on the Churchill River.

Finding out what’s going on

The local newspaper, the Northerner, comes out every week. You can buy it most places in town to find out what’s going on.

Missinipe Broadcasting (MBC), the local radio station, is at 89.9 and CBC is at 105.9 on the FM band.