Top news stories from the North in 2012

The most-viewed stories from CBC North in 2012 were about a family who died in Yukon, Justin Bieber's choice words he said to a magazine, and a mayor in Nunavut who went missing after failing to return from a hunting trip.

Death of Yukon family, Justin Bieber and missing Nunavut mayor top the list

The most-viewed story on in 2012 was about the deaths of a family in Yukon and a boarder who lived with them. The Rusk family and boarder Donald McNamee died from carbon monoxide poisoning. (CBC)

Several of the most-viewed news stories from CBC North in 2012 were about tragedies — a family who died in Whitehorse, a missing Nunavut mayor, and a fire which left two people dead and many homeless in Iqaluit.

Some stories, however, were on the lighter side. Comments made by Canadian teen superstar Justin Bieber about being aboriginal got many people talking, and proves anything with the name 'Bieber' attached to it will spread far and wide on the internet.

Other top stories were about a citizens' rescue of RCMP officers in Nunavut, a long-awaited bridge for the Northwest Territories, and an offensive Halloween costume.

These stories sparked debates about carbon monoxide detection, a review of soccer-goal posts, and discussions about the role of the RCMP in Nunavut.

Here are the 10 most-viewed stories on of the year:

1.  Yukon family, boarder, found dead in home

A Whitehorse family and a boarder who lived in their home passed away in January. Investigators say the Rusk family and Donald McNamee died from carbon monoxide poisoning.


2. Justin Bieber’s ‘Indian’ comment sparks online backlash

In a Rolling Stone Magazine interview, Canadian pop superstar Justin Bieber told the magazine, "I’m actually part Indian. I think Inuit or something? I’m enough per cent that in Canada I can get free gas." This sparked the inevitable backlash on social media against the Biebs, with many people calling on the teen to apologize.


3. Missing Nunavut mayor’s body found

The mayor of Kimmirut, Nunavut, went missing Nov. 26 after he had gone out hunting and never returned. The community launched an exhaustive search for Jamesie Kootoo but was often hampered by severe weather. His body was found in July.


4. U.S. man killed wife, 3 children, so he could live in Yukon

A suburban Chicago man was sentenced to life in prison for killing his wife and three school-age children as they sat buckled into the family’s SUV – allegedly so he could start a new life subsisting in the Canadian wilderness. Prosecutors said Christopher Vaughn saw his family as obstacles to living in a remote area in Yukon.


5. Company pulls ‘Sassy Squaw’ costume, apologizes

A U.S. company pulled a children’s Halloween costume it called ‘Sassy Squaw’ after CBC News made inquiries about the name. The costume was intended for young girls. It had a faux-hide dress, feather hairband, beaded necklace and pink leggings with what looked like ancient cave drawings on them. Many people said the name and costume were offensive to First Nations people in North America.


6. Nunavut residents rescue RCMP after office fired on

In June, police were woken up at about 2 a.m. by a woman who was banging on their door telling the officers they were in danger. A man later began shooting rounds of gunfire at the detachment. While the Mounties and the woman were holed up in the detachment, a group of about 10 residents came to the rescue – they risked their lives to subdue the shooter and secure the rifle.


7. Bridge linking N.W.T. capital with rest of Canada opens

After many years of waiting, the N.W.T. Premier was finally able to cut the red ribbon on the Deh Cho Bridge across the Mackenzie River at Fort Providence, N.W.T. The one-kilometre bridge is the first across the Mackenzie and is the first year-round road link between the territory’s North Slave Region, which includes the capital Yellowknife, and the rest of the country.


8. Iqaluit fire leaves dozens homeless, possible deaths

Two people died after a fire at Iqaluit’s White Row complex in February. Dozens of people, mainly Arctic College students, were left homeless because of the fire, which police called suspicious in nature. The blaze was a challenge to control – with a wind chill at -50, some of the water sprayed on the flames froze on contact with the air.


9. Yukon girl, 5, struck and killed by soccer net

In July, a five-year-old girl died when she was struck by a tipped soccer net in Watson Lake, Yukon. It apparently collapsed after being touched or shaken by a three-year-old. Following the death of Jaedynn Amann, the territory’s coroner called for all soccer nets in the territory to be checked and properly maintained.


10. Report urges residential school history classes

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada released 20 recommendations for its interim report – the half-way mark in the commission’s five-year mandate. The report, which was leaked a day early to CBC News, has recommendations ranging from addressing education and health issues in Canada’s First Nation, Aboriginal and Inuit populations, to calling on provinces and territories to develop education materials for public schools on the history and impact of residential schools.