DAWSON CITY—Premier Darrell Pasloski, Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in Chief Eddie Taylor and Education Minister Scott Kent are in Dawson City to sign a groundbreaking education agreement that makes them partners in developing school curricula and programs within Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in Traditional Territory.
“This agreement between the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in and the Yukon government will support First Nation education initiatives and help improve education outcomes,” Pasloski said. “We look forward to working with other First Nations to develop agreements similar to the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in education agreement.”
The 17.7 provision of the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in Self-Government Agreement states that the Government of Yukon and the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in will negotiate the division and sharing of responsibility for the design, delivery and administration of programs delivered within Traditional Territory, including First Nation student counseling, cross cultural orientation and kindergarten through Grade 12 curricula.
The 17.7 Education Agreement signed today will continue to foster the relationship between the Yukon government and the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in and will provide a greater role for the First Nation in the education of its citizens. It is the first of its kind in Yukon, and can serve as an example of how Yukon’s government-to-government relationships make the territory a model for the rest of the country.
“With this Education Agreement we have reached a significant milestone with respect to the implementation of Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in Self-Government,” Taylor said. “Our people fought very hard for the 17.7 provisions during our land claims negotiations. A separate Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in education system in Dawson was not our first choice. We wanted a single integrated system that reflects both Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in and Yukon government authority as equal partners. This agreement puts us on that road.”
The two governments will work in partnership and share responsibility to develop all types of curricula and programs. Initiatives already underway include the accreditation of Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in culture camps, development of curriculum resources relating to residential schools and the Education Outreach Program.
“The signing of this agreement signifies a starting point to provide a culturally inclusive education for Yukon students that sets an example for First Nations and governments across Canada,” Kent said. “By including Yukon First Nations culture, language and history in educational curricula we enrich the learning experience of all Yukon students.”
Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in Communications