Caption: Ministers Quassa, Taylor and Lafferty outside the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre in Yellowknife.
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YELLOWKNIFE—The education ministers of N.W.T., Nunavut and Yukon met yesterday in Yellowknife to review current issues and discuss ways to continue working together to support education across Canada’s North.
Northwest Territories Minister of Education Jackson Lafferty, chair of the meeting, said: “It is important that territorial education ministers take the opportunity to meet to discuss ways in which we can work together to ensure northern students and adult learners are better placed to succeed.”
The meeting opened with reports on the development and implementation of territorial curricula and on resources related to the history and legacy of the residential school system in Canada.
Ministers shared information on how they are including the legacy of residential schools in their curricula. “It is critical that our students and our teachers understand the legacy and impacts of the residential schools in the North and across Canada to help us on the path to reconciliation,” Lafferty said.
Ministers also discussed and shared best practices regarding closing the gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students in northern communities.
Yukon Minister of Education Elaine Taylor shared Yukon’s Rural Equity Action Plan. “The success of our initiatives can be attributed to community leadership,” Taylor said. “Blended learning, alternate learning centers and e-learning are just a few of the ways we are bringing more educational opportunities to northern rural communities.”
Minister Lafferty added: “I was pleased to share with my colleagues an update on the Government of the Northwest Territories Education Renewal Initiative, which is set to bring about real transformation of education in the Northwest Territories.”
“We are focusing very closely on the fundamentals of education from K to 12, so that our students are well prepared to make substantive choices later in life, and we see education as an essential part in creating opportunities for success across all spectrums from health, to self-sufficiency,” said Nunavut Minister of Education Paul Quassa.
Literacy was another major theme of yesterday's meeting, including discussions on funding options for literacy coalitions in the North. Updates on the Labour Market Development Agreement, the Canada Job Fund negotiations and proposed federal changes to employment insurance in the North were also provided.
Public Affairs and Communications, Department of Education, Culture and Employment