WHITEHORSE—Minister of Education Doug Graham presented Champagne and Aishihik First Nations Elder Margaret Workman with the Council of the Federation Literacy Award in a ceremony held today to mark United Nations International Literacy Day.
“Mrs. Workman has spent a lifetime making vital contributions to Native language literacy,” Graham said. “Through teaching at all levels, she has helped many Yukoners connect with Aboriginal language, history and traditions.”
Workman grew up speaking Southern Tutchone and living a traditional lifestyle until she was placed in the Baptist Mission School in Whitehorse at age seven, where she was allowed to speak only English. Workman later earned a diploma in Native language instruction and an associate degree in applied science. She has taught elementary, secondary and college courses, and developed the first Athapaskan grade 11 and 12 language program at F.H. Collins Secondary School. She also taught in the Native language program at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
“I am proud to recognize Mrs. Workman for her lifelong commitment to the preservation of Aboriginal language in Yukon, and to count her among Canada’s leaders in literacy,” Graham added.
Every year, Canada’s premiers present the Council of the Federation Literacy Awards to celebrate outstanding achievement and innovation in literacy in their jurisdiction. This year the award was presented on behalf of Premier Darrell Pasloski.
Council of the Federation Literacy Award