Government of Yukon

October 21, 2015

Residential school curriculum to be taught in all Yukon schools this year

WHITEHORSE—Yukon’s Grade 10 social studies unit about residential schools will be introduced in all Yukon schools this school year.

“Yukon is committed to acknowledging the history, experiences and impacts of residential schools,” Minister of Education Doug Graham said. “This new unit educates young people about this difficult chapter in our country’s history and is an important step in our journey toward reconciliation between First Nations and non-First Nations people.”

Grand Chief Ruth Massie of Council of Yukon First Nations said, “Yukon First Nations are pleased the history of residential schools is ready to be taught in the new Grade 10 unit. The residential school experience marks a dark side in Canadian history everyone should be educated on in order to move forward on the path of reconciliation.”

The unit about the history and impact of residential schools was introduced in the 2014/15 school year at Robert Service School in Dawson City, Tantalus School in Carmacks, Del Van Gorder School in Faro and Vanier Catholic Secondary, Porter Creek Secondary and F.H. Collins Secondary in Whitehorse. In 2015/16, this unit will be taught in all Yukon schools in the Social Studies 10 course, a mandatory credit for graduation.

“This is an important step in bridging the knowledge gap between First Nations and non-First Nations peoples,” co-chair of the First Nations Education Commission Tosh Southwick said. “It is exciting to see a part of our collective history finally being taught in our schools.”

Yukon educators gathered in Whitehorse today for a two-day training session on how to implement this curriculum in a caring and sensitive way. They will learn about the unit, related resources, and how to build a community-based team approach to prepare schools and their communities for this curriculum. Participants include Grade 10 social studies teachers, former residential school students, Yukon First Nation heritage staff, community education liaison coordinators, education support workers, education outreach coordinators, cultural support workers and resolution health support workers.

The curriculum and its resources were developed by the Department of Education’s First Nations Program and Partnerships Unit in collaboration with Yukon First Nations, Elders, former residential school students, social studies teachers and historians. The new unit, called Our Stories of Residential Schools in Yukon and Canada: Seeking Understanding – Finding Our Way Together, focuses on the residential school experiences of Yukon First Nations students.

Learn more: First Nations Programs and Partnerships



Dan Macdonald
Cabinet Communications

Holly Fraser
Communications, Education


News Release #15-308