A three-year education agreement was officially signed yesterday between the Kwanlin Dün First Nation and the Yukon government. Here are the details.
Kwanlin Dün First Nation Chief Doris Bill says she's excited about a three-year education agreement that has been reached between her First Nation and the Yukon government.
Both Chief Bill and Minister of Education Tracy-Ann McPhee were part of the signing ceremony yesterday, and the new $681,000 agreement includes letting the Kwanlin Dün First Nation have more control over the education curriculum of it's own citizens, the hiring of a new cultural educator position to bring more First Nation culture and knowledge to students in Whitehorse and more focus on Southern Tutchone language immersion and cultural programming in Whitehorse schools.
Chief Bill says the signing is going a long way to help advance reconciliation in the territory.
"Education-focused recommendations in the "Truth and Reconciliation Commissions " 94 calls to action include developing culturally appropriate curricula, protecting the right to Aboriginal languages, and enabling parental and community responsibility. This agreement is a significant step in that direction."
As part of the agreement, the cultural educator position will focus their efforts on the four schools attended most by First Nations in Whitehorse, including the Elijah Smith, Porter Creek, FH Collins schools and the Independent Learning Centre.
Chief Bill say the new agreement will also focus on education outcomes for their First Nation citizens.
"Kwanlin Dün First Nation will now be involved in the hiring of evaluation of school staff and administrators. We will enter an intergovernmental data sharing agreement in order to better coordinate our activities. We will be putting more resources in place to ensure parents are fully informed about their child's progress, as well as any education options available to them."
Chief Doris Bill says a position will be created in the Kwanlin Dün House of Learning to monitor the educational commitments and ensure the agreement is being met.
Minister McPhee notes this isn't the First Nation education agreement signed between the Yukon government and a First Nation in the territory.
"Yukon First Nation governments are essential in supporting First Nations students and in teaching all Yukon students about Yukon First First Nations culture, language, and ways of knowing and doing. Education agreements reflect our government-to-government relationships and our commitment to reconciliation. This is the sixth education agreement that has been signed between the Yukon government and the government of a Yukon First Nation."
Whitehorse is on the traditional territory of the Kwanlin Dün First Nation and the Ta'an Kwach'an Council.