How First Nations perspectives are incorporated into schools

All students benefit from understanding First Nations culture. We established the First Nations Initiatives unit to ensure that First Nations perspectives are reflected in Yukon schools':

  • culture;
  • curriculum; and
  • programs.

First Nations Initiatives unit priorities

  • Building productive relationships with First Nations communities.
  • Incorporate more First Nations perspectives in Yukon schools.
  • Improving the academic results of First Nations students from Kindergarten to Grade 12.
  • Enhancing First Nations’ efforts to revitalize their languages.

Education agreements with Yukon First Nations

We work with First Nations communities and governments to develop school programs.

Formal education agreements have been signed between the Government of Yukon and some First Nations. This has led to the development of curriculum and programs in the traditional territories of those First Nations.

For example, through our agreement with the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in, we have accredited three cultural camps:

  • First Hunt;
  • First Fish; and
  • Spring Camp.

Legacy of residential schools

Many Yukon First Nations students and their families continue to be affected by the legacy of residential schools. Recognizing these effects helps us to:

  • better meet the needs of these students; and
  • support them to succeed in their studies.

Learning about the history and impact of residential schools is important for all Canadians. We encourage you to visit the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada for more information.

Courses and programs

First Nations culture is incorporated into many courses and programs in Yukon schools.

  • Residential schools, Our Stories of Residential Schools in Yukon and Canada, is now part of the mandatory Social Studies 10 course.
  • Social Studies (Grade 5):
    • Yukon First Nations Governance; and
    • Yukon First Nations Citizenship.
  • Ancestral Technology (Grade 10):
    • English First Peoples (Grade 10, 11 and 12); and
    • BC First Nations Studies (Grade 12).

Experiential learning programs with a First Nations' focus:

  • Community, Heritage, Arts, Outdoors and Skills (CHAOS ) program at Wood Street Centre in Whitehorse (Grade 9 and 10);
  • Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in Traditional Camp at Robert Service School in Dawson City; and
  • land-based experiential education with the Vuntut Gwich’in First Nation at Chief Zzeh Gittlit School in Old Crow.

Other initiatives:

  • Champagne and Aishihik First Nations Southern Tutchone Bi-Cultural Program for Kindergarten, Grade 1 and Grade 2 students at St. Elias Community School in Haines Junction;
  • culturally inclusive education;
  • community orientations throughout Yukon;
  • Elder in the Schools Program in rural Yukon schools; and
  • instruction in Gwich’in, Northern Tutchone, Kaska, Tlingit, Southern Tutchone, Upper Tanana, and Hän languages in certain schools.

Parents should check with their school to see how they are integrating Yukon First Nations ways of knowing, doing and being into class programming.


If you have questions, email or phone 867-456-6752 or toll free in Yukon 1-800-661-0408, extension 6752.