Dáshäw k'e thrives with successful completion by third cohort of students

This is a joint release with Yukon First Nation Education Directorate. 

Eleven student leaders have successfully completed the third offering of Dáshäw k'e, a multi-credit, semester-long program at F.H. Collins Secondary School that offers Yukon First Nations culturally-centred high school education.

Following the direction of the First Nation Education Commission, representing all 14 Yukon First Nations, the Yukon First Nation Education Directorate partnered with the Department of Education to launch Dáshäw k'e as a land-based experiential program for high school students. In 2021, it started as a half-day offering. Now in its third year, it is offered for one school semester. The program continues to be supported by a team of First Nation Education Advocates, Junior Advocates, Elders and Knowledge Keepers from the Yukon First Nation Education Directorate.

Students experience an Indigenous learning approach while gaining a new understanding of local cultures through hands-on, authentic activities. These have included drum-making, painting, a moose harvest trip and oral language presentations from community members.

Dáshäw k'e is an outstanding addition to the world-class experiential program offerings Yukon high school students have available to them. Students in the program showed increased attendance compared to previous semesters and spoke highly of the skills they acquired, the cultural impact it had and the connections they made. 

I am thrilled to recognize the student leaders of Dáshäw k'e, which represents more than just an experiential program – it is education-based reconciliation. Our entire community is proud of all participants for their hard work in learning more about Yukon First Nations ways of knowing, doing and being. I hold my hands up to all who made this possible: the Elders, Knowledge Keepers, teachers, advocates, parents and, especially, the students.

Minister of Education Jeanie McLean

As a long-time educator, I’m so impressed by how this cohort embraced the program – making it a success for all involved. Dáshäw k'e has been needed for far too long. As an organization, we are proud of our role in creating, establishing and facilitating it. We thank First Nation Education Commission for their leadership to direct the development and implementation. We look forward to funding from the Department of Education to ensure future years of this program.

Executive Director of Yukon First Nation Education Directorate Melanie Bennett

This program was important to me because I was given the opportunity to learn skills from a First Nations perspective.

Student Leader Hailey Campbell

I am confident in saying Dáshäw k'e is a first step in Reconciliation and has an impact on students - especially First Nation students. For my daughter, this program gave her a sense of belonging, believing and purpose.

Parent of a Student Leader Trish Hirsch

Quick facts 
  • Dáshäw k'e means “Our Elders’ Way” in the Southern Tutchone language.

  • Dáshäw k'e is open to all students attending F.H. Collins in Grade 10. The next offering of the program is expected in the first semester of the 2024-25 school year.

  • Interested students can reference the school’s student handbook and speak to a school counsellor when planning their courses for next year.  Dáshäw k'e is referred to as “Indigenous Academy” in the current handbook.

  • After successfully completing the program this year, students receive 20 credits for five, Grade 10 courses.

  • Dáshäw k'e is one of many experiential programs that Yukon high school students can participate in. Others include CHAOS (Community Heritage Adventure Outdoors Skills), a French immersion STEAM program, and SASE (Socials and Science Experiential).


Media contact 

Renée Francoeur
Cabinet Communications


Zara Soukoroff
Department of Education


Katharine Sandiford
Yukon First Nation Education Directorate

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