Joint news release with Kwanlin Dün First Nation
A three-year Education Agreement has been signed by Minister of Education Tracy-Anne McPhee and Kwanlin Dün First Nation Chief Doris Bill to support Kwanlin Dün First Nation (KDFN) learners and all learners attending school on KDFN Traditional Territory. This historic agreement is the first to be signed between the Government of Yukon and KDFN.
The agreement aims to improve the educational experience and outcomes of KDFN and other students through investments in K-12 education over three years by both the Yukon government and KDFN. These investments will provide input into culturally-inclusive education programs with a particular focus on four schools in Whitehorse. KDFN will have more authority and control over the education of its citizens at these schools to increase culture and language-related learning opportunities.
The agreement includes a Cultural Educator position that will bring more First Nations culture and knowledge to students at Elijah Smith Elementary, Porter Creek Secondary, F.H. Collins Secondary as well as the Independent Learning Centre. By working with the local KDFN community, there will be enhanced exposure to Southern Tutchone language and cultural programming in Whitehorse schools.
Yukon First Nations are essential partners in supporting First Nation students and in teaching all Yukon students about Yukon First Nations culture, language and ways of knowing and doing. Our partnership with Kwanlin Dün First Nation will support their learners from cradle to career by strengthening relationships between Kwanlin Dün First Nation and schools on their Traditional Territory, and enhancing opportunities for their citizens to develop skills for their futures. We look forward to continuing our work together under this new agreement to ensure all learners receive the support they need to succeed.
Minister of Education Tracy-Anne McPhee
Our governments have worked closely together over the past three years to develop a thoughtful and progressive agreement that will benefit all students in the Whitehorse area. Kwanlin Dün First Nation is excited about this new chapter in its relationship with Yukon schools, as well as the resources that will be put into place for students. Making a Cultural Educator available to focus on the four schools where KDFN students mainly attend is an excellent way to integrate First Nations knowledge and culture into learning plans as Yukon’s curriculum evolves. It will also reinforce our Community Education Liaison Coordinators’ efforts to support First Nations students within their school communities.
Kwanlin Dün First Nation Chief Doris Bill
This Education Agreement is for the period 2019 to 2022. Under the agreement, the Yukon government and KDFN will work together to review and monitor the progress of the joint initiatives identified in the agreement, recognizing that KDFN is uniquely placed to understand and guide specific responses to the educational needs of its students.