Next steps for Yukon First Nation School Board outlined in newly signed agreement

Joint news release with the Yukon First Nation Education Directorate.

The Government of Yukon and the Chiefs Committee on Education (CCOE) are pleased to announce the finalization of the Yukon First Nation School Board Framework Agreement.

The agreement sets out the process for the creation of a First Nation School Board under the Education Act. This is a critical first step for Yukon First Nations and their Citizens to assume greater authority and control of the administration and management of education programs for students in their communities and the eventual operation of local schools.

Signatories to the agreement, representing 10 Yukon First Nations and the Government of Yukon, seek to address long-standing concerns about unacceptable education outcomes for First Nations students. They also commit to provide high-quality and culturally-appropriate education systems for these students based on an Indigenous world view.

Our government is committed to working with all Yukon First Nations to improve the education system and education outcomes for all students. We believe this Framework Agreement and the establishment of a Yukon First Nation School Board will ensure Yukon First Nations can meaningfully shape their children’s education. This is another step forward to decolonizing the system and authentically working towards meaningful, collaborative reconciliation. 

Minister of Education Jeanie McLean 

We are excited to be on the doorstep of creating a Yukon First Nation School Board, which will provide Yukon First Nations with greater control, authority and responsibility over the education of their citizens and support self-determination. This is an example of effective collaboration among Yukon First Nations and the Government of Yukon in supporting First Nations students, and in ensuring all Yukon students benefit from learning about Yukon First Nations ways of knowing, doing and being.

Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation Chief and Chair of the Chiefs Committee on Education, Dana Tizya-Tramm 

Backgrounder 
  • Forty-eight years ago, Chiefs from 12 Yukon First Nations presented Together Today for our Children Tomorrow to Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, stating their intent to reclaim their inherent rights as Indigenous peoples of Yukon with the control of education for First Nations as a pillar.
     
  • In 2018, the Chiefs Committee on Education (CCOE) was re-established to negotiate a framework agreement for First Nations education. In 2019, the Government of Yukon and the CCOE agreed to explore the creation of a Yukon First Nation School Board under the provisions of the Education Act. This collaboration resulted in the Framework Agreement to establish the Yukon First Nation School Board. This agreement is a first step forward in reclaiming the rightful authority and control over education for Yukon First Nations and all Indigenous students.
     
  • The 2009 and 2019 Auditor General’s Reports on Education offered an alarming assessment of Government of Yukon’s inability to meet the needs of First Nations learners in the territory. The Government of Yukon just released the final report of an independent review of inclusive and special education and will work with Yukon First Nations and partners in education to make changes together to address the failings of the system.
     
  • Created by the Chief’s Committee on Education (CCOE), the Yukon First Nation Education Directorate is working to provide multi-tiered solutions to these long-unaddressed gaps and failures.
Contact 

Renee Francoeur
Cabinet Communications
867-334-9194
renee.francoeur@yukon.ca

Erin Macdonald
Communications, Education
867-332-7008
erin.macdonald@yukon.ca

News release #: 
21-163