This is a joint release with the Department of Education, the First Nation School Board and Elections Yukon.
As announced in December 2022, Minister of Education Jeanie McLean has accepted resolutions from school councils and petitions from community members to request their school join the First Nation School Board in the 2023–24 school year.
At the close of the submission period, Minister McLean has accepted resolutions from school councils or petitions from school communities, triggering a referendum vote at the following schools:
- Del Van Gorder School, Faro
- Eliza Van Bibber School, Pelly Crossing
- Ghùch Tlâ Community School, Carcross
- Kluane Lake School, Destruction Bay
Elections Yukon will oversee the referendum voting process on behalf of the Minister of Education.
Referendum voting begins on Thursday, February 16, and be open until Monday, February 27. More details are below:
- Early applications for mail-in ballots will open on Friday, February 10.
- In-person voting will be available locally at those schools holding a referendum vote on Saturday, February 25 from 11 am to 4 pm and Monday, February 27 from 3 pm to 8 pm.
- In-person voting will also be available to all eligible electors at Elections Yukon’s Whitehorse office in the Jim Smith Building, at 2071 Second Avenue on business days during the referendum period. Appointments can be made locally outside of the set hours.
Additional information on voting options and eligibility is available at ElectionsYukon.ca. Official results will be available on Tuesday, February 28, 2023.
This second referendum provides school communities an important opportunity to hear if their school would like to be administered by the First Nation School Board or a school council, as per the Education Act. I encourage all eligible electors to learn about the options, engage in school community discussions, and vote. We want all Yukon students to have opportunities to learn about First Nations' ways of knowing, being and doing, and we continue to work towards decolonizing our educational system. Thank you to Elections Yukon for conducting the referendum vote.
Minister of Education Jeanie McLean
The First Nation School Board offers an innovative and groundbreaking approach to public education in Canada, whereby the BC Curriculum is delivered through the rich worldview of Yukon First Nations. These schools are for all Yukon students and promote reconciliation by enhancing a Yukon First Nations model that puts the student first, through a strengths-based, community-centered approach. Community Committees replace School Councils offering far greater localized control and authority over decisions related to their schools. We look forward to welcoming any Yukon public schools ready to join our board.
Chair of Trustees First Nation School Board Dana Tizya-Tramm
The referendum vote process will be administered by Elections Yukon for those school attendance areas which has requested, through school council referendum or community petition, to join the First Nation School Board. Referendum voting processes are relatively new; they follow closely the school council election process for eligibility; an elector in the attendance area or a parent of a student attending the school. Additional information is available on the Elections Yukon website to support your access to the referendum vote including voting options and timelines.
Chief Electoral Officer Max Harvey
The CCOE negotiated the First Nation School Board Agreement to begin to put into action some of the visionary calls to action put forth in Together Today for our Children Tomorrow. Our leaders past and present have long been asking for a new model of public education, whereby Yukon First Nations and settlers to this land build an education partnership where we can equally share our knowledge systems to nurture and prepare students for the modern world. The First Nation School Board is completely unique in Canada – and is a shining example of Reconciliation in Action – that allows the strengths of our Yukon First Nations ways to rectify the ills of the colonial education system and create a school system that better serves all Yukon students.
Ta’an Kwachan Council and Co-Chair of Chiefs Committee on Education Chief Amanda Leas
The Agreement Respecting Education and the Establishment of a First Nation School Board in the Yukon was signed by 10 Yukon First Nations in June 2021 and allowed for the creation of a First Nation School Board using the processes outlined in the Education Act.
The First Nation School Board was established in February 2022 and operates eight schools in the Yukon. Five trustees were elected to the First Nation School Board in November 2022.
The Minister of Education accepted resolutions and petitions requesting a school be governed by the First Nation School Board from January 5 to 30, 2023.
Elections Yukon will oversee the referendum process from February 16 to 27, 2023. Eligible electors will have multiple options to cast their vote. Additional information is available at electionsyukon.ca.
The full list of school attendance areas is on Yukon.ca.
Communications, First Nation School Board
Chief Electoral Officer, Elections Yukon