Education in the Kluane region will be getting an overhaul as the federal government, the Yukon government and Kluane First Nation (KFN) announced funding for a new school in Burwash Landing.
A joint announcement from government representatives on Sept. 26 states that $22.5 million in preliminary funding has been earmarked for the school but the final project value is yet to be determined. The Canadian government has promised up to $10.9 million while the Yukon government is putting up $11.7 million.
The new public school will be called Kêts’ádań Kų̀, meaning “house of learning” in Southern Tutchone. It will replace the existing Kluane Lake School in Destruction Bay. The announcement states that the existing school in the community about 17 kilometres from Burwash Landing is an aging facility.
“For more than 60 years, the existing school has been populated primarily by students residing in or near Burwash Landing who have had to rely on buses to get to and from school. The construction of this new Kêts’ádań Kų̀ in Burwash Landing will better serve children and families in the community for years to come,” the funding announcement reads.
Representatives of the governments offering funding for the school project as well as Kluane First Nation referred to it as a good example of cooperation that will benefit the communities on the shore of Kluane Lake.
“We are pleased to be working in partnership with the Government of Canada and Government of Yukon to build a school in Burwash Landing. The recent collaboration between our governments is an example of reconciliation in action,” said Kluane First Nation Chief Bob Dickson.
“Education has been a priority for Kluane First Nation for generations, and a new school in Burwash Landing is the culmination of decades of tireless effort by many Kluane First Nation citizens. The Kêts’ádań Kų̀ will be infused with KFN language, tradition and culture, and will serve the broader community as a whole for years to come.”
Yukon MP Brendan Hanley pledged that the school project will be just one example of the federal government working with other governments and First Nations on meaningful infrastructure work.
Yukon Education Minister Jeanie McLean said moving the school to Burwash Landing will honour a longstanding request from Kluane First Nation, while Nils Clarke, the Minister of Highways and Public Works, spoke of the economic opportunities it will provide for the people of Burwash Landing.
Contact Jim Elliot at email@example.com