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3 more Yukon schools will join First Nation School Board

Del Van Gorder School in Faro will not be operated by the new school board, per referendum vote
An Elections Yukon sign seen inside the foyer of the Yukon legislative building on Feb. 27 directs eligible electors to vote in the First Nation School Board referendum. (Dana Hatherly/Yukon News)

Three out of four schools that held recent referendum votes will be joining the First Nation School Board: Eliza Van Bibber School in Pelly Crossing, Ghùch Tlâ Community School in Carcross and Kluane Lake School in Destruction Bay, according to official results from Elections Yukon.

“We are honoured that these three schools voted ‘yes’ to join the First Nation School Board,” reads a statement on the school board’s website.

In the official results, Del Van Gorder School in Faro did not meet the threshold required to make the transition, with about two-thirds of the votes against and one-third in favour.

The voting period ended on Feb. 27 at 8 p.m.

A ‘yes’ vote means the elector wants the school to be operated by the First Nation School Board starting in the 2023/24 school year, whereas a ‘no’ vote means the elector wants the school to continue to be operated by the department of Education with school councils, according to the Elections Yukon website.

A simple majority of 50 per cent plus one vote was required for each referendum to succeed.

In sum, 256 votes were cast across the four school communities, according to the results.

Twenty out of 23 ballots were marked ‘yes’ in the Destruction Bay community, which had the lowest number of ballots counted. The Faro community had the highest ballot count, but only 38 out of 102 were marked ‘yes’.

Referendums were held in the school attendance areas where it was requested by a school council resolution or by a petition signed by at least 20 per cent of eligible electors in the attendance area.

Elections Yukon oversaw the referendum and voting process on behalf of the Education minister.

The new board was officially created a year ago, after securing the support of the communities surrounding eight Yukon schools.

The board’s website indicates board-run schools continue to adhere to the B.C. curriculum, but “tailor the programming, lesson delivery and assessment methodology to reflect Yukon First Nations ways of knowing, being and doing.”

The board announced earlier this year it is changing the way it teaches reading. Beginning next year, schools managed by the new board will move away from the literacy program it inherited from the Education department to a new system called “the science of reading.”

— With files from Gabrielle Plonka

Contact Dana Hatherly at

Dana Hatherly

About the Author: Dana Hatherly

I’m the legislative reporter for the Yukon News.
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