Four more school communities will vote on joining the First Nation School Board this month.
Education Minister Jeanie McLean 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, according to a joint release with the Department of Education, the First Nation School Board and Elections Yukon.
The four schools include: Del Van Gorder School in Faro; Eliza Van Bibber School in Pelly Crossing; Ghùch Tlâ Community School in Carcross and the Kluane Lake School in Destruction Bay.
The statement says Elections Yukon will oversee the referendum voting process on behalf of the minister of Education.
The voting begins on Feb. 16, and will be open until Feb. 27. Early applications for mail-in ballots will open on Feb. 10 while in-person voting will be available locally at those schools holding a vote on Feb. 25 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Feb. 27 from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.
In-person voting will also be available to all eligible voters at Elections Yukon’s Whitehorse office on business days during the referendum period, the statement added. Appointments can be made locally outside of the set hours.
McLean encouraged eligible electors to vote and added that the referendum provides communities an important opportunity to determine if their school would be administered by the First Nation School Board or a school council.
“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,” she said.
First Nation School Board chair Dana Tizya-Tramm said the board offers an “innovative and groundbreaking approach to public education in Canada.”
Tizya-Tramm noted that schools will “promote reconciliation by enhancing a Yukon First Nations model that puts the student first, through a strengths-based, community-centered approach.”
The First Nation School Board was established in February 2022 after an agreement was signed by 10 Yukon First Nations in June 2021.
Official results of the referendum will be available on Feb. 28.
Eight Yukon schools already joined the First Nation School Board following referendums in 2022.
Contact Patrick Egwu at firstname.lastname@example.org