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Yukon to expand First Nation curriculum

Yukon to expand First Nation curriculum Starting this fall all Yukon Grade 5 students will learn about First Nation history.

Yukon to expand

First Nation curriculum

Starting this fall all Yukon Grade 5 students will learn about First Nation history.

The lessons will teach about Yukon First Nations in a pre-contact setting, focusing on languages, clans, citizenship and traditional governance.

“Incorporating Yukon-based materials into curriculum is essential to ensuring that all students learn about local First Nations’ history, language and cultural traditions,” said Education Minister Scott Kent.

The curriculum has been available but optional to Yukon teachers since 2008.

Starting this fall, the First Nations social studies unit will be mandatory.

In addition, some schools will pilot Grade 10 curriculum about the Indian Residential Schools this fall.

In 2009 the Tr’ondek Hwech’in published a book called Finding Our Way Home about the experiences of Yukon First Nation people in residential schools.

Now the Education Department is working with the First Nation to develop a teaching guide to accompany the resource, said Kent.

Nunavut and the Northwest Territories introduced residential school curriculum in 2012, and the Yukon is closely monitoring those jurisdictions, he said.

Teacher training will be available to all Yukon teachers who will be using both the Grade 5 and Grade 10 curriculum, said Kent.

(Jacqueline Ronson)

Premier responds to Peel oral comments question

The First Nation of Nacho Nyak Dun wants to know why oral comments were not reflected in the most recent Peel consultation report.

The What We Heard document processed 2,127 written submissions to the Yukon government, as well as 8,048 signatures generated by petitions and postcard campaigns, but made no mention of oral submissions made during the government’s open houses.

The NDP Opposition brought the question to the legislature Monday.

“Given the central and important role of elders and their wisdom, why didn’t the minister ensure that, during the latest round of consultations, their comments would be transcribed word-for-word and put in the public record?” asked MLA Kate White.

“Certainly, oral comments helped to form the general comments in the What We Heard document that was out there,” responded Premier Darrell Pasloski. “Certainly, people were encouraged to provide written comments, in light of the fact that there always can be some interpretation around oral comments that are made.”

And the wisdom of elders will probably inform the ongoing consultation with First Nation governments, he added.

“Certainly, I will assume that the First Nations will be listening to the elders as part of gathering their information and putting forward their thoughts on this when they come back for that specific consultation with the government and then to move forward with this plan.”

(Jacqueline Ronson)