Hotıì ts’eeda says the NWT’s modernized education act needs to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and work more closely with Indigenous governments.
The organization, a research support office run by the Tłı̨chǫ government, says UNDRIP could be used as a basis for reforming the territory’s education act in the future.
The GNWT has been consulting with various groups on how to modernize its education act for a number of months. The process of modernization aims to increase student education outcomes to the same level as the rest of Canada.
Education minister R.J. Simpson says one of the biggest priorities with the refresh is improving the education outcomes of rural and Indigenous students who often underachieve.
“It’s one of the most significant undertakings this government has taken to date,” said Simpson, speaking in the Legislative Assembly on May 28.
Simpson says the territorial government has received around 600 public feedback responses and held a number of consultation sessions.
The organization is also calling for the establishment of regional Indigenous governing education bodies and to certify language and cultural knowledge holders to teach in classrooms.
The recommendations come in a paper, titled “Ełeyati ts’edı” — meaning “we are sharing words and taking them into consideration” in Tłı̨chǫ.
“ECE is at the early stages of the process to modernize the Education Act,” ECE said in a statement on their website. “While this current engagement period has ended, ECE will engage with the public again when a legislative proposal has been developed.”
Correction notice: in a previous version of this article, the article stated Hotıì ts’eeda wanted UNDRIP to be added to the NWT’s revised curriculum but the organization’s statements were in regards to the Education Act modernization.