Education ministers sign curriculumAlberta leader says province can learn from NWT on indigenous issues
Northern News Services
Friday, September 30, 2016
The NWT education minister has signed a five-year licensing agreement with his Alberta counterpart to continue to use Alberta's curriculum guidelines, achievement tests and diploma exams.
Education, Culture and Employment Minister Alfred Moses, front, Alberta Education Minister David Eggen and Nunavut Education Minister Paul Quassa sign a licensing agreement in Yellowknife Monday to use Alberta's school curriculum and testing practices. The NWT and Nunavut will also now share with Alberta its models for teaching about residential schools and indigenous cultures. - John McFadden/NNSL photo
Alfred Moses put pen to paper on Monday during a ceremony at the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre along with Alberta Education Minister David Eggen and Nunavut Education Minister Paul Quassa.
The signing ceremony came after the three ministers and representatives from all three education departments held a day of discussion about curriculum, assessment, student learning, Truth and Reconciliation calls to action and the national Indigenous Education file. Moses said to his knowledge, this was the first time education ministers from these three jurisdictions have discussed these issues.
"A lot of discussion we had was on residential schools and the curriculum we have," said Moses. "Both myself and Minister Quassa gave some really insightful tips and mentioned programs that we are doing in our jurisdictions."
Moses said he believes the residential school curriculum his department is developing is at a high level and comes with plenty of local input from residential school survivors. He added the NWT has a lot to offer Alberta when it comes to other potential curriculum, including how the territory has settled land claims and instituted indigenous self-government.
Eggen agreed with Moses on that point, saying this type of sharing is critically important.
"We know that the NWT and Nunavut have been leaders in ensuring that First Nations, Metis and Inuit culture and language are a part of everyday teaching," said Eggen.
"What better place for us to come than with our partners in curriculum to develop new curriculum outcomes for the 21st century."
"It was an historic day today," he said.
"It got me very excited to move forward with Minister Eggen and Minister Quassa in developing this curriculum - and making sure our past is learned and that people know what our ancestors, our parents, our grandparents went through in our education system moving forward."
Unlike Alberta, the NWT has 11 official languages. Moses said several indigenous leaders have said they want these languages taught in NWT schools.
"We created the Aboriginal Languages Secretariat to do a focus on all our official languages ... to put more focus on how do we get those aboriginal groups that are losing their language to be revitalized again," Moses said.
"We are giving funding to the aboriginal governments so that they can implement ... what they think will work for them."
Moses said the NWT can learn from Nunavut on how to protect language and culture.