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CEREMONY BRINGS COMMUNITY TOGETHER TO USHER IN NEW ERA OF EDUCATION AT ST. ELIAS COMMUNITY SCHOOL

CEREMONY BRINGS COMMUNITY TOGETHER TO USHER IN NEW ERA OF EDUCATION AT ST. ELIAS COMMUNITY SCHOOL

NEWS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 20, 2022

Dakwäkäda/Haines Junction, Yukon – The community of Dakwäkäda/Haines Junction is coming together today to mark a new era of education for our school under the First Nation School Board. The Ceremony is an important way to begin the new school year in the spirit of reconciliation and moving forward together for all students.

Since the community voted to join the new school board this January, St. Elias Community School is now moving to a child-centered model of public-school education framed in two worldviews, incorporating local First Nations ways into all aspects of learning and school life.

Organized by Champagne and Aishihik First Nations, the First Nation School Board and St. Elias Community School, all members of the public are invited to attend this momentous gathering and are encouraged to wear their traditional regalia.

“We are happy to celebrate this critical step to build a better educational future for our people. We are growing our school so every child has access to learning based on their own unique strengths; so more kids stay in school, graduate, and leave high school better prepared for life, jobs, university and trades, and ready to contribute to a stronger, healthier community,” says Kaaxnox, Dän Nätthe Äda (Chief Steve Smith). “Champagne and Aishihik First Nations is proud to help carry on the vision that Chiefs Elijah Smith, Paul Birckel, Harry Allen and other Yukon leaders had when they prepared ‘Together Today for our Children Tomorrow’. This is a huge step forward, but the journey is just beginning. Everyone in Dakwäkäda/Haines Junction has a role to play to continue building a better future for our children.”

“It is a great honour to be supporting our school teams, our students and our families in this transition to a new model of education grounded in Yukon First Nations ways of knowing and doing,” says Melissa Flynn, Interim Executive Director of the First Nation School Board. “As changes in the schools will be implemented gradually, we are asking everyone to focus this year on strengthening their relationship to the community, relationship to the land. This event allows just that, while bringing everyone together in ceremony, walking the path of reconciliation.”

 

Contact: Jenna Henderson Communications Officer Champagne and Aishihik First Nations

jhenderson@cafn.ca or (867) 334-6264

Katharine Sandiford Communications, First Nation School Board communications@fnsb.ca

(867) 333-4011

 

EVENT DETAILS:

When: Tuesday, September 20 11:15am –1:00pm

Where: St. Elias Community School – Soccer Field

Highlights of the ceremony will include:

  • Prayer song
  • Short traditional story
  • Remarks by representatives of: Champagne and Aishihik First Nations
    • First Nation School Board
    • Government of Yukon, Education
    • St. Elias Community School
  • Dakwäkäda Dancers
  • Ceremony
  • Lunch served at tent on soccer field

 

BACKGROUNDER:

The FNSB was established in February 2022, through a series of school-attendance area referenda, enabling Yukon First Nations to assume shared authority with Government of Yukon in the delivery of public-school education in the territory. Board-run schools will continue to follow the BC Curriculum, but will tailor the programming, lesson delivery and assessment methodology to reflect Yukon First Nations ways of knowing, being and doing.

These schools are for all Yukon students and aim to promote reconciliation by enhancing a Yukon First Nations model that puts the student first, through a strengths-based, community-centered approach.

Equally, all teachers are welcome at these schools and are supported by the Board to adapt their strengths and thrive within the new pedagogy. We aim to authentically work with the community to make student-centered decisions for the up-coming year, utilizing Community Committees and Parent Advisory Committees, that will be established shortly after the board trustees are elected in November.

  • Chief Zzeh Gittlit School, Old Crow, Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation
  • Johnson Elementary School &Watson Lake Secondary School, Watson Lake, Liard First Nation
  • Ross River School, Ross River, Ross River Dena Council
  • St. Elias Community School, Haines Junction, Champagne and Aishihik First Nations
  • Nelnah Bessie John School, Beaver Creek, White River First Nation
  • Grey Mountain Primary School, Whitehorse, Ta’an Kwäch’än Council and Kwanlin Dün First Nation
  • Takhini Elementary School, Whitehorse, Ta’an Kwäch’än Council and Kwanlin Dün First Nation

 

For more information, please visit: www.fnsb.ca