The Dene Nation will be holding its first- ever Education Summit on March 17th & 18th in K’atl’odeeche First Nation Reserve (Hay River) in large part because the Auditor General’s Report on Education recently highlighted the lack of equitable access to education.

The Dene Nation noted that this was an issue too familiar to Dene communities.

“Many schools in the North struggle with basic resources and students are required to upgrade after graduation to meet post-secondary requirements. There is a need for more training, cultural and language-based education and mental health support to ensure a strong foundation for youth to excel.”

The Summit will engage Dene leadership and work to develop a shared vision for Indigenous education in the NWT. During the session, leadership will engage in discussions around Indigenous governance and Dene jurisdiction of education moving forward and share best practices from across the North.

Following the Summit, a visionary document is to be produced and used to guide education planning, processes and programs and ultimately, a collaborative process with the Federal and Territorial Governments.

Dene National Chief Norman Yakeleya notes that going forward, this vision will set the stage for the Dene Nation’s relationship with the territorial government as it relates to Indigenous education.

“We are at a critical time as Dene people. More than ever, we are working towards securing a strong foundation for our youth and future generations as we continue to establish cultural and language based education programs.”

All members of the Dene Nation are welcome to observe the Summit.