An agreement between three post-secondary institutions is providing an opportunity for more Indigenous programming in the Northwest Territories.
On Tuesday, Aurora College, Collège nordique francophone and the Dechinta Centre for Research and Learning signed a memorandum of understanding — formalizing a collaborative relationship between the three schools.
Kelsey Wrightson, executive director of the Dechinta Centre for Research and Learning, says she is excited by the agreement.
“I’m really heartened, by our conversations that we’ve already had with individuals between our institutions,” Wrightson says, “and now with the three of us being at the same table is just going to increase the opportunity for Indigenous-led programing.”
A press release says the three institutions will work together to support the development of programs to provide students with more choices.
This includes collaboration on upcoming projects, potential exchanges as well as staff training opportunities and regular meetings to discuss shared interests.
Collège nordique francophone offers a Tłı̨chǫ language class, but Josée Clermont, executive director, says the memorandum raises the possibility of offering additional Indigenous language classes.
“We always try to offer what is being asked by the community,” she says, “obviously this would facilitate, because then we could work together using the facilities of each others institutions.”
Clermont says a 2017 study found there is support in the community for the school to incorporate more of the territory’s 11 official languages.
Clermont, Wrightson and Andy Bevan, Aurora College president, say no projects have been scheduled but the three plan to meet in the future to collaborate.