Northwest Territories Literacy Council

This Week in Literacy

Friday, February 29th, 2008

Community Events and Information

March is Aboriginal Languages Month
Celebrate Aboriginal Languages Month in your community. Check out our Culture and Traditions How to Kit on our website for some fun ideas to celebrate your Aboriginal language.

International Adult Learners’ Week: March 3 – 9
Celebrated in over 40 countries, IALW showcases adult learners and promotes lifelong learning in all its forms. The celebration of IALW in 2008 will focus on the 60th Anniversity of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the right to education and learning. “We believe that the Week is a perfect opportunity to underscore the important connection between adult learning and building sustainable communities that value diversity and human rights.” Says the Secretary-General of the Canadian Commision for Unesco, David A. Walden.

NWT Literacy Council PGI Fundraiser for Literacy: April 14 and 15

Our Peter Gzowski Golf Invitational for Literacy will be a little different this year. The NWT Literacy Council will be holding two fundraiser evenings at NACC on April 14 and 15, 2008. The events start at 6 pm each evening with “Putt with a Celebrity for a Donation” and raffle of various donated prizes. The concert starts at 7 pm. Our celebrity guests include Shelagh Rogers (host of CBC radio’s Sounds Like Canada), Canadian music legends Murray McLauchlan and Ian Thomas, Connie Kaldor and Mike Stevens, Jonathon Torrens (J-Roc of Trailer Park Boys) and our own home grown celebrity Aaron Hernandez (aka Godson). Tickets for the concerts are $30 for adults, $15 for students and will be available at the Book Cellar after March 10th.

The Frontier College New Readers Bookstore
As of March 3, 2008 the Frontier College New Readers Bookstore will be up and running and ready to take your orders. For more information call 1-800-555-6523 or email

HR Council for Voluntary and Non-profit Sector launches redesigned website

The HR Council for the Voluntary & Non-profit Sector (HR Council) is pleased to announce the launch of its redesigned website With its visually stunning design, intuitive navigation and interactive features, the new site is a place for people to connect, share and learn. As the premiere source of information, tools and resources related to human resources in the voluntary and non-profit sector, the new features:

  • An updated and expanded HR Toolkit
    Formerly known as HRVS, this popular resource features a simplified navigational structure, expanded content and updated tools, templates and resources.
  • A new HR Forum
    Featuring discussion forums, a community calendar and a host of other interactive features, the HR Forum is a place to connect with peers and share perspectives.
  • Sector perspectives in a new 'Trends & Issues' feature
    Timely, relevant and thought-provoking articles from the field will cover specific trends and issues. Readers will be invited to share their thoughts and perspectives.

Pan-Canadian Interactive Literacy Forum, April 14-15, 2008

Education ministers across Canada are united in their commitment to literacy and learning from coast to coast to coast. That’s the driving force behind the Pan-Canadian Interactive Literacy Forum, which will use webcasting to broadcast streaming video in real time and connect 10 sites around the country. Some will feature keynote speakers, including world-class literacy and education experts, top policy makers, and celebrated entertainers. All will champion an individual theme, such as Aboriginal literacy, community, early learning, and workplace literacy. This first pan-Canadian literacy forum is expected to draw approximately 3,500 learners and other participants from the education, non-profit, business, and labour sectors. For more information go to

Saskatchewan Arts Board [] has offered the following opportunity to the literary community:

The Saskatchewan Arts Board is hosting a gathering of First Nations writers, literary and Indigenous arts program consultants, publishers and editors, to share insight and ideas. The Saskatchewan Arts Board will provide a facilitator, the meeting space, meals, administrative support, and travel costs, accommodation and honoraria for participating writers and guest editors.

Interested writing and publishing consultants from across Canada are invited to share their expertise and distinct regional perspectives. In exchange, they will have a unique opportunity to learn about the challenges facing Aboriginal writers, to engage in collaborative problem-solving, and to take away fresh ideas for their own program development. We hope you will join us in this historic venture. We look forward to a creative and enlightening experience. By beginning the conversation about how best we can work together to facilitate the development of First Nations editors, we are taking a small step toward ensuring that Canadian writers and publishers produce works—novels and poetry collections and children’s books—of cultural significance and artistic excellence.

2135 Broad Street Regina, Saskatchewan S4P 1Y6
P: (306) 787-4056 Toll Free (Sask): 1-800-667-7526 F: (306) 787-4199

Location: Radisson Hotel, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

Dates: Wednesday, March 19th and Thursday, March 20th, 2008

We will open the gathering with dinner at 6:00 on Wednesday, followed by readings, a video presentation and an introductory session. We will reconvene at 8:00 a.m. Thursday through 3:00 p.m., with breakfast, refreshment breaks, and luncheon provided.

To register, please reply to Laura Harms, Administrative Coordinator, at (306)964-1165 or by Monday, February 25th. Information packages will be sent to registered participants.

A block of rooms has been reserved at the Radisson Hotel Saskatoon for Wednesday, March 19th. A limited number of rooms are also available for Thursday, March 20th for those whose travel arrangements require a second night’s accommodation. To receive the special rate of $129.00 per night, please make your reservations directly with the hotel’s reservation department at (306) 665-3322, or through the toll free number at 1-800-333-3333 prior to February 27, 2008. Request the Saskatchewan Arts Board rates.

top of page

In the News

Ministers of Education Initiate National Dialogue
Toronto, February 26

Ministers of Education from across Canada met in Toronto and agreed to new initiatives to promote and enhance their key priorities: Aboriginal education, literacy, and postsecondary education capacity.

Aboriginal Education

Ministers believe that eliminating the education gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples is an economic and moral necessity. To that end, ministers will host a summit in 2009 on improving Aboriginal achievement rates. “We are committed to ensuring that all people have access to quality education. In a global economy, we need every Canadian achieving his or her full potential,” stated the Honourable Kelly Lamrock, Chair of CMEC, and Minister of Education for New Brunswick. The event will bring together Aboriginal education stakeholders to explore ways of improving the educational success of Canada’s Aboriginal peoples, including First Nations, Métis, and Inuit. Ministers are committed to partnering with Aboriginal peoples to support their life-long learning. Ministers met with Phil Fontaine, Grand Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, David Chartrand, President of the Manitoba Métis Federation and Vice-President of the Métis National Council and the Honourable Lloyd Axworthy, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Winnipeg to discuss the recent Aboriginal University Education Roundtable. To read the whole article go to

Launch of Flash Cards Promoting the Inuit Language
Iqaluit, Nunavut, February 21

Louis Tapardjuk, Minister of Culture, Language, Elders and Youth (CLEY), has unveiled today, at the Legislative Assembly, a new set of flash cards to promote the Inuit Language among preschoolers. To read the news release go to

Health Literacy in Canada: A Healthy Understanding
February 20, 2008

What is health literacy? The Canadian Public Health Association defines health literacy as: “Skills to enable access, understanding and use of information for health.” These literacy skills are used for a wide range of daily tasks, such as making healthy lifestyle choices, finding and understanding health and safety information, and locating proper health services. To read the whole article go to:

Population Better Schooled, But No Smarter, says new education report.

HALIFAX, NS - Formal educational attainment has never been higher-but there is no indication that levels of knowledge and literacy are increasing in the Canadian or Nova Scotian populace. Indeed, in some areas-like civic literacy and political awareness-knowledge is declining. Those are among the startling findings of the just-released GPIAtlantic Education Indicators Report. To read the whole article go to:

Computers in schools hurt literacy, report warns
The Canadian Press, February 26, 2008

Winnipeg -- The growing use of computers in schools can be hazardous to the education of young children, suggests a report for the right- wing think tank Frontier Centre For Public Policy. Time spent in front of a computer could be better spent learning basic literacy skills and interacting with the teacher, the report says. The Media Awareness Network, a non-profit group based in Ottawa and Montreal, says children start using the computer at home at an early age, and need to be taught how to use it responsibly.

Education ministers tackle 40% illiteracy rate (called an economic emergency that harms country's ability to compete globally)
Feb 27, Louise Brown, Education Reporter, Toronto Star

Education ministers from the 10 provinces and three territories warned that Canada's 40 per cent illiteracy rate is an economic emergency blocking this country's ability to compete in global markets. "When 40 per cent of the people in Canada read below the level required to function effectively in the workplace, that's really a silent economic killer," New Brunswick education Minister Kelly Lamrock said yesterday. Some provinces fare even worse. In New Brunswick, the illiteracy rate climbs to 48 per cent "and in some provinces it's as high as 50 per cent," said Lamrock, chair of the Council of Ministers of Education of Canada, at the end of a two-day meeting in Toronto.

"If you want to compete in the knowledge economy, you simply can't have half the workforce of a country on the sidelines when the economy changes.” In a bid to tackle these "stubbornly high illiteracy rates," the education ministers will join together to host a national forum in literacy April 14 and 15 that will take place in 10 cities, all linked "in real time" by teleconferencing.

top of page

New Resources and Websites

Free Cree Learning Materials

The Cree program has free learning materials available at the NWT Metis Nation office located in Fort Smith. Materials include:

  • The Bush Cree Dictionary with 2 disks
  • Illustrated story books for elementy schools (3 different books)
  • 2 volumes of Listen & Learn Cree CDs
  • Posters & small hand bags

The program is currently working on 4 illustrated pre-school books on the life of Pi Kennedy, a well known trapper from Fort Smith. These pre-school books will be completed by Spring time. If you have any questions about the Cree program you can contact Vance Sanderson.

Vance Sanderson , Manager, NWT Cree Program
Fort Smith, NT, 206 McDougal Rd., Box 720 X0E 0P0
ph# 867 872 2733 Fax: 867 872 2772 e-mail:

Learning in Peace: A Model for Violence-Free Adult Literacy programs by Jenny Rizk with Anne Moore, Action Read Community Literacy Centre, Guelph, 2006

Towards a “Whole Life” Perspective on Learning Disabilities in Adult Literacy Settings: A Conceptual Framework to Guide Professional Development, by Suzanne Smythe and Dawn Courage, August 2007

Barriers to Youth Employment in Nunavut: A Research Report and Action Plan, Nunavut Literacy Council, 2007 To download go to:

Literacy: The Foundation for Learning, by the Nunavut Literacy Council
To download go to:

From Concrete to Abstract: The Benefits of Using a Guided Reflective Writing Technique With Adult Students by Leonne Beebe
To download go to:

top of page

Lisa Campbell

Community Literacy Coordinator
NWT Literacy Council
Box 761
Yellowknife, NT X1A 2N6
Toll Free: 1-866-599-6758
Phone: (867) 873-9262
Fax : (867) 873-2176
Web Site:

The NWT Literacy Council is a non-profit, non-government agency dedicated to supporting the development of literacy in all official languages of the NWT.

NWT Literacy Council logo

top of page