Blog

This month I learned more about helping immigrants to Canada enjoy being outdoors in Yellowknife. For the first five days in May I was outside in the snow at the Forest and Nature School Practitioners Course. Forest and Nature School is “an outdoor learning model rooted in play, child-directed and inquiry-driven experiences.” The school model exposes students to regular and repeated sessions in… Read more.
It’s not everyday you get to dream big, but recently the Department of Education, Culture and Employment asked people to do just that: to articulate a vision for a postsecondary education system for the Northwest Territories. Several groups hosted public sessions, plus the Department sought input through an online survey. We followed the discussions with interest, attended several sessions, and… Read more.
Well this was a first! The first time I ever worked with northern youth who were relatively new to Canada. I delivered a Digital Storytelling workshop with Yellowknife youth who had roots in Syria, Palestine, United Kingdom, Kenya and Somalia. They were all new to Canada within the past three years. What an inspiring, resilient, brilliant, and fun group of young people. The NWT Literacy… Read more.
I had the good fortune to learn more about decolonization late this winter. Critics of reconciliation argue that it merely attempts to increase satisfaction with existing systems. It’s my understanding that decolonization demands that colonial systems of power and governance be dismantled with new decolonized systems created in their place. All this learning took place at the Community Leaders… Read more.
Collective impact is a social change model that brings people together to define problems and solutions for change on large-scale issues like poverty, climate change, homelessness, and gaps in education. Earlier this spring I was at the Tamarack Institute’s Collective Impact training. I learned the model is an evolving approach based on five core conditions. Common agenda Shared measurement… Read more.
When BYTE was invited last month to come work with the NWT Literacy Council and several of their partners, we jumped at the chance! This would be a first visit to Yellowknife for our organization. We would get to spend two days with other youth workers sharing what we love about working with youth and how we approach youth facilitation – we were stoked! BYTE —Empowering Youth Society is a… Read more.
We’re hosting the PGI Bowl-a-Thon for Literacy on Saturday, April 27. I have five good reasons you should sign up or sponsor a bowler. The money we raise buys supplies for our Bison Bus, a mobile family literacy centre. It will visit road-accessible communities this spring, summer, and fall. We need to keep buying books, as well as craft supplies to give to families. Support early literacy. The… Read more.
Recently, I spent a week visiting programs and attending a workshop that will help me improve the weekly Speak English Café events I organize at the Yellowknife Public Library. The goal of a conversation circle is to encourage English language learners to use English for tasks, to express ideas, and to voice opinions. The most successful circles are relevant, engaging, and connected to the… Read more.
The NWT Literacy Council hears from community family literacy facilitators that they want more dads and male role models to come to their programs. We committed to create a resource or tip sheet to help get dads involved in family literacy. But the task seemed daunting to me, as I am not a man or a dad. How do I know what will support dads? So I recently jumped at the chance to go to a… Read more.
The keynote speaker at last week’s Indigenous Languages and Education Symposium urged her audience to help each other and work together to promote and revitalize Indigenous languages. Dr. Lorna Wanasts’a7 Williams, of the University of Victoria, said the Northwest Territories is privileged to still have so many Indigenous language speakers. While colonization, including education, was used to… Read more.