NWT Literacy Facts

Which definition do you like?

Different people and agencies have unique definitions and ways to think about literacy and essential skills. Today, we think of literacy as much broader than just the ability to read and write!  We think of the degree to which someone has the skills, knowledge and understanding to manage their personal and work life.

"Literacy is the lifelong development of a broad range of skills with one of more of the NWT official languages for the purpose of expanding an individual’s potential for optimal health, personal success and positive participation in community wellness and development."
(Literacy Strategy 2008-2018, Government of the NWT)
We define literacy as "seeing and knowing what you see" a definition developed by Inuit elders in Gjoa Haven, Nunavut.
(Ilitaqsiniq, Nunavut Literacy Council)
"Literacy is the ability to identify, understand, interpret, create, communicate and compute, using printed and written materials associated with varying contexts. Literacy involves a continuum of learning in enabling individuals to achieve his or her goals, develop his or her knowledge and potential and participate fully in community and wider society"
(UNESCO 2005: 21).
The skills "required by human beings to be able to survive, to develop their full capacities, to live and work in dignity, to participate fully in development, to improve the quality of their lives, to make informed decisions, and to continue learning."
WCEFA, 1990:11