FIRST NATION EDUCATION VISIONING PROJECT

Spirit & The Masks
“The main thing is to be moved, to love, to hope, to tremble, to live.”
Management
Spirit and the Masks is a story of reconciliation, the story embraces a changing climate for First Nations after enduring over 100 years of repression. Youth wanted to acknowledge their history of education, learn from that history and be inspired to choose what education might look like for their future.

The Colonizer character depicts control, a darker time in history and reflects a time where residential schools displaced family, culture and tradition. The bell represents enforcing the rule and the spirit represent reconciliation. The Spirit uses the drum and all that it represent to search out truth. The drum signifies the movement in change and empowers the First Nations inner spirits, rebirth and growth.

The Mask represents identity, the Colonizer and Bell force the First Nation to remove their identity and to give up on their heritage and culture. Its the practice of assimilation, divide and conquer then ridicule until the Spirit finds a way to break into the realm of despair and then regenerates a life style that was almost extinct.
Envisioning a First Nation School
The Council of Yukon First Nations (CYFN) is embarking on a journey to determine whether there is an appetite for a First Nation School in the Yukon and if there is, what that school or school system would look like. We are asking questions like:

  • What is an authentic education that honours First Nation ways of knowing, learning and doing?
  • What kinds of programming and school experiences would intrigue students and bring them back every day?
  • Who are the teachers, mentors, and councilors that are best suited to walk students down a path to success?
  • What would a ‘classroom’ look like, physically and experientially?
  • What would a student experience over the course of a day?
  • Can we envision a school that honours First Nation pedagogies while meeting the learning outcomes of a modern and changing society?
  • What is student success anyway?

We believe that school need not solely be about academics, but a place where languages and identities are celebrated and all parts of a person is nurtured - mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically. We also believe that student success can be found in First Nation education models as proven in a number of jurisdictions across Canada. In teasing out a Yukon First Nation education system, it is imperative that we seek the advice of the individuals we seek to serve, the students. The voices and experiences of our youth are essential to the success of any education system.

The Council of Yukon First Nations is partnering with the Individual Learning Centre (ILC) and Youth of Today Society to develop an accredited course to allow for youth expression towards this visioning project. We recognize that youth have various ways to express themselves – through writing, art of various forms and mediums, music, drama and film. Our intention then, is to tap, foster and support multiple forms of expression to allow for various demonstrations of youth voice in the shaping of our school vision.

The ILC has agreed to provide student support and guidance on the project, a certified teacher and course credits in alignment with grade and course level learning outcomes. Students will have access to a variety of experiential mediums to allow for multiple ways for self-expression with operative space, technology and materials provided by Youth of Today Society. CYFN will help cover the costs for one skilled trades mentor who will guide each student through to a final project product.

Jennifer Wykes
CYFN Director of Education

Operational Information
Youth Of Today Society
Open 12pm - 8pm (Mon-Fri)

InnerVibe
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Youth Of Today Society
404c Ogilvie Street,
Whitehorse, Yukon, Y1A 2S4
867-633-9687

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Office Hours
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