Northern Studies

Curriculum Information and Documents

Northern Studies 10 is a 5 credit course mandatory for graduation. The course is meant to teach about the land, languages, history and cultures of the Northwest Territories. 

For English programming:

For French Immersion and French as First Language programming:

Northern Studies 30

The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) is piloting Northern Studies 30 (NS30), a 5-credit Northwest Territories (NWT) high school course that focuses on land, governance, wellness and reconciliation. NS30 is a made-in-the-NWT curriculum that is based on engagement with Indigenous Governments and other education partners, such as education body superintendents, the GNWT Indigenous Languages and Education Secretariat, curriculum consultants and various working groups.

The NS30 course focuses on four key areas:

  • The Land: The identities, worldviews, and languages of the people in the Northwest Territories are renewed, sustained, and transformed through their connection to the Land.
  • Governance: Indigenous peoples continue to advocate for and assert rights to self-determination. Understanding how political decisions are made is critical to being an informed and engaged citizen, and is influenced by the distribution of political and social power.
  • Wellness: Indigenous peoples are reclaiming mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being despite the continuing effects of colonialism in the NWT and beyond. Mental and physical wellness ties directly to the quality of the relationships between people, the land, and the spiritual world.
  • Reconciliation: Reconciliation requires all northern people to work together to foster healing, address injustice, and celebrate diversity and living well together through the 21st century.

NS30 is the first NWT-created course to use British Columbia’s curriculum framework, as the territory begins to implement the BC curriculum in all Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12 (JK-12) classrooms over the next several years. The format centres around respectful relationships with Elders, knowledge keepers and local communities.

Treaty Simulation

As an optional resource for Northern Studies, the GNWT is also working in partnership with The Gordon Foundation to launch three pilot treaty simulations in NWT classrooms this semester.
Teachers from all regions had the opportunity to train in treaty simulations last September. The simulation is specific to an issue in the NWT (i.e., caribou management, protected areas, self-government).

Students will learn about the different roles governments and participants play in treaty negotiations, protocols for working with Elders and advisors. Students will then take on roles and work on teams to write and present a proposal, and come to a consensus, based on their understanding of the issues.

The outcome of the Treaty Simulation aims to see students: learn the history of modern treaties and their negotiation and implementation; build skills in leadership, public speaking, conducting research, problem solving, communicating, and presenting ideas; and appreciate how Indigenous and non-Indigenous perspectives shape politics and culture, and respect those different values and worldviews.

The basis of both NS30 and the Treaty Simulation rely on invaluable local context, connections and expertise from NWT communities and their knowledge keepers.

Northern Studies 30 Curriculum and Materials