Elders in Schools Program

In 2013, in an effort to honour the teaching role that Elders have always had within Aboriginal communities, a program was developed to ensure that Elders are part of every school in the NWT. The goal is for students and staff to learn from Elders as they share their wisdom, knowledge and experiences, as well as their language and traditional skills. Through relationships with these Elders students and staff also learn the stories and history of the local people. Activities include storytelling sessions to talking while preparing food, fixing fishnets or beading, or simply having tea together. The Elders in Schools Program provides an opportunity for Elders to be teachers within the school setting.

The work of Education Renewal in this area focuses on making sure the Elders in Schools Program is running smoothly and effectively, and offering continued funding and support for its implementation. It also focuses on improving the handbook, developed to assist teachers to integrate Elders into the classroom. This helps educators know how to better involve and support Elders in their schools. A formal evaluation of the program is currently taking place to see where improvements can be made.