Chief Jimmy Bruneau School

Chief Jimmy Bruneau School (CJBS) is a Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12 (JK-12) school that opened in 1971 in Behchokǫ̀ (Edzo), Northwest Territories (NWT).

As part of the capital planning process for all schools, it was determined in 2018-19 that some parts of CJBS were technically sound but required major renovations (i.e., updates to classrooms and upgrades to mechanical and electrical systems). It was determined that other elements were in need of replacement (i.e., the four-bay bus garage and the residence).

At the time, rather than see the current school in Edzo renovated, the Tłı̨cho Government wanted CJBS replaced with a new school located in Rae.

In 2022, the proposed renovation work on CJBS was moved to the planning phase in the 2023-24 capital budget because the renovation project didn’t reflect the Tłı̨chǫ Government’s preference of a new school. Therefore, the renovation budget was replaced by funding to complete the planning work toward the goal for a new school.

Working group formed

The GNWT, Tłı̨cho Government and Tłı̨cho Community Services Agency has formed a working group to look into the possibility of building a new school in Behchokǫ̀.

The working group is overseeing a Planning Study for a new school that would replace both CJBS in Edzo and JK-8 Elizabeth Mackenzie School in Rae. The Planning Study will include a cost estimate for the project; it’s expected to be complete in spring 2025.

The Tłı̨cho Government and GNWT have been gathering informal feedback from Tłı̨cho residents on what they want to see in a new school, such as its mission and programming, location of various school features and infrastructure, as well as open feedback/comments.

If it’s determined that the project will move forward, construction of the new school likely wouldn’t begin until 2028, at the earliest.

In the meantime, the GNWT continues to monitor and address any operational issues at CJBS as part of its regular maintenance.