Literacy has a profound and pervasive impact on the residents and communities of the Northwest Territories. Literacy, or its lack, impacts people of all ages and permeates every aspect of our society.  In the Northwest Territories, literacy is seen as a lifelong process and is encouraged in all eleven official languages. Literacy is understood to include many different skills, including reading, writing, numeracy, computer use, oral communication, problem solving and critical thinking. NWT residents without adequate literacy skills experience challenges participating in the labour market, earning sufficient income, managing their own health and contributing to community development. Effective literacy interventions are a key component in empowering NWT residents to become self-reliant and healthy.

The vision for the Northwest Territories, as stated in Towards Literacy: A Strategy Framework 2008-2018, is a society where:

  • all people can read and write
  • all people can actively participate as citizens
  • literacy is valued as a lifelong learning process necessary for personal, social, political and economic development; and
  • people value literacy in all official languages of the NWT.

It is the second of two NWT Literacy Strategies and is based in part upon the findings of the International Adult Literacy and Skills Survey, (IALSS), 2003. The implementation of the NWT Literacy Strategy is guided by the Literacy Strategy Advisory Committee, a committee with membership from the Department and from all sectors of society and regions of the NWT.