NWT Literacy Awards

All NWT residents benefit from literacy

Literacy skills in our NWT Official Languages are crucial to daily living, employment, citizenship, personal advancement and life enjoyment.

The Minister of Education, Culture and Employment created the NWT Literacy Awards to honour the literacy achievements of youth and adult learners, exceptional educators, and organizations and businesses across the territory.  


Outstanding Educator – Diana Gargan

Diana Gargan has been teaching at Deh Gáh school in Fort Providence for many years. Diana has taught in the language immersion program and, over the years, has done much professional development on the topic of language learning. She actively promotes and encourages language learning for all staff. In the past three years, Diana has set a goal to increase literacy levels in her school and has worked tirelessly in this pursuit. Diana's literacy intervention and teaching in the primary grades is setting a foundation for success in learning for the whole school.

Diana gently encourages parents and she uses the relationships she has fostered with her community to improve attendance and learning. During the pandemic, she successfully contacted many parents to encourage them to continue supporting learning through school closures.

Outstanding Educator – Georgina Franki

Georgina Franki is a Tłı̨chǫ elder, born and raised in the Northwest Territories. Since starting with College Nordique Francophone in 2019, Georgina has grown enrolment in her language classes. Her classes consist of Tłı̨chǫ citizens wanting to learn their language and newcomers to the territory interested in learning Tłı̨chǫ. 

Georgina is helping to create innovative ways of teaching and revitalizing one of the 11 Official Languages of the Northwest Territories. Georgina and Rosie Benning led the creation of a Tłı̨chǫ workbook, one of the first of its kind - Tłı̨chǫ Yatıı̀ eyıts’ǫ Dǫ Nàowoò. This workbook can be used in so many ways by different people: elders, adults, young adults and teenagers, and even  by parents to help teach their children and future generations.

Second Language Learner – Bertha Drygeese

Bertha Drygeese is a participant in the Mentor Apprenticeship Program (MAP) where she is learning her Indigenous language of Wıìlıìdeh. Bertha has worked with both her mother (Elder, Mary Louise Drygeese) and her sister (Mary Rose Sundberg), completing over 275 hours of language learning time. Throughout her learning, she’s increased her proficiency in her Indigenous Language while developing stronger connections to her family, community and culture. In the 2022-23 program, Bertha applied to participate for a third year, but this time as a mentor to her daughter instead of as an apprentice!

Bertha believes that learning languages is a lifelong journey. Speaking her language makes her feel physically, mentally and spiritually strong; strengths she can pass on to her daughter. Not only has Bertha contributed to her own personal literacy by participating in the MAP, but she has also taken her second language learning a step further and brought it into her family and community. Bertha’s language learning journey, which has taken her from learner to teacher, has allowed her to take back what was taken away from her.

Council of the Federation Literacy Award – Western Arctic Youth Collective

The Western Arctic Youth Collective (WAYC) is a youth-led collaborative focused on empowering youth in the Beaufort Delta region of the Northwest Territories. WAYC promotes family, Indigenous, health, and community literacy through its unique programming. The group promotes oral literacy through its virtual book clubs that invite participants to take turns reading the book aloud together. 

WAYC also promotes digital literacy through workshops on podcasting and video editing, land-based literacy skills through wilderness and leadership camps, and Indigenous language revitalization through events like Language Bingo and Language Scavenger Hunt and by distributing language learning kits. WAYC promotes strong mental health literacy through virtual wellness check-ins and annual workshops that include discussions on addictions, mental health and suicide, as well as life promotion and community empowerment.

How do you nominate someone for an award?

To nominate someone for an award, fill out the nomination form and email it to nwtliteracy_awards@gov.nt.ca by the deadline. You must include two email references and/or letters of support. Additional supporting material, such as photographs, audio-visuals, publications and products, are welcome but not necessary.

For help filling out this form please contact the NWT Literacy Council at 867-873-9262 or by email at nwtliteracy@nwtliteracy.ca.

Nomination Deadline for 2023

•    July 6, 2023 - Premiers of Canada Council of the Federation of Literacy Award

What are the award categories?

There are nine total literacy awards that may be given each year, including eight Ministerial Literacy Awards and the Premiers of Canada Council of the Federation of Literacy Award.

The Ministerial Literacy Awards include:

  1. Youth Learner Literacy Award
  2. Adult Learner Literacy Award
  3. Youth Indigenous Language Champion Award
  4. Outstanding NWT Educator Award
  5. Outstanding Support for Literacy Development NWT Business Award
  6. Second Language Learner Award
  7. Supporting Literacy Through Technology Award
  8. Outstanding Non-Profit Support for Literacy/Language Development 

All awards criteria are outlined in the nomination form below.  


How many winners will there be?

There will be up to nine winners: one Premiers of Canada Council of the Federation of Literacy Award winner and up to eight Ministerial Literacy Awards (one per category if there are appropriate submissions).

How are award winners selected?

Recipients are selected through a nomination and selection committee process. 

Where are the awards presented?

The awards will be presented virtually.

What do award winners receive?

  • The winner of the Premiers of Canada Council of the Federation of Literacy Award receives a Council of the Federation medallion, a $300 literacy grant cheque, and a congratulatory letter and certificate from the Premier of the Northwest Territories.
  • Winners of the Ministerial Literacy Awards will each receive a $150 literacy grant cheque, and a congratulatory letter and certificate from the Minister of Education, Culture and Employment.