School communities to vote on joining the First Nation School Board

This is a joint release with the Department of Education, the First Nation School Board and Elections Yukon.

As announced in December 2022, Minister of Education Jeanie McLean has accepted resolutions from school councils and petitions from community members to request their school join the First Nation School Board in the 2023–24 school year.

At the close of the submission period, Minister McLean has accepted resolutions from school councils or petitions from school communities, triggering a referendum vote at the following schools:

Elections Yukon will oversee the referendum voting process on behalf of the Minister of Education.

Referendum voting begins on Thursday, February 16, and be open until Monday, February 27. More details are below:

Additional information on voting options and eligibility is available at Official results will be available on Tuesday, February 28, 2023. 

This second referendum provides school communities an important opportunity to hear if their school would like to be administered by the First Nation School Board or a school council, as per the Education Act. I encourage all eligible electors to learn about the options, engage in school community discussions, and vote. We want all Yukon students to have opportunities to learn about First Nations' ways of knowing, being and doing, and we continue to work towards decolonizing our educational system. Thank you to Elections Yukon for conducting the referendum vote.

The First Nation School Board offers an innovative and groundbreaking approach to public education in Canada, whereby the BC Curriculum is delivered through the rich worldview of Yukon First Nations. These schools are for all Yukon students and promote reconciliation by enhancing a Yukon First Nations model that puts the student first, through a strengths-based, community-centered approach. Community Committees replace School Councils offering far greater localized control and authority over decisions related to their schools. We look forward to welcoming any Yukon public schools ready to join our board.

The referendum vote process will be administered by Elections Yukon for those school attendance areas which has requested, through school council referendum or community petition, to join the First Nation School Board. Referendum voting processes are relatively new; they follow closely the school council election process for eligibility; an elector in the attendance area or a parent of a student attending the school. Additional information is available on the Elections Yukon website to support your access to the referendum vote including voting options and timelines.

The CCOE negotiated the First Nation School Board Agreement to begin to put into action some of the visionary calls to action put forth in Together Today for our Children Tomorrow. Our leaders past and present have long been asking for a new model of public education, whereby Yukon First Nations and settlers to this land build an education partnership where we can equally share our knowledge systems to nurture and prepare students for the modern world. The First Nation School Board is completely unique in Canada – and is a shining example of Reconciliation in Action – that allows the strengths of our Yukon First Nations ways to rectify the ills of the colonial education system and create a school system that better serves all Yukon students.