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Canku Ota

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(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America



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New Life for Languages in Whitehorse School


by CBC Canada


WHITEHORSE - A Whitehorse school council wants to bring Gwich'in and Tlingit languages into the classroom.

School councillors, parents and students from F.H. Collins high school started working on the idea a few months ago after Yukon's minister of education announced funding for more native language instructor trainees.

"There are many First Nations in the Yukon and we think this enriches the school environment and is very important for language and culture," says Heather McFadgen, chair of the school council at F.H. Collins.

McFadgen says the idea for the new language programs came from interested parents and students.

The details of the courses are still being worked out.

However, this isn't dampening enthusiasm.

Joe Linklater, Chief of the Vuntut Gwich'in First Nation, says there is a lot of interest among Old Crow students living in the Yukon capital.

"Our children, when they move to Whitehorse, lose that opportunity to learn the basics of the language in school. So we're happy to hear the opportunity is there so that they can continue to learn," said Linklater.

McFadgen is optimistic the courses will be offered as early as this autumn.

The school's principal is asking students about the idea and working with the education department.

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