GNWT announces new teaching resource that explores the traditional culture and history of the NWT

News Releases

Yellowknife — October 15, 2020

The Department of Education, Culture and Employment (ECE) is pleased to announce a new teaching resource has been developed to support the social studies curriculum in schools across the NWT.  This resource invites students to embark on an interactive paddling journey from Fort Smith to Tuktoyaktuk, featuring thirty-two stops along the traditional transportation route, each highlighting a riverside community or significant landmark.

This resource can be accessed online and is flexible to accommodate a distance learning context.  The resource was made to match the Grade 4 Social Studies curriculum and includes carefully curated readings, songs, photos, stories, and videos throughout. It can be used in its entirety or by incorporating select stops along the journey.  Although the resource is offered at a Grade 4 learning level, it can be a useful and educational resource for a variety of ages including adults.

An accompanying student journal filled with thought-provoking writing prompts and reflective questions helps students strengthen understanding.  Furthermore, the teacher’s guide includes suggestions for inquiry-based projects and a variety of extended learning opportunities, many of which could be adjusted for students to complete while continuing their schooling from home.

This project was first created as a master’s thesis design study by Michelle Swallow, the author of The Mackenzie River Guide – A Paddler’s Guide to Canada’s Longest River.  The interactive resource was then collaboratively refined and expanded with beautiful new visual elements and text designed and created by Indigenous employees: Sadetło Scott, Emily Sabourin, and Nikita Hehn who joined the Department of Education, Culture and Employment as part of the summer student and internship program, under the guidance of other ECE staff.



“We are proud to release a new teaching resource that is culturally relevant to the North. Through this virtual journey, students will learn about the land, customs, languages and traditions that carry the identity of our northern cultures and ways of life. It is important that we continue to include NWT narratives in the delivery of education in the territory.”

-R.J. Simpson, Minister of Education, Culture and Employment






For all Media Requests, please contact: 

Jaimee Kepa
Education, Culture and Employment
Government of the Northwest Territories