GNWT launches new Our Languages Curriculum

News Releases

Yellowknife — October 30, 2020

Today the Department of Education, Culture and Employment announced the official launch of the Our Languages JK-12 Indigenous languages curriculum. 

Our Languages is a competency-based curriculum that provides Indigenous language instructors with curricular outcomes, instructional strategies, and assessment tools to foster language growth in classrooms. It promotes a whole-school approach to language learning to ensure that Indigenous languages are heard and spoken throughout schools, at assemblies, and during routines and in all Northwest Territories classrooms.

The curriculum is not based on grades but rather focuses on students’ attainment of five language learning levels: Emergent, Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, and Capable – by the end of Grade 12.

Our Languages was made in the Northwest Territories in collaboration with Indigenous Elders, teachers, language champions, neurolinguistic experts, curriculum coordinators and community advocates, and was informed by national and international curricular documents. Our Northern language experts helped to ensure that Our Languages aligns with the two foundational curricula of the Northwest Territories’ education system, Dene Kede and Inuuqatigiit (in-new-CAH-ta-ghee), that ground teaching and learning in Indigenous traditions, culture and place. 

 As of the current school year, 42 out of 49 schools offer Indigenous language programming as a second language. In addition, four schools now offer Indigenous immersion programming in the primary grades:

o   Deh Gah Elementary School (Fort Providence)- JK-3

o   Elizabeth Mackenzie Elementary School (Behchokǫ̀)- JK-2

o   Chief Albert Wright School (Tulita)- JK-K

o   Ɂehtseo Ayha School (Délı̨ne)- JK-K




“Language and culture contribute to a strong sense of identity and pride for northerners. This new curriculum is built on the premise that our languages can survive and will thrive when schools and communities join together to make language learning a priority. Through our shared commitment to language revitalization we will realize our vision of a territory where Indigenous languages are thriving, supported and respected.”

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


Quick facts:

·       To support the implementation, ECE has developed a variety of assessment tools and classroom resources.

·       Teachers will be provided with ongoing training and where possible in-class support.


Related Links:

·       Our Languages Curriculum


For all media requests, please contact:

Jaimee Kepa

Education, Culture and Employment

Government of the Northwest Territories