Check against delivery
Mr. Speaker, at long last, it gives me great pleasure to announce that the members of the new Aurora College Board of Governors have been selected.
I would like to welcome and congratulate the following individuals on their appointments:
- Joseph Handley of Yellowknife;
- Lorraine Tordiff of Fort Smith;
- Lucy Kuptana of Tuktoyaktuk;
- Rebecca Plotner of Yellowknife;
- Tom Colosimo of Hay River;
- Jack Rowe of Hay River;
- David Hurley of Yellowknife;
- Kevin Antoniak of Fort Smith;
- Stephanie Irlbacher-Fox of Yellowknife;
- Richard Boudreault of Quebec;
- Student member, Cayla Gillis;
- Instructional Staff member, Wanda Roberts; and,
- Non-instructional Staff member, Xiaoyi Yan.
This Aurora College Board of Governors is responsible for overseeing the implementation of the Aurora College Mandate Agreement, which is an agreement between the Minister and the Board that sets the shared strategic priorities and the scope of activities to be undertaken by Aurora College. The first Mandate Agreement was released on March 1, 2023.
Mr. Speaker, the commitment to transform Aurora College into a polytechnic university was first made in the 18th Legislative Assembly. The selection of the board represents an important step we are taking towards shifting this institution, and establishing a fully-accredited polytechnic university in the Northwest Territories.
Mr. Speaker, I also want to note another critical milestone achieved. The Bachelor of Education and Bachelor of Social Work programs have been reviewed and will be offered once again, beginning in September 2024, along with a new General Arts and Science Programs.
These made-in-the-North degree programs will allow students to complete their education close to home, stay connected with their culture and land, and help fill critical gaps in the labour force.
Although the timing of certain critical milestones related to the transformation has been adjusted, all commitments are still on track to be fulfilled by October 2026. This includes the planning for the establishment of the Indigenous Knowledge Holders Council, which will ensure an Indigenous lens is applied to all aspects of College governance. I encourage everyone who is interested in the transformation or the new timeline, to visit the Aurora College Transformation website.
There is still a lot of work to do. I would like to thank the champions of the polytechnic university for their continued efforts, and I look forward to keeping Members and NWT residents informed along the way.
In closing, I would like to thank Mr. Denny Rodgers for his nearly six years of service as the Administrator of the Aurora College. Mr. Rodgers provided stable and consistent leadership during a time of significant change, across multiple Ministers and Presidents, and through a worldwide pandemic. I have enjoyed working with him, and his efforts and contributions are greatly appreciated.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker.