This is page numbers 1525 - 1578 of the Hansard for the 12th Assembly, 7th Session. The original version can be accessed on the Legislative Assembly's website or by contacting the Legislative Assembly Library. The word of the day was language.

Topics

Committee Motion 101-12(7): To Amend Clause 71 Of Bill 25, Carried
Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 1565

The Chair Brian Lewis

Okay, try again, Mr. Antoine.

Committee Motion 101-12(7): To Amend Clause 71 Of Bill 25, Carried
Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 1565

Jim Antoine Nahendeh

I understand that it is the language of instruction, Mr. Chairman. What are the chances of now, in this system, having enough teachers fluent in the languages available to teach the language of instruction in all courses? What is this legislation doing to ensure that happens? What this does is limits it. You are putting conditions on there that will ultimately make it difficult to do that. That is my concern. Thank you.

Committee Motion 101-12(7): To Amend Clause 71 Of Bill 25, Carried
Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 1565

The Chair Brian Lewis

Mr. Minister.

Committee Motion 101-12(7): To Amend Clause 71 Of Bill 25, Carried
Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 1565

Richard Nerysoo Mackenzie Delta

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. This is not intended to be a barrier. This is intended to ensure that there is quality assurances for the communities. I can advise the Member that Innuqatigiit and Dene Kede allow all communities to teach aboriginal languages without any barriers. The curriculum has already been approved. So there is already a basis on which we can teach languages. On the issue of teaching the total program, all elements, we require qualified teachers in our own languages. There are two different issues. That is why I can advise the Member that the teacher education program is, in fact, to make those teachers available. The honourable Member has some of the more qualified aboriginal language educators in the Northwest Territories. Yet, he knows that we don't have enough of them and that is why, beginning this year, we are going to establish the community education program in this community. We have done it in North Slave, the Beaufort/Delta, we are going to be doing it in the Sahtu and Deh Cho this year. We have done it in the Kitikmeot, Keewatin and Baffin, south and north. We have had really great success in the Keewatin; probably, in terms of return on our investment, the highest percentages. Right now, over 50 per cent of the teachers who are hired to teach in the schools in the Keewatin and close to 50 per cent in the Baffin. So we know the success of the community teacher education program and we are starting to see it in the Dogrib communities as well.

That is what our intention is. We are hoping that by the year 2000, as we stated here, 50 per cent of our teaching force will be aboriginal people where we can deal with question of quality assurances in teaching all subjects in the languages.

Committee Motion 101-12(7): To Amend Clause 71 Of Bill 25, Carried
Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 1565

The Chair Brian Lewis

Thank you, Mr. Nerysoo. Mr. Antoine.

Committee Motion 101-12(7): To Amend Clause 71 Of Bill 25, Carried
Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 1565

Jim Antoine Nahendeh

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I have one last comment on clause 71. The Minister is talking about all these things the department is doing with regard to providing aboriginal languages in the communities. What we have now is okay, but my understanding of this act is to take what we have now and improve on it. Young people in grade 7, 8 and 9 are coming to meet me and they want to speak their language and they want that in school. High school students come to me saying they want their language in high school, but that isn't available now. My understanding of this act was the language of instruction would be developed to provide that availability for them. It is an official languages issue. That is the law of the land. That should be made available to aboriginal students in the west who want to have that opportunity offered to them in the communities. Is that what is happening in this bill?

Committee Motion 101-12(7): To Amend Clause 71 Of Bill 25, Carried
Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 1565

The Chair Brian Lewis

Thank you, Mr. Antoine. Mr. Nerysoo.

Committee Motion 101-12(7): To Amend Clause 71 Of Bill 25, Carried
Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 1565

Richard Nerysoo Mackenzie Delta

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. This bill makes it easier for aboriginal languages to be used, both as a language of instruction and as a subject. The previous Education Act didn't allow that to happen. We are allowing that to happen, along with the district education authority, to choose the language of instruction from kindergarten to grade 12, not just kindergarten to grade 2, as it is now.

Presently, there are high school courses that have been developed and are now being offered in Deh Cho as part of the language courses. We are working on these issues and, obviously, there are two elements to this: one, the issue of instruction; and, the issue of language classes.

Committee Motion 101-12(7): To Amend Clause 71 Of Bill 25, Carried
Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 1565

The Chair Brian Lewis

Thank you, Mr. Nerysoo. Next was Mr. Allooloo.

Committee Motion 101-12(7): To Amend Clause 71 Of Bill 25, Carried
Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 1565

Titus Allooloo Amittuq

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I have been listening with interest on this section. I believe the section deals with the language of instruction in this particular bill. It sets out the language of instruction that will be taught in the school. My understanding is that the existing bill allows the students to be taught in their own language, at least in the Baffin region, from kindergarten to grade 2. I wonder if the Minister could cite, in this proposed bill, something that would give me the comfort that would guarantee that the language of instruction will be the same or even better than grade 2; that would specifically cite that the first language would be taught.

Committee Motion 101-12(7): To Amend Clause 71 Of Bill 25, Carried
Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 1565

The Chair Brian Lewis

Thank you, Mr. Allooloo. Mr. Nerysoo.

Committee Motion 101-12(7): To Amend Clause 71 Of Bill 25, Carried
Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 1565

Richard Nerysoo Mackenzie Delta

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. It is clear, Mr. Chairman. The language of instruction must be an official language. It says it isn't a matter of a prerogative, it must be. If the official language of instruction is Inuktitut, then

that is the language of instruction. The DEA makes that decision. In other words, it isn't going to be the department that makes the determination. We are going to set the standards and the criteria, but they will make the choice of the language. However, it must be an official language. As a result of that, if the official language is Inuktitut, they have to make certain that as a subject, English must be taught. That is their choice.

On the other hand, if English is the language of instruction, an official language other than English must be taught as part of the educational program. It is clear that the language of instruction has to be an official language.

Committee Motion 101-12(7): To Amend Clause 71 Of Bill 25, Carried
Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 1566

The Chair Brian Lewis

Thank you, Mr. Nerysoo. Mr. Allooloo.

Committee Motion 101-12(7): To Amend Clause 71 Of Bill 25, Carried
Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

June 22nd, 1995

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Titus Allooloo Amittuq

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. My understanding is that the kids are taught in their first language, which is Inuktitut, from kindergarten up to grade 2. I wanted to get comfort from the Minister that specifically cites that this will continue on even further than grade 2. He didn't cite a clause which would give me comfort. He is saying it will be left up to the DEA; provided that there is significant demand, sufficient number of teachers fluent in that particular language, that they are available, that materials are available, and the Minister has to approve it. Whereas before, it was up to the local education authority if this was taught. They didn't have to go to the Minister, or cite whether there was significant demand or a sufficient number of teachers to teach that language. Now, I understand they have to. If the DEA approves it, does it go up to the Minister? Could the Minister cite a clause in this act that will give me comfort that whatever is happening in Pond Inlet, Igloolik and Hall Beach will continue, or even become better than it is today for the Inuktitut language?

Committee Motion 101-12(7): To Amend Clause 71 Of Bill 25, Carried
Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 1566

The Chair Brian Lewis

Thank you, Mr. Allooloo. Mr. Nerysoo.