Contributing to the development of an NWT polytechnic university

Category: 
Policy Interventions
Project Year: 
2020-21

Hotıì ts’eeda has responded to recent discussion papers by the GNWT Department of Education, Culture, and Employment, providing specific input on plans for the polytechnic university’s governance, areas of teaching, and research specializations. Hotıì ts’eeda’s response – titled Tsik’e daa de Enitle dee Ko: Land of the Northwest University (make this a link to the paper) – was co-authored by Chairperson Dr. John B. Zoe and Scientific Director Dr. Stephanie Irlbacher-Fox. It provides constructive suggestions and considerations building on the considerable work and effort that went into the GNWT papers. The paper reflects the direction given to Hotıì ts’eeda by its partners through collaborative initiatives over the past five years, emphasizing the need for the polytechnic university to incorporate Indigenous and western knowledge and strengths into all aspects of philosophy, design, and functioning of the institution, and to do so in a way that implements the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Some of the paper’s key recommendations are to:
    1    appoint an Indigenous chancellor who brings expertise in Indigenous culture, knowledge, and ways of life;
    2    complement the chancellor position with a president who holds a PhD and is an established leader in their field of study, has a recognized track record of research in the North, and an ability to lead an educational institution;
    3    adopt a governance approach that rests on collaboration and partnership with Indigenous governments, communities, and representatives from key economic sectors such as mining and business, as well as non-government organizations; and
    4    pursue six areas of teaching and research specialization organized into distinct schools within the polytechnic, ranging from a school of human and social development to a school of post-secondary readiness and continuing education.
For more information on the GNWT’s discussion papers:
    1    Polytechnic University Areas of Teaching and Research Specialization, GNWT Department of Education, Culture and Employment (ECE), September 2020
    2    Aurora College and Polytechnic University Governance, GNWT Department of Education, Culture and Employment (ECE), August 2020