Contributing to the development of an NWT polytechnic university

Policy Interventions
Project Year: 

Hotıì ts’eeda has published a response to discussion papers by the GNWT Department of Education, Culture, and Employment on plan for the future NWT polytechnic university. Hotıì ts’eeda’s response – titled Tsik’e daa de Enitle dee Ko: Land of the Northwest University – was co-authored by Chairperson Dr. John B. Zoe and Scientific Director Dr. Stephanie Irlbacher-Fox. The response describes plans for the polytechnic university’s governance, areas of teaching, and research specializations. 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:

  • appoint an Indigenous chancellor who brings expertise in Indigenous culture, knowledge, and ways of life;
  • 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;
  • 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
  • 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: