- Our expertise and experience—We have worked in the area of literacy, both
in training and in developing resources for a number of years. As well, all
our program staff have worked as
educators in the school or adult education system, or both. Several staff have
worked in ECE as curriculum and policy developers for school and adult literacy
programs. One person
speaks an Aboriginal language and is knowledgeable about Aboriginal literacy.
Collectively, we have a wealth of expertise and experience in language and
- Our long-term commitment to the NWT and our understanding of language
issues here—All our staff are long-time northerners. Four of us have lived in the north for between 8
and 29 years, and the other was born here and speaks an Aboriginal language. We have
extensive experience of language issues, of life in small communities and of the importance of
community development and ownership. We are all committed to the north and its people.
That commitment to meeting the needs of northerners is making us ask questions about how
we can do a better job of supporting Aboriginal literacy.
- Our credibility in communities—As a community-based organization, people respect our
efforts to build skills within the community. Many communities have benefited from our
work. Altogether we have trained more than 65 people in family literacy and 20 communities
have run, or are running, a number of family literacy programs–some in Aboriginal
At the same time, however, we face a number of challenges that might limit
- Our mandate—Language communities suggested
a range of activities that we might be involved in, but not all are within
our mandate. Some are the
responsibility of language communities' and others are a government responsibility.
This does not mean that we cannot partner with another organization, however.
We have chosen to focus on areas that build community capacity, believing
that giving people skills to do something for themselves is more effective
than doing things for people. We would like to retain that focus.