Province Developing Plan for ‘Education Crisis’ in Fort Chipewyan and Conklin

The provincial government is developing a plan to combat the ‘education crisis’ happening in Fort Chipewyan.

In the northern hamlet, no students were able to graduate during this school year while around 12 teachers are moving away from the hamlet. In Conklin, they’re facing a 100 per cent turnover at their school heading into next year.

Education Minister Adriana LaGrange met with leadership of the Northland School Division about the current situation.

“I am concerned about the situation happening at Athabasca Delta Community School and Conklin Community School,” she said, in a release.

“While significant improvements have been made by the school division, high teacher turnover demonstrates that we still need to find solutions to the additional challenges facing the education system in these two communities.”

Wood Buffalo council met on Tuesday where they approved sending a letter of support to multiple federal, provincial, and regional politicans requesting an urgent meeting be held to discuss the situation.

At the time, CAO Annette Antoniak noted she was personally calling the deputy minister to clarify the municipality’s concerns over the crisis.

“We are looking at developing a long-term plan that will look at a variety of issues facing the school division, including infrastructure and staff housing,” said Robin Guild, Board Chair of Northland School Division. “I look forward to engaging with the Government of Alberta to address the challenges we are facing.”

LaGrange says she’s also contacted Mayor Don Scott about setting up a meeting and plans to keep in touch with Seamus O’Regan, the federal minister of Indigenous Services, to keep him informed.

“We need to ensure everyone plays a role in supporting this community,” she added.

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