Accession N-1999-020 - NWT Arts Council

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NWT Arts Council

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  • [199-?] (Creation)
    Northwest Territories. Department of Education, Culture and Employment (1992-present)

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1 poster

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Administrative history

The Department of Education, Culture and Employment was established in August 1992 with the amalgamation of the Department of Education with the Department of Culture and Communications.

The Department of Education, Culture and Employment has been responsible for the following: providing school programs and services; museums and heritage programs; public library services, television and radio programs and services; culture and language programs and services; public and private sector training, income support programming, post-secondary education and college programs and services. The department's objective is to enable the people of the Northwest Territories to reach their full potential and to contribute to the cultural, social and economic development of the Northwest Territories.

The Directorate and Administration Activity provides for the overall management and administrative support under the direction of the Deputy Minister who recommends the goals, objectives and standards of the department to the Minister. This includes strategic planning, development of legislation and policy, budget co-ordination, capital planning, financial services and systems support. It is also responsible for leading government-wide reform and transfer of income support programs to interested communities and enhancing the creation of sustainable jobs through a number of programs and services, such as the labour force plan.

The Advanced Education Activity operated between 1993-1994; it combined all major government-training functions within the department. This involved the administration of the Public Service Career Training Program, Employment and Post Secondary Student Financial Assistance Programs, as well as the monitoring and setting standards for continuing education. The Student Services Division, which was part of this activity, began decentralizing its counseling services to Career Centres within various regions in 1993-1994. The Advanced Education Activity coordinated literacy projects and delivered the following adult training programs: the Northwest Territories Apprenticeship Training Program, Construction Worker Training Program, Training On-the-Job Program and Short Term Employment Program. Education and employment training for social assistance clients, training for present and future government employees, college diploma and certificate programs, short-term skill training courses and university transfer programs were delivered by this activity. College programs administered by Arctic College were also funded under this activity. Arctic College delivered education programs geared specifically to the needs of the northern workforce and economy. In 1994-1995, the College completed its decentralization by establishing head offices in Iqaluit and Fort Smith. This resulted in one college serving the Nunavut area and one serving the western portions of the Northwest Territories. The College operated with funds received from the Department of Education, Culture and Employment. The College also generated its own funding from tuition fees, room and board charges, investment income and contracts with organizations for the delivery of training.

The Culture Activity delivered programs with a cultural emphasis such as the Museums/Heritage program, Public Library Services, Television and Radio Services and the Language Bureau. The Museums/Heritage program was responsible for collecting, preserving, researching, documenting and presenting the cultural and natural history of the Northwest Territories. This function was achieved through museum and archival programs at the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre and the Northwest Territories Archives, as well as through the provision of advice, technical support and financial contributions supporting community heritage projects. Other territorial programs administered by the activity included archaeological resource management and the geographic names research program. Library Services provided some financial assistance to community libraries through grants and contributions programs. The service provided funding to municipal councils for the operation of library programs, as well as the training of local staff through regional and distance education courses. The Language Bureau provided interpretation, translation and other communications services to the Government of the Northwest Territories and the Legislative Assembly in all official languages of the Northwest Territories, except Cree. The Language Bureau included both an aboriginal language and French language section. Aboriginal languages broadcasting and community services were the major focus of Television and Radio Services. This service was involved in the production and broadcasting of programs through Television Northern Canada (TVNC) and provided contributions to community broadcasting societies and regional native communications societies to support the production and broadcast of culturally relevant radio and television programs in aboriginal languages. Television and Radio Services was also responsible for the maintenance of television and radio facilities in 27 small communities throughout the Northwest Territories. The Culture Activity combined with the Advanced Education Activity in 1995-96 to become the Culture and Careers Division. However, Library Services and Television and Radio Services became the responsibility of the Educational Development Division and formed the basis for Information Networks.

In 1994-1995, the Culture and Careers Branch was created by combining programs and services related to Culture and Heritage, Museums, Language Bureau, Colleges and Continuing Education, Career Development and Student Financial Assistance, Employment Support programs, Human Resources Development for Government of the Northwest Territories employees and Child Day Care. This branch intended to increase flexibility for their programs and services in order to allow communities and regions to have a greater role in determining their own priorities. The division was responsible for a long-term plan for human resource development, which included mining industry training programs, career counseling for community staff and youth employment initiatives. In 1999-2000, this division was renamed Advanced Education and Careers Division when the programs and services related to culture, arts, heritage, museums and language were moved to the Educational Development Division which was then renamed the Education and Culture Division. The Advanced Education and Careers branch provided a range of programs and services related to career development, employment development and support programs, the College, continuing education and income support. The branch continued to coordinate human resource development activities across the Government of the Northwest Territories.

The Educational Development Branch, formerly the Schools Activity, oversaw the delivery of K-12 schooling, inclusive schooling and residence programs; development and implementation of K-9 curricula; the implementation of secondary curricula adapted from Alberta and the monitoring and evaluation of school jurisdictions. This division was also responsible for the delivery of professional training programs; support for the development and delivery of early childhood programs; and the development of public information and distance learning systems, including public libraries; television, radio and internet services. The Educational Development Branch placed an emphasis on the community development of programs, improved access and the use of aboriginal languages and student support. Between 1995-1996, Library Services and Television and Radio Services were moved from the Culture Activity to the Education Development Branch to form the basis for Information Networks. The focus of Information Networks was to cooperate with other Government of the Northwest Territories departments and private sector organizations in order to improve telecommunications links to communities. The department provided information and system training, as well as providing for the establishment of interconnecting networks for all educational institutions and municipal networks in all communities with more than one educational institution. This division was renamed the Education and Culture Branch in 1999-2000, when the cultural, arts, heritage, museums and language programs were transferred from the Culture and Careers Division.

In 2005-2006, there were three major changes that impacted Education, Culture and Employment. The first change was establishment of an Official Languages Division based on recommendations made in a report by the Special Committee on Official Languages to the Legislative Assembly. The recommendations were accepted by the Legislative Assembly and served as the basis for a number of adjustment to the Official Languages Act; establishment of the Official Languages Board and the Aboriginal Language Revitalization Board; publication of an annual Official Languages Report and the issuance of the Aboriginal Culture and Language Directive for school authorities. The report also called for the establishment of an organizational structure to lead the GNWT involvement in language matters. As a result, effective April 1 2005 a Languages Division was established that reported to the Deputy Minister. This Division will serve a leadership role in language policy and regulatory matters. As well, Division staff will direct the coordination of language activities across the GNWT. In 2005, the GNWT also decided to consolidate labour services functions with employment activities. As of April 1, 2005 the Labour Services Unit and responsibility of the Labour Standards Board, were transferred from the Department of Justice to Education, Culture and Employment. The third change that came into effect on April 1, 2005 was the transfer of public housing and rent subsidies from the NWT Housing Corporation to the Department. This action was linked to the broader initiative of the GNWT and legislators to establish a general policy framework for all income security programs and to consolidate programs where possible.

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This accession consists of one NWT Arts Council poster.

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