• FortsmithNWT

Fort Smith, Inuvik and Yellowknife Urge the GNWT to Develop the Vision for Post‐Secondary Education

FORT SMITH, NORTHWEST TERRITORIES | January 11, 2019





The Town of Fort Smith, the Town of Inuvik and the City of Yellowknife recognize the shared interest in

strong post‐secondary opportunities for our residents, our communities and all northerners. Together,

as the three communities currently hosting Aurora College campuses, we urge the Government of the

Northwest Territories (GNWT) to establish a clear vision for post‐secondary education – specifically a

polytechnic university ‐ in the Northwest Territories (NWT).


A strong knowledge economy benefits the entire NWT. Without a university presence in the NWT we

face enormous lost opportunities to advance the academic, social and economic advantages for all

northerners, as well as the ability to attract academics and students from elsewhere who would benefit

from the opportunities for learning and research in the NWT. We believe that no decision should be

made that would be a detriment to any NWT community.


We are united in seeking to advance a post‐secondary education framework with a governance model

that reflects academic best practices and is arms‐length from government. This framework must

incorporate a range of interests while providing a collaborative path forward. At this time, we look

forward to seeing the implementation plan, with key milestones, that will advance this transformation

of post‐secondary education. The GNWT has our support to do so and we look forward to contributing

to this important work in 2019 and beyond.


Mayor Napier‐Buckley stated “The Town of Fort Smith is committed to supporting the growth of Aurora

College as a degree‐granting polytechnic institution. Building a shared vision of post‐secondary

education based on engagement and consultation with communities, students, and families across the

territory is the next critical step. Prioritizing a quality, accessible education that builds on our community

learning centres, campus communities, research centres, and headquarters is attainable and

sustainable, and we are excited to continue being partners in this growth.”


Mayor Rebecca Alty stated “Modern, relevant post‐secondary opportunities in the NWT that can

inspire social, economic and educational development in our communities and across the NWT is a win

for all Northerners, and Yellowknife looks forward to working with the GNWT and other communities to

advance this meaningfully.”


Mayor Natasha Kulikowski stated “By investing in the current strengths and continued successes of the

Aurora Campus and Aurora Research Institute here in Inuvik, the new polytechnic university would

enhance the education, research and development opportunities available while ensuring the residents

of Inuvik, the Beaufort Delta Region and the NWT can remain among the innovators. “



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