Sept. 8 marks International Literacy Day, a day that helps in reminding people of the importance of literacy as way to improve both oneself and their community.

As well, on each Literacy Day, Canada’s Premiers today announced the recipients of the annual Council of the Federation Literacy Award, an honour that was created in 2004 and officially handed out on Aug. 11, 2005.

“The Award celebrates exceptional achievement, innovative practice and excellence in literacy,” reads the winner’s announcement notice.

“[It] celebrates adult learners who undertake literacy training, as well as the valuable contributions made by Canadians in the field of literacy, including family, Indigenous, health, workplace, and community literacy,” it continues.

Presented in all provinces and territories, this year’s Northwest Territories Literacy Award winner is the Western Arctic Youth Collective (WAYC) (with regards to the other territories, Nunavut and Yukon’s winner were Jeela Palluq-Cloutier and Donald Inverarity, respectively).

WAYC is a “youth-led collaborative focused on empowering youth in the Beaufort Delta region of the Northwest Territories.”

“WAYC promotes family, Indigenous, health, and community literacy through its unique programming. The group promotes oral literacy through its virtual book clubs that invite participants to take turns reading the book aloud together. WAYC also promotes digital literacy through workshops on podcasting and video editing, land-based literacy skills through wilderness and leadership camps, and Indigenous language revitalization through events like Language Bingo and Language Scavenger Hunt and by distributing language learning kits. WAYC promotes strong mental health literacy through virtual wellness check-ins and annual workshops that include discussions on addictions, mental health and suicide, as well as life promotion and community empowerment.”

The full list of 2022 Council of the Federation Literacy Award winners are as follows:

Prospect Human Services Society– Alberta

Margaret Sutherland – British Columbia

Marilyn Freda Captain – Manitoba

Krista Stephens – Newfoundland and Labrador

Valarie Higgins – New Brunswick

Jean-François Ouellette – New Brunswick

Western Arctic Youth Collective – Northwest Territories

Andrew Chacko – Nova Scotia

Jeela Palluq-Cloutier – Nunavut

Ontario’s e-Channel Team – Ontario

Sally Hitchcock – Prince Edward Island

KidsFirst NORTH – Saskatchewan

Donald Inverarity – Yukon

Each Award recipient receives a certificate, signed by the Premier of their province or territory, as well as a Council of the Federation Literacy Award medallion. The Council of the Federation comprises all 13 provincial and territorial Premiers. It enables Premiers to work collaboratively, form closer ties, foster constructive relationships among governments, and show leadership on important issues that matter to Canadians.

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