NWT launches public post-secondary consultation

An external view of Aurora College's Fort Smith campus in winter, photographed by the Taylor Architecture Group
An external view of Aurora College's Fort Smith campus in winter, photographed by the Taylor Architecture Group.

The Northwest Territories’ department of education has announced its latest plans for post-secondary education renewal: a “visioning survey” and speaker series.

The announcements come a week after the department revealed Tom Weegar is taking on the role of Associate Deputy Minister of Postsecondary Education Renewal.

Weegar began his job, which involves overseeing the transformation of Aurora College into a polytechnic university, on March 4.

The territorial government said residents are invited to provide input in order to help the NWT’s eventual vision reflect its people and their ideas.



The short survey asks seven questions about the benefits of post-secondary education inside and outside the territory, the challenges post-secondary institutions face in delivering quality programming in the NWT, and the supports students need to be successful.

Residents are also asked which programs or training opportunities should be offered, and which research topics should be prioritized.

The survey can be found online, at an education, culture, and employment service centre, or at a government service office. It closes on April 23 at 8am.

The department expects Weegar to guide creation of the NWT’s vision for the university – and the territory’s broader post-secondary offerings – and lead analysis of results from consultations like the survey.

‘Inspire discussion’

A free public speaker series is also planned to “help inspire discussion,” a press release stated.

Seven speaking events are scheduled in March for Inuvik, Fort Smith, and Yellowknife:

  • Friday, March 8: Dechinta Centre for Research and Learning and UAlberta North will lead a roundtable discussion in Yellowknife on making post-secondary education responsible to place and people;
  • Tuesday, March 12: Hotıì ts’eeda: NWT SPOR Support Unit will present a vision for post-secondary education in the NWT in Inuvik;
  • Wednesday, March 13: In Fort Smith, Aurora College will host a Ken Latour presentation on post-secondary readiness.
  • Thursday March 14: In Yellowknife, Hotıì ts’eeda: NWT SPOR Support Unit will host while John B Zoe will present on a vision for education that benefits everyone;
  • Wednesday, March 20: Aurora College and the department of education will talk about creating a polytechnic university. Tom Weegar will lead the presentation in Yellowknife;
  • Thursday, March 21: The NWT’s Chamber of Commerce hosts Dan Drimes of SLR Consulting in Yellowknife to talk about the benefit of environment programs;
  • Tuesday, March 26: In Yellowknife, Collège nordique francophone hosts speakers from francophone colleges to talk about collaborative governance and innovative program delivery models.