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Tutor-learner duo receive literacy award in Whitehorse

KDFN Elder Louie Smith (LEFT) and tutor-volunteer Ted Ackerman (RIGHT). PHOTO BY John Kennedy / CKRW

Premier Sandy Silver presented the Council of the Federation Literacy Award on Tuesday in Whitehorse.

Premier Sandy Silver presented the Council of the Federation Literacy Award on Tuesday in Whitehorse.

Medals were presented to Kwanlin Dun First Nation Elder Louie Smith and his tutor-volunteer, Ted Ackerman, during an early-morning ceremony in the Yukon Government Main Administration building today.

Silver says it's an honour to recognize Ackerman and Smith for their contributions to literacy and Yukon First Nations language revitalization and preservation.

"Their story exemplifies lifelong-learning, respect, and relationships. Louie is 86 years old and was raised in the traditional lifestyle on the Teslin River and in Lake Laberge."

Silver says both are leading by example when it comes to lifelong learning and sharing Yukon’s rich First Nations history and stories.

Ackerman says although he was the tutor, he was taught more.

"What makes this really a rich thing and I think is compelling and why it has lead to an award, it that it's two-way. Two-way tutoring; We teach each other stuff. Louie is highly literate in Yukon First Nation culture."

The Council of the Federation Literacy Award was established in 2004 and is presented annually to recipients across the country.


PHOTO: Smith and Ackerman holding their literacy awards. By John Kennedy / CKRW

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