Canada’s Premiers Announce Literacy Award Recipients for 2014

Edith Klassen – Saskatchewan
Edith Klassen has helped many newcomers to Canada and, in particular, to the Lanigan district, in successfully transitioning to prairie communities. Her involvement in literacy first began in 2008 when she enrolled as a volunteer literacy tutor in “Saskatchewan Reads” offered through Carlton Trail Regional College. After two training sessions, Klassen began working with newcomers to help them learn English. Through her conversations with learners and their families about health, education, employment, housing, transportation, culture and integration, she realized that literacy involves more than simply learning a language. For them, it is about learning how to live in Canada. Held in high praise by the families she has helped, Klassen is recognized by her peers as an impassioned advocate for newcomers.

Tina Jules – Yukon
Tina Jules is currently the Director of Education for the Council of Yukon First Nations. She is of Tlingit, Kaska and Cree ancestry and is a member of the Dakhlaweidi (Eagle) Clan from Teslin, YK. Jules has been an educator, advocate, role model and champion for Northern learning, languages and literacy for 20 years. She is a leader in adult and First Nations literacy and has helped define what literacy means from an aboriginal perspective. In partnership with governments, post-secondary institutions and communities, Jules has helped to strengthen First Nations languages and develop culturally relevant resources and programming, including numerous Language Proficiency Programs that incorporate western and traditional methodologies. Jules personifies the concept of life-long learning, strives for fluency in her language of Tlingit, and volunteers to support adult Tlingit lessons. Her nomination is grounded in grassroots innovation and plain old hard work.

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For more information:

Lindsay de Leeuw
Senior Project Manager
Council of the Federation Secretariat