Tłıchǫ Government & Collège Nordique Sign Language Agreement

March 30, 2023, Yellowknife – The Tłı̨chǫ Government has signed an agreement with Collège Nordique francophone (CNF) for the teaching of the Tłı̨chǫ language. The agreement will provide more people with access to courses in the Tłı̨chǫ language and continue efforts to revitalize Indigenous languages. 

For the CNF, working with Indigenous communities is at the heart of its fundamental  commitment to “nothing about them without them.” 

Agreement with the Tłı̨chǫ Government 

For Tyanna Steinwand, Research Operations Manager at the Tłı̨chǫ Government, this agreement is an important tool for building community capacity. “I’m hoping that if people  see the Tłı̨chǫ Government and Collège Nordique working together, more people will be  encouraged to sign up.”  

The agreement between the Tłı̨cho Government and Collège Nordique francophone will,  among other things, continue to cover the costs of Tłı̨cho language courses for members of the Indigenous community and train another Tłı̨cho instructor. The training of this instructor,  who will then be able to teach Tłı̨cho in the communities, represents one more step forward for the Government and the CNF in their efforts to revitalize the language. 

"In our classes, we hear the beautiful, unique accents from the communities, like Behchokǫ̀,  Gamètì, Wekweètì and Whatì, and Ndıłǫ and Dettah. When I hear a different way of saying something, I don't say that it's wrong, I get excited! That's the richness and the celebration that we want to bring to the people,” said Georgina Franki, Tłı̨chǫ instructor at CNF. 

The CNF is known for its language courses in Tłı̨cho, French, English, and Spanish. The signed agreement is part of CNF’s efforts in the Truth and Reconciliation process and the revitalization of Indigenous languages, which has a direct effect on the transmission of culture. As a Francophone institution, this relationship between language and culture is very well understood. The CNF is pleased to see that Indigenous languages are becoming increasingly popular. 


“We are very pleased with this agreement, which cements our collaboration. For Collège Nordique francophone, this is a partnership that is a testament to our shared commitment to  the revitalization of Indigenous languages and reconciliation.”  

- Patrick Arsenault, Executive Director, CNF 

For Indigenous peoples, revitalizing our languages is one of the most critical elements of self-determination and healing. Our language is at the heart of our culture and identity, and the  process of learning language is fundamental to building well-being and community.”

- Grand Chief Jackson Lafferty 


About the Collège nordique francophone 

Collège Nordique francophone is a non-profit organization whose mission is to offer post-secondary and continuing education programs and language courses. Its clientele is made up of learners from various communities in the Northwest Territories and around Canada. It is the only organization offering this type of training in French north of the 60th parallel.  


About the Tłı̨cho Government 

The Tłı̨chǫ Agreement was negotiated by the Dogrib Treaty 11 Council, the Government of the Northwest Territories, and the Government of Canada. It is the first combined comprehensive land claim and self-government agreement in the Northwest Territories. In  2005, the Tłı̨chǫ Nation ratified the Tłı̨chǫ Agreement, a modern treaty with the Government of Canada. The agreement provides and defines certain rights relating to lands, resources, and self-government. 


For more information, please contact  

Natacha St-Vignes
Marketing and Communications Manager 

Collège nordique francophone
(867) 920-7017 p.109
[email protected] 
Tłı̨chǫ Government, Communications  

[email protected]


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