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The Dene Nation and the Mastercard Foundation have formed a partnership to help provide Indigenous students in the North with more access to education.

The $170,000 partnership is aimed at increasing internet connectivity for Grade 12 students by providing technology like turbo sticks and Chromebooks to families that need them, as well as data plans and technical support, the Dene Nation announced in a news release on Monday.

“The battle against Covid-19 has far reaching impacts for our communities and it is critical we support our most vulnerable with the resources they need,” said Dene National Chief Norman Yakeleya.

“Education is fundamental for the future of our youth and I applaud the Mastercard Foundation for taking an innovative approach to addressing the needs of our communities.”

With NWT schools closed due to the pandemic, unreliable internet connectivity in many Indigenous communities has limited students’ access to education.

The new partnership will also create economic opportunities for Indigenous students in post-secondary education to develop land-based and cultural resources to be shared across the NWT.

“We can build resilience for the future by providing young people and families with the tools they need to ensure they have access to education, including education that values their language and culture,” said Reeta Roy, President and CEO of the Mastercard Foundation.

“We are very pleased to partner with the Dene Nation in enabling learning to continue despite the disruption experienced by communities.”

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Blair McBride

Blair McBride covers the Legislative Assembly, business and education. Before coming to Yellowknife he worked as a journalist in British Columbia, Thailand and Ontario. He studied journalism at Western...

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