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GNWT launching credited NWT hunter education course for high school students

by ahnationtalk on December 1, 2021355 Views

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (ENR) and the Department of Education, Culture and Employment (ECE) are pleased to announce the launch of a credited “Hunter Education” course for high school students in the Northwest Territories (NWT). This course will provide new hunters with the fundamental knowledge and basic skills needed for them to become respectful and safe hunters.

Hunter Education is a three-credit course intended for Grade 10 students. Teachers will be encouraged to work with local Elders, ENR officers, experienced hunters, and other experts in their community. Students will be encouraged to increase their knowledge and skills by speaking with local hunters in the area where they will be hunting.

Students will acquire a working knowledge of key hunting safety skills and techniques, including an overview of the Wildlife Act and regulations, wildlife ecology and management, traditional harvesting practices and values, and on-the-land survival skills.

The purpose of the course is to increase awareness and respect, reduce wounding and wastage of wildlife, encourage full use of hunted animals, and increase hunter safety. It encourages Indigenous and non-Indigenous hunters to be guided by the wisdom of past generations: it is important for hunters to follow traditional practices and a code of conduct that has served NWT harvesters for centuries: showing respect for wildlife, the environment, people, and self.

This high school course was adapted from the hunter education program developed by ENR and wildlife co-management partners through a series of meetings and community workshops.

All NWT schools will have the opportunity to participate in a pilot of the Hunter Education course, starting in January 2022. The full course will be available to all schools in the 2022-2023 school year.


“Thanks to this joint effort with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, I am pleased that students across the Northwest Territories will have an opportunity to take the credited Hunter Education course. This is a made-in-the-NWT course that teaches  leadership and other valuable skills, while promoting a connection to, and respect for the land. The course also supports the Government of the Northwest Territories’ efforts to support on-the-land skills training in schools.”

– R.J. Simpson, Minister of Education, Culture and Employment

“Respectful hunting and harvesting starts with education. We’re pleased that young and aspiring hunters and harvesters will have this resource to make sure they’re ready to get out on-the-land and do it safely and respectfully. This is just one part of our government’s efforts to make sure hunters and harvesters have the tools they need to support the health of our ecosystem and the animals in it.”

– Shane Thompson, Minister of Environment and Natural Resources

Quick facts

  • Hunter Education programs for the public have existed in Canada since 1960. The NWT course has been developed over several years, including workshops with Elders, respected Indigenous harvesters, ENR officers, and resident hunters from across the territory.
  • This made-in-the-North course arose from the 2007 NWT Caribou Summit, where co-management partners from across the NWT identified the need for an NWT Hunter Education program with an emphasis on safety and respect.
  • The course was developed collaboratively with input from Indigenous governments and organizations, Elders, respected Indigenous harvesters, resident hunters, and other co-management partners.
  • In January 2020, the regulations of the renewed Wildlife Act were finalized — including a requirement that any new resident hunter must have passed the Hunter Education course before they are eligible to receive a hunting licence. This new high school course increases the accessibility of this material to students.
  • Indigenous hunters have traditional hunting rights and do not require a hunting licence in the NWT.

Related links

For media requests, please contact:

Briony Grabke
Manager, Public Affairs and Communications
Department of Education, Culture and Employment
Government of the Northwest Territories
(867) 767-9352 ext. 71073

Mike Westwick
Manager, Public Affairs and Communications
Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Government of the Northwest Territories
(867) 767-9231 ext. 53045


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