The NWT Human Rights Commission focuses on education
The NWT Human Rights Commission is Canada's youngest Commission. On July 1, 2004, the NWT Human Rights Act came into effect. The Act establishes three independent offices:
- The NWT Human Rights Commission works on preventing discrimination through education and promotion.
- The Office of the Director of Human Rights processes complaints filed under the Act.
- The NWT Human Rights Adjudication Panel holds hearings into complaints.
Commission launches new website
On August 23, 2010, the Commission launched an updated, user-friendly, and accessible website at www.nwthumanrights.ca. The innovative website includes oral and written information in the NWT's eleven official languages.
"It is now easier for everyone to learn about the NWT Human Rights Act. People can listen to information in any one of the 11 official languages of the NWT," says Mary Pat Short, Commission Chairperson. "This is especially helpful for Aboriginal language speakers and those whose first language is not English."
The Commission's online presence includes a French-language website at: www.droitsdelapersonnetno.ca.
The Commission delivers educational programs throughout the NWT's 33 communities. The NWT is a vast territory covering approximately 1.2 million square kilometres of land. Although it has a population of only 43,000, it is larger geographically than the province of Ontario.
The Commission visits several communities each year and reaches out through its website and other advertising and promotional activities. The Commission also provides workshops and materials targeted to employers, landlords, service providers, and schools. Here are some of the highlights:
Know Your Rights
Know Your Rights is a plain language guide to the human rights laws of the NWT and Yukon. It includes stories and photos that illustrate the types of discrimination that are against human rights law.
The Commission will be publishing Teachers' Notes and Activities to accompany Know Your Rights. The Notes and Activities will include exercises and games that aim to increase understanding of human rights and responsibilities.
Subscribe to the Commission's RSS feed to be kept up to date on the release of the Teachers' Notes and Activities. Click here to download a copy of Know Your Rights, or contact the Commission to order a copy.
Know Your Rights was produced in partnership with the Yukon Human Rights Commission.
The NWT Human Rights Commission supports human rights education in NWT schools by:
- identifying and developing teachers' resources aimed at teaching human rights in grades K-12;
- hosting special events to promote human rights education in the K-12 school system; and,
- publishing annual newsletters that inform teachers of Commission events and resources.
The Commission is planning a Social Studies Curriculum Guide to Human Rights. The Guide will assist NWT teachers by linking teachers' resources directly to the NWT K-12 Social Studies Curriculum.
"The Curriculum Guide will support educators who are teaching human rights concepts in their classrooms, " says Mary Pat Short, Commission Chairperson. "Linking available resources to the Social Studies Curriculum will aid the teaching of human rights principles and ideas as part of social studies education in the classrooms of the Northwest Territories."
The Commission has informative publications and offers workshops to assist employers to understand and meet their obligations under the NWT Human Rights Act. The Commission's workshops and publications include topics such as:
- NWT Human Rights Act
- Duty to accommodate employees with disabilities
- Alcohol & drug testing in the workplace
- Workplace harassment
For more information about workshops and resources visit the Commission's website.