Yukon educator wins national literacy award

A Yukon woman, who was forced to give up her language as a child, has been given a national literacy award.

Margaret Workman taught Southern Tutchone at schools, college

Margaret Workman was awarded a national literacy award Tuesday. (Mike Rudyk/CBC)

A Yukon woman, who was forced to give up her language as a child, has been given a national literacy award.

Margaret Workman was named Tuesday as one of 13 winners of the Council of the Federation Literacy Award.

Workman grew up speaking Southern Tutchone, but was only allowed to speak English at residential school. She later went on to teach her native language at the elementary, secondary and college levels.

Workman says people who tell her the language is dying, are wrong.

"And I said, 'No it's not going to die, it's going to keep living,' so I pick up the challenge, and it's going to survive, it's not going to die, nobody can tell me my language's going to die."

Workman was given her award by Yukon education minister, Doug Graham. The award was established by Canada's premiers to recognize achievements in literacy.

It's not the first time Workman has been honoured for her contributions to literacy. She's twice received awards from the Yukon government for innovation in teaching.

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