The voice, cultural lectures and experiences of Secwepemc elder Mary Thomas will be preserved for future generations, while one person will get valuable work experience in digital archiving, thanks to a funding partnership between the Government of B.C. and the Voice of the Shuswap Broadcast Society (VSBS).
The Province is contributing more than $24,000 toward the project that will have the trainee learn computer applications, office administration, communications/networking and website development, as well as how to edit and create new digital materials from existing analogue media. The worker also will develop a catalogue system for Mary Thomas’s lectures on First Nations history, culture and language. Once completed, the lectures will be available to radio stations, colleges and universities across Canada. The 33-week project will run until September.
Mary Thomas (1918-2007) was a tireless advocate of the language and culture of the Secwepemc people and influenced and inspired generations. She also had a keen interest in plants and wildlife and received many awards for her knowledge, teachings and activism. Mary Thomas was the first First Nations person to receive the Indigenous Conservationist of the Year award from the Seacology Foundation. She was also bestowed with honorary degrees from the University of Victoria and the University of North Carolina.
Job Creation Partnerships are part of the Employment Program of BC’s Community and Employer Partnerships, which fund projects that increase employability and share labour market information.
To date, nearly 560 job seekers have benefited from work experience and nearly 140 projects have been funded throughout the province.
Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation Michelle Stilwell −
“This work experience is so valuable for someone who is looking to build a career in digital media. The practical job skills that are learned and the experience gained in these Community and Employer Partnerships really help people move ahead with their employment goals.”
Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation John Rustad −
“Mary Thomas was, and still is, such an important part of Secwepemc history and teachings. I’m thrilled this project will preserve her voice and knowledge for generations while also making them more accessible to listeners and learners in the near future.”
Shuswap MLA Greg Kyllo −
“This community benefited enormously from the contributions of Mary Thomas and now her lectures will be preserved for the people here in the Shuswap region and all Canadians as radio stations and media will have access to these important lectures once the project is complete.”
Voice of the Shuswap Broadcast Society board member Leah Shaw −
“The value of this Job Creation Partnership opportunity is immeasurable. We are building an archive, increasing sharing options between our station and other community radio stations. We are also building on the intrinsic value of revitalizing First Nations language and culture through storytelling. This is a benefit to all our listeners and bridges the gaps between elders and youth, First Nations and non-First Nations people.”
Job Creation Partnership project supervisor Jeanette Clement −
“I'm thrilled to be a part of a project that preserves the culture of the Secwepemc people. To date, the audio content we have received for restoration is a fascinating look into the customs and traditions of the First Nations people in our area, and its historical value is priceless.”
Participant Mary Arnouse −
“I'm enjoying this position at Voice of the Shuswap. This Job Creation Partnership position will give me the opportunity to explore an important way of cataloguing, documenting and preserving my First Nations culture.”
- In 2015-16, the ministry has committed to investing $331 million in employment and labour-market programs under the Employment Program of BC.
- The Employment Program of BC is funded by the Province of British Columbia as well as the Government of Canada through the Labour Market Development Agreement.
- Funding supports 84 WorkBC Employment Services Centres throughout the province and the four components of the Community and Employer Partnerships fund:
- Job Creation Partnerships
- Labour Market Partnerships
- Project-Based Labour Market Training
- Research and Innovation
- The Community and Employer Partnerships program is featured in B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint that helps align training and education with in-demand jobs and provides more support to people who are struggling to gain a foothold in the job market or who face unique challenges, such as Aboriginal people.
Who is eligible?
- Non-Profit Organizations
- Crown corporations
- Municipalities, agencies or territorial governments
- Bands/tribal councils
- Public health and educational Institutions
For more information on Community and Employer Partnerships: www.workbc.ca/CEP
To find a local WorkBC Employment Services Centre: www.workbccentres.ca
To learn more about the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation: www.gov.bc.ca/sdsi
To learn more about the Voice of the Shuswap Broadcast Society: http://voiceoftheshuswap.ca/
Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation