Eleven public post-secondary institutions in B.C. are receiving funding for additional programs and services to improve the educational outcomes of Aboriginal learners, strengthen partnerships between post-secondary institutions and Aboriginal communities, and increase the relevance of post-secondary institutions for Aboriginal learners.
Aboriginal Service Plan funding from the Ministry of Advanced Education will support new and continuing programs and services, such as language programs in Secwepemc, Hul’qumi’num and Nuu-chah-nulth, a tourism program that provides participants with the basic skills needed to enter the hospitality and tourism sector, and Aboriginal counsellors who will provide students with educational and personal support.
“Post-secondary education and training is an important opportunity for Aboriginal students working to secure a future for themselves and their families,” said Advanced Education Minister Andrew Wilkinson. “The various programs and services delivered by our colleges, institutes and universities through Aboriginal Service Plans will support students to begin and complete their post-secondary training and education.”
The 11 institutions that received almost $3.6 million in 2016-17 to support Aboriginal Service Plans are: Camosun College, Capilano University, College of New Caledonia, North Island College, Nicola Valley Institute of Technology, Northwest Community College, Thompson Rivers University, University of Northern British Columbia, University of Victoria, Vancouver Community College and Vancouver Island University.
This new Aboriginal Service Plan funding is in addition to one-time funding in 2016-17 to the other 14 public post-secondary institutions to deliver programs and services that support Aboriginal learners.
Aboriginal Service Plans help to increase access to post-secondary education and training for Aboriginal learners as well as strengthen partnerships between public post-secondary institutions and Aboriginal communities. The service plans are designed to make post-secondary institutions and programs more receptive to Aboriginal learners and more relevant to them.
“A priority of our government is ensuring that Aboriginal people are part of the growing wealth of B.C.,” said Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation John Rustad. “The B.C. government is working to provide Aboriginal people with greater access to post-secondary education and training for careers that support their families and communities.”
Aboriginal Service Plans are part of ongoing activities to support the Aboriginal Post-Secondary Education Training Policy and Framework and Action Plan (Aboriginal Framework). The provincial government launched this plan in 2012 to help Aboriginal learners succeed in an integrated, relevant and effective British Columbia post-secondary education system.
Government has invested more than $20 million in Aboriginal Service Plans since the launch of the Aboriginal Framework.
Aboriginal learners in B.C. were awarded 3,340 credentials in 2014-15, an increase of 27%, or 706, over 2009-10. One of the Aboriginal Framework goals is to increase the number of credentials awarded to Aboriginal learners by 75% by 2020-21.
Aboriginal post-secondary education and training in B.C.: https://news.gov.bc.ca/factsheets/aboriginal-post-secondary-education-and-training-in-bc
Aboriginal Framework: http://www.aved.gov.bc.ca/aboriginal/policy-framework.htm
A backgrounder follows.