First Nations in central and northeast British Columbia will benefit from a $390,000 investment to help participants build skills and explore careers in environmental stewardship and natural resource development.
The Environmental Technology Access program is open to members from McLeod Lake, Nadleh Whut’en, Nak’azdli Whut’en, Saik’uz, Stellat’en, Takla Lake, Tl’azt’en and Yekooche First Nations. It is being delivered by the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology in partnership with the Prince George Nechako Aboriginal Employment and Training Association (PGNAETA).
The training will prepare up to 15 participants for employment in the natural resource sectors or post-secondary education in the environmental resource technology program. Participants will receive training in forestry, fishery enhancement, environmental assessment, mining, oil and gas, and grassland ecology.
“By providing opportunities to build skills in the natural resource sectors, we are supporting Indigenous learners becoming stewards of the environment in their communities,” said Scott Fraser, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation. “This is an investment in people and in improving the quality of life in Indigenous communities.”
“Supporting education and training is one of the ways our government is improving the lives of Indigenous people in British Columbia. It is a priority for our government to make sure future generations are ready to engage in the workforce and build thriving careers to support themselves and their families,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training.
Students will learn tree and plant identification, navigation skills, mapping skills for use in the field and with geographic information systems, soils identification, resource measurements and forest fire suppression.
“The Environmental Technology Access Program graduates will have experienced a journey leading to mastering technical applications, skills required for practical site assessments and customized plans leading to higher technical learning,” said Karin Hunt, Executive Director of PGNAETA. “Graduates will be equipped to play a key support role in the design and implementation of effective environmental projects at the community level. Building knowledge is a foundation key for nation building.”
The program is funded through the Province’s Indigenous Skills Training Development Fund, and is designed to provide education and transferable skills that fit the needs of individual communities.
- The Indigenous Skills Training Development Fund is providing up to $30 million over three years to support community-driven skills training and education, as identified by Indigenous communities.
- Over the past two years, more than 2,700 Indigenous people have accessed training through projects supported by B.C.’s Indigenous Skills Training Development Fund.
- Of the people trained in 2015-16, a total of 52% have found employment and at least 21% have gone on to further training or education.
- Ensuring that Indigenous people have equitable access to jobs, training, and education is one part of the Province’s efforts to implement the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation: gov.bc.ca/irr
Prince George Nechako Aboriginal Employment and Training Association: pgnaeta.bc.ca
Nicola Valley Institute of Technology: www.nvit.ca
Tl’azt’en Nation: tlaztennation.ca
Yekooche First Nation: yekooche.com
Saik'uz First Nation: saikuz.com
Stellat'en First Nation: stellaten.ca
McLeod Lake Indian Band: mlib.ca
Nadleh Whut'en First Nation: nadleh.ca