A series of education programs in northeast British Columbia will provide First Nations participants with new pathways for employment and education.
The Province is investing $188,710 in the Educational Success program to assist 21 members of Halfway River First Nation with education upgrades designed to meet prerequisites for career and technical training, or academic programs. Training will be delivered by the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology (NVIT) in Halfway River.
NVIT will also deliver education upgrading to 12 members of Blueberry River First Nations in their home community. British Columbia is providing $175,000 toward a program that provides participants the prerequisite and foundational requirements for entry into career, technical or academic programs.
“Strong, healthy First Nations communities require members with a diverse range of skills and expertise. Supporting education and training is one of the ways our government is improving the lives of Indigenous people in British Columbia,” said Scott Fraser, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation.
Further to this, the Province is investing $64,810 to support 50 members from Prophet River and Fort Nelson First Nations, so they can receive literacy skills building and workforce training, as well as personal and career development. Courses include basic computer skills, career planning, financial literacy, driver’s licence preparation, food safe and occupational First Aid.
The Fort Nelson Community Literacy Society will deliver the programs in Fort St. John, as well as in the Prophet River and Fort Nelson First Nation communities.
“Our investment in building Indigenous skills training and strong partnerships with First Nations communities ensures Indigenous people in British Columbia can thrive and succeed. Education and training has the ability to transform lives and futures – something I can personally relate to,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training.
“Education is one of the top priorities for Blueberry River. It is the key to unlocking opportunities for our people. Education improves our children’s chances of building better lives,” said Chief Marvin Yahey Sr., Blueberry River First Nations.
The programs are funded through the Indigenous Skills Training Development Fund and are designed to provide the education and transferrable skills that fit the needs of the community, as well as provide new opportunities for jobs, careers and further education.
- 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, 52% of them 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 opportunities is one part of the Province’s effort 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
Blueberry River First Nations: blueberryfn.com
Fort Nelson First Nation: fortnelsonfirstnation.org
Halfway River First Nation: hrfn.ca
Prophet River First Nation: prophetriverfn.com
Fort Nelson Community Literacy Society: fncls.com
Nicola Valley Institute of Technology: nvit.ca
Edward HillMedia Relations
Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation