At Native Education College, a wide range of services available to students make all the difference when it comes to the success of our learners, especially those facing barriers. From our Elder-in-residence program to the NEC Wellness Warriors, students quickly gain a sense of pride and acceptance from the community of staff, alumni, and fellow students. No matter where you’re from, NEC will feel like home.
One program that can help kickstart your education journey is the Indigenous Land Stewardship program. ILS offers students career preparation in land and resource management as well as a gateway to higher education. This one-year certificate program consists of ten courses rooted in Indigenous knowledge of land, community, and ecology. Program graduates usually find jobs with employers involved in land and resource administration including First Nations bands; Métis organizations; resource, utility, and land development companies; environmental groups; municipalities and others. Justin Sidon, from the Matsqui First Nation, started his journey at NEC in the Aboriginal Adult Basic Education program. After completing AABE he enrolled in Indigenous Land Stewardship in hopes of taking that knowledge back home with him. “NEC has proven to be a safe place where I have been able to learn and grow. The cultural/traditional values that NEC demonstrates is really important to me. NEC has helped me see a brighter future for myself. It’s like a family. There is a lot of attention and a lot of compassion and a lot of patience. My dream is to gain the tools to go back to my community, and help them develop and grow in a good way. Just like any community of people, they’re trying to evolve and grow.”
Another great program students can enrol in at NEC is Aboriginal Tourism Operations. This program prepares learners for a rewarding career in the Aboriginal Tourism sector, which is the fastest growing tourism sector in BC. Students gain practical skills and knowledge in ecotourism, heritage interpretation, and cross-cultural tourism. After completing the in-class courses, students continue with a practicum placement with a tourism company based in Metro Vancouver. A major component of this certificate program is learning how to incorporate Indigenous culture and heritage into the tourism industry.
ATO graduates find employment with various organizations including non-profit agencies, First Nation governments, or municipal, provincial, or federal governments. The jobs may include; Guest Services Coordinator, Vacation Advisor, Customer Service Agent, or Tour Guide The Native Education College is the college of choice for Indigenous learners. NEC provides a culturally appropriate and supportive learning environment for Aboriginal learners, within available resources. Non-Aboriginal learners are also welcome.