Do not make specialized programs for aboriginal people

I am disturbed that Nicola Valley Institute of Technology (NVIT) wants to take over the College of New Caledonia (CNC)


The story written about Chief Vivian Tom is exceptional. This efficient leader seeks what is right by supporting local community college with resources that has served the community for decades.

I am disturbed that Nicola Valley Institute of Technology (NVIT) wants to take over the College of New Caledonia (CNC). If you aren’t happy with a Wet’suwet’en woman whose education curriculum vitae includes her masters degree from University of Calgary, how will you accept a native from another region with a, likely, certificate pertinent to native studies?

Do you really want NVIT leadership – already bullying,dividing and harassing – established in your community? Is that a good example of leadership for students?

I’ve been a registered nurse for 22 years. I studied at BCIT, University of Victoria, McMaster University, Vermont Community College, and University of Western Washington. I was a director for the Canadian Aboriginal Nurses Association and held many management positions in my career. I sat on a steering committee for a tripartite aboriginal governance program through BCIT, Justice Institute and Ministry of Advanced Education.

My recommendations were simple: do not make specialized programs for aboriginal people.

Have our students study with mainstream society with a few addendum courses to meet the aboriginal cultural competency standards we all crave. We want our students best prepared to pass the exams of the provincial regulatory bodies, with the high standards we need for capacity.

Nothing is free. Your education dollars are at stake for travel, meal and hotel expenses for NVIT administrators to sell you NVIT. And, it will worsen, as we natives love to have costly workshops and the educator outreach from the NVIT will be expensive.

Did the takeover of healthcare from a group of under-educated or certificate prepared natives help you? The Burns Lake health professionals are picking up all the slack while the health authority is having meetings and needs assessments; your healthcare is worse than what it was before. Getting so and so in there didn’t help you, did it?

I wonder why a community college from another region is seeking students from way up north? Are they failing in their own backyard so are seeking money in another neighbourhood to stay afloat? Know if NVIT were so successful or you didn’t have education money for them to spend, they wouldn’t be looking for a job in your community.

Your current administrator understands that the people of Burns Lake have one special characteristic: they respect one another. Embrace that. Remember it’s all about money and you don’t have enough of it to cover the costs of this takeover. And you can’t afford to be so rude to one another, in order to progress that pathetic mindset of getting rid of so and so really has to go. You have a well-prepared administrator. You have waited for decades for this.


Cynthia Taha

Bellingham, Washington


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