College of New Caledonia one of 11 post-secondary schools to receive funding towards the continuation of aboriginal service plans.

College of New Caledonia one of 11 post-secondary schools to receive funding towards the continuation of aboriginal service plans.

Investing in aboriginal learning

College of New Caledonia one of 11 post-secondary schools to receive funding towards the continuation of aboriginal service plans.

The College of New Caledonia is one of 11 B.C. colleges and universities that will receive more than $3.9 million from the provincial government for programs and activities that will enhance aboriginal learners’ post-secondary education experience.

The $3.9 million will support current Aboriginal Service Plans (ASP), which are cooperatively developed by the post-secondary institutions and aboriginal communities and organizations.

The College of New Caledonia’s Lakes District campus uses the funding to support, student support programs, while other CNC campuses, such as Prince George use the funding to support, student support and indigenization programs.

Other programs that are supported through this funding at other institutions are culture learning, mentoring, development of partnerships with aboriginal communities and organizations and program development and delivery.

The six local First Nations groups in the Lakes District are represented on the local aboriginal steering committee at the Lakes District campus of CNC.

The committee meets to provide direction and advice on services, courses and programs.

This committee will decided, along with the college on how best to use this new funding for the upcoming year.

“The local campus will work with the aboriginal steering committee, who will provide direction as to what the new funding will be used for,” Lynn Synotte, Marketing, Recruitment and Program Linkages Coordinator for the Lakes Region of CNC said.

“We will not be able to say how the new funding will be used until our aboriginal steering committee gives us direction.”

Currently, funding at CNC’s Lakes campus goes towards two positions, a part-time aboriginal liaison/advisor and a support worker.

These two employees provide students with, individual support for funding applications, college applications, bursaries and scholarships, assistance in working with sponsoring organizations, connections between students and their respective communities, opportunities to learn about local First Nations languages and culture and advocacy with external organizations.

As well, these two positions work in the community where they help by, connecting people to programs and services within CNC, supporting the recruitment, retention and success of aboriginal students at CNC, establishing and maintaining relationships with the six local First Nations, ensuring the campus is reflective of the local Carrier culture and by exploring opportunities for innovative partnerships to meet the needs of the communities.

Aboriginal Service Plans are part of the Aboriginal Post-Secondary Education and Training Policy and Framework Action Plan implemented in 2012.

This action plan has goals aimed towards 2020.

Progress so far on those goals has seen an increase in credentials awarded to aboriginal learners increased to 3010 in the 2011-2012 school year with the end goal of an increase of credentials to 4609 by the 2020-2021 school year.

Along with the increase in award credentials, the action plan also aims to increase the percentage of aboriginal youth, making the transition from K-12 education to post-secondary education, to 90 per cent in 2020, up from the 67 per cent in the 2011-2012 school year.

“British Columbia’s aboriginal youth population is one of our fastest growing populations,” John Rustad, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation said, “ensuring they have access to post-secondary education and training is important.”

Other schools to receive part of the $3.9 million funding include, the University of Northern B.C., Thompson Rivers University and Northwest Community College.

It is not yet clear, how the funding will be divided amongst the 11 institutions.