Open letter to Premier Christy Clark
The purpose of this email is to first of all introduce myself and secondly request your intervention with respect to the new direction that the board of directors, and President of the College of New Caledonia (CNC) is taking with respect to the Lakes District Campus. My name is Albert Gerow and I’m a member of the Carrier Nation and Burns Lake Band member. I was born and raised in Burns Lake and have a broad experience within forestry, human resources and employment counselling.
Last night Dec 2, 2015 I had the very unpleasant meeting with the executive of the board of directors and president of the CNC. The board stated multiple times that they were here to listen to the community, and explain their new direction. I can say that there was not one community member that was at all happy with the new direction that the college is taking. Time and again person after person stood up to express their dislike of this board and their proposed direction.
Specifically they have made the decision to eliminate all the social programing from the Lakes District campus, which will not only have a deep and traumatic cut to the current staff, but will also severely impact the learning outcomes for First Nations people. The Lakes District campus works directly with the community members, and industry throughout the Lakes District to determine annual programing and how to best achieve success for their students. The local college has made tremendous strides in meeting not only industry needs but students as well.
If it wasn’t for people like Cathy Ashurst and many others Canada and North America will never have know the devastating effects of Fetal Alcohol Effects Syndrome, and the countless people they have been able to help across our nations. On average the local college has 60 per cent plus First Nations participation, and for decades there has been millions of dollars that have flowed through the Prince George CNC because of the hard work of so many in our community.
Now with the stroke of a pen and absolutely no prior discussions or communications this board is literally tearing apart the fabric of our community that’s made huge success over the years in student outcomes and again meeting employers needs. The direction that this board is taking the college will push it back decades and it will become a shell of what it once was. Not only that the property that the local college is situated on was once Burns Lake Band reserve lands. With over 60 per cent First Nations annual enrollment this college would not exist, and when this board is finished with their policies and direction, I greatly fear the CNC – Lakes District campus will be finished.
The board of directors last night said that they want to go around to each community to listen to the people and industry through “talking circles” well I can tell you we as a community were talking last night, but they were not listening. I would there for call upon you and your ministers to immediately intervene and stop this insanity that they are causing.
I would further ask that you immediately terminate the current board of directors of the CNC and president, and enlist a new board and president that is willing to work with the communities.
Thanks you in advance for your early intervention to this matter,
Albert L. Gerow