Northwest Coast Jewelry Arts celebrates at Bill Reid Gallery

Northwest Coast Jewelry Arts Program: Class of 2012

Northwest Coast Jewelry Arts Program: Class of 2012, taken in their workshop on the last day of class at the Native Education College. Yeah!

It’s rainy Wednesday evening but we are warm, surrounded by art and Gathered to celebrate the graduation of the NEC’s 2012 Northwest Coast Jewelry Arts Program. As their instructor Robert Tait exclaims his mantra ‘Work hard!’ to a room of students with family and friends, not a soul in there could deny that work hard they did. Nine people began this course with little or no knowledge of working with silver, and months later, they are emerging traditional artists, carrying on the culture and skills of their ancestors.

The quality of work is very high, if you are in Vancouver, a visit to the Bill Reid Gallery is highly recommended. You can see photos of last night’s ceremony on flickr or facebook or check out our website for more information on the program.

New Athletics program at NEC

NEC Nighthawks

Nighthawks athletics program at Vancouver's Native Education College has something for everyone!

Hey students! It’s been a while since the last post but we have lots of exciting things for you coming up. As you are probably aware, the NEC Nighthawks are steadily gaining ground.

The Nighthawks is now an established athletics program at the school that has something to please everyone. Whether you love watching basketball, want to give the sun run a go this year, feel like get some fresh air at lunch or are curious about trying yoga for the first time, you’re sure to find an activity that will have you connecting with other students, getting healthy and feeling great.

Check out our new facebook page: and give it a ‘like’ to follow what’s going on!

A message from NEC’s Early Childhood Educators

Did you know that quality affordable Child Care is a right under the UN and Canada comes last in the World??

As students in Aboriginal Early Childhood Education at NEC Native Education College, we have learned so much about issues that are important to early childhood development. One of the most shocking things we have learned is that Canada has the most expensive child care in the world!

But change is under way. Here in British Columbia there is a legislative policy called “The Plan” that is working toward Universal Child Care. If the legislation passes it would include a ten dollar per day fee instead of the current hundreds of dollars per day that are paid now. It will create more jobs and child care services, better wages for those working in Early Learning settings, and an economic spike for our province.

With this plan Aboriginal communities would have the right to quality early care and learning services that work with their cultures and values. The Plan endorses full support for the rights of First Nations and Aboriginal communities to design and deliver services that meet their needs to provide culturally welcoming and affirming programs for all children.

Thanks to our training we have become informed and educated on this important issue and would like to make a difference by spreading the word! Please take a few minutes of your time and click on the link below to add your name to the list of people who want to see this plan in action. Child Care is a Right!

Click here to support this cause.

Thanks NEC!

My first year at NEC Vancouver I felt out of place, but then again I never really found my place. I have travelled long and far looking for my place in this world, taking up courses that would certify me for the work field. My first day here I came in for an assessment to get my GED so my resume would look better when I apply my skills. VANASEP was next door training me for Supply Chain logistics at the time and they advised me to go over and get it done so I did. By the time my assessment was done I had found out that they only do adult dogwood and I had already been enrolled so I went with the flow. I figured that I still have EI until September so I went ahead and did it.

So far it has been one of the best decisions of my life, I have made great friends, warmed up to people, found my calling, and I consider NEC my home away from home. Thanks to this NEC Vancouver, I made the best decision I have ever made and went back to school. I can’t choose just one day as a great experience here, because everyday I’m in school is a great experience.

Thank you for having me NEC Vancouver

Welcoming Ceremony at NEC

My name is Kara Ashkewe and I am a first year student at NEC for the Aboriginal Tourism Operations Program. I am Ojibwe on my mom’s side from Cape Croker, ON, and Mohawk on my dad’s side from Akwesasne, NY.

Welcoming ceremony at NECThe Welcoming Ceremony at NEC, which took place on September 27th, 2011, is an annual event that welcomes the new school year students to the longhouse-style college.

During that day, every student walks outside and waits in line to enter through the ceremonial door. Upon entering, you must turn once, either left or right, depending on your customs, to release and leave your negative energy outside to abide by the longhouse protocol.

Once entered, you announce your name and what nation you are from. You are then part of the college community and are full of positive energy, and anticipate a new beginning and life experience for the upcoming school year.

I had such a great time that day and there was a great energy in the air. I did not know anyone from the college when I started out here but I made friends so quickly because everyone here is so welcoming and chummy right from the start.

It was a great day to meet your peers, your teachers, the guest speakers, NEC guests,  hear stories, and participate in Coast Salish traditional singing and dancing.

It is really great to connect with the Indigenous people here of the Pacific Northwest. I am learning so much about Coast Salish culture and history here, and it is nice to share my Anishinaabe and Iroquois culture and history too. To share, acknowledge, and celebrate our similar and different customs and traditions from all over Turtle Island is integral to the Native Education College. It has been such a great year so far, I am really enjoying my program, and I am learning so much. Much thanks to NEC.

Working Towards the End of the Year

Well there My Fellow Students and Classmates I would just like yo uto know that I have really enjoyed being around you all. I have made some really “Fantastic Friendships” here. As some of us leave here I would just like to acknowledge what being a student at N.E.C. means to me. I never had any plans of starting college, but with Great Support from my Friends and Colleagues to Stay here at N.E.C. I do see the “Light at the End of the Tunnel” .. I just would like to Thank All of my instructors some which I may have driven crazy .. lol .. but we are all almost there was “The Class of 2011″

Social work & healthy communities

The loss of parenting skills in the Aboriginal population has decrease dramatically due to the Residential school era; it left a negative ripple effect on the entire Nation. Aboriginal parenting skills are based on Traditional Knowledge that is passed on from immediate and extended family members such as parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles. Residential schools existed in Canada for one hundred years and left a damaged Culture behind with a legacy of children with identity crisis. The damage is so horrific that we have a Nation of parentless, parents.

We need help from our own people due to all the mistrust we all have over authority figures from what we have endured. We need and want to see a familiar face, a brown face, when we enter a facility to speak about our children, this is why we need more social workers who are Aboriginal in the this field.

Social Work Practice is so big within our nation, we need to come together and take back our children one social worker at a time and through NEC, you can start with the family Community Counseling programs they have to offer, through this program we can make a difference for our children and communities.

I am going to make a difference, so can you!

Ekosi, Blue Jingle Dress Dancer.

Lets do it for our children

Family Community Counseling Programs

Connecting with Aboriginal Elders

I believe that having a connection between children, youth, and elders is one of the strongest steps that an Aboriginal community can make towards achieving autonomy. In the past the elders in First Nations communities were the teachers and they would always be with the children to teach them about history and respect for all life. From my experience with my elders I was taught the life skills that I have today, and I know that this has played a big part of what has gotten me this far in my life and has helped me achieve so many goals. The ways of learning from elders can be: conducting interviews, visits, workshops, and community gatherings to honour our community elders to gather knowledge, teachings, morals, and wisdom from them. I believe that this would also contribute to the recovery and renewal of Aboriginal societies, because if this strategy becomes effective in communities then we can help heal the consequences of colonization, assimilation, oppression and reduce the effects of elder abuse. If this idea was successful it may become possible to use in mainstream societies and other cultures to empower all elders to have more societal roles in their communities.