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

Remembering my mother

my mother and my strength

I have been given huge burdens in my life this past year.  The  one  thing that has been solid and positive in my life  is my school and the staff at the Native Education College.   The staff is phenomenal and caring beyond  a call of duty. The wonderful people around me at the college have helped me sustain my life and help me remember that I  have a strong place in this world, and all my educational goals can be reached and my dreams can be met and achieved.   My mother was  an alumni of NEC and beloved  by the staff and community. Thank you to the Native Education College, I could not have done this without you. And my daughter, thanks to you as well.


Family means so many things, and being native it means so much more. I can remember as a little child growing up going to potlaches/gatherings and such and being asked “whose your grandparents??” whose your parents??” where are you from??”

After being interrogated on who I was and where I was from and hearing “ooooh, I’m your Auntie,” or “my brother was married to your uncle’s sister,” or “holah! I remember when you were just a baby: I changed your diapers!”  I could never remember who this lady was that was interrogating me and yet I couldn’t help feel the love this women had for me.

So all that being said, coming to NEC made me feel like that: made feel safe, warm and confident. I can’t help but embrace my knowledge and passion to learn and grow while I’m in this building. Since I’ve started my program I have met new friends and people I haven’t seen in a while. I’m excited at coming to school everyday to see everyone’s smiling faces and open hearts.

At the end of it all I know I’m gonna be sad when I graduate from my program but proud at the same time. I’ve come so far and learned so much and had that sense of “home” in everyday that I was here.

Endeavours in Entrepreneurship

I attended an entrepreneurship program between October and December. The program is called the Aboriginal Business and Entrepreneurship Skills Training program or “Aboriginal BEST”. Once you get past the acronym, it’s a really good program. The program is funded by the federal and provincial governments, so it’s free for First Nation, Métis and Inuit people as part of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation policy.

The program is for people who have a solid idea and want to see it happen, and for those who have an interest in business but no specific idea as of yet, and to be honest, anyone in-between. This is the impression I got anyways, with the motivational instruction of Flavio Caron, who was one of the program coordinators for the Aboriginal BEST program.

There are twelve sessions, including the following topics :

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Market Research
  • Competitors, Competition and Competitive Advantage
  • Marketing
  • Laws and Insurance
  • Funding: Where will you get the Money?
  • Tax, Suppliers, the Hired Help, Production Process and Capability, Professional Advisors, Financial Institutions
  • Personal Budget and Net Worth
  • Costs and Pricing
  • Start Up and Cash Flow
  • Technology
  • Business Plan Executive Summary

The amount of material may seem intimidating, but it’s really not, because the coordinators are extremely friendly and accommodating and they allow you to go at your own pace.

Personally, I love learning about business and the aspects of running a business, but I have never had so much fun while soaking in so much information.  A lot of it had to do with the fact that I really enjoyed the topic, but a lot of it also had to do with just being around so many like-minded people.

If you’ve ever considered running a business , I would really encourage you to take a look at the Aboriginal BEST website and get a hold of the contact in your area. Best of luck!

Why this college?

Why this college as opposed to another college?  To be truthful I did apply at VCC to begin with.  I got accepted there and then  realized that NEC offered Business Office Technology.

The application process here was more straightforward.  I know it is fate that I ended up here.  It is so comfortable here, kind of like my home away from home.  I feel very welcome here and the classes are much smaller.  As soon as I stepped foot in the door I made immediate friends whereas if I walked into another college I would have felt very intimidated.

The smaller class atmosphere makes it easier to get one-on-one help and this is what makes it unique.  I really love the longhouse shape of the building  So why this college I say once again.  I say because it is the best place to be.  It is number one in my books and I know I would have a lot of people that would agree with me.  So if you’re looking into going back to school and you want to succeed with pride of being a First Nations Student, apply at NEC.  They’re the absolute best!

Scholarships, bursaries and funding sources

If you are looking to go back to school or to stay in school, but money is an issue for you, there are many scholarships and bursaries available that can help you with funding.  Here are a few of them:

The Irving K. Barber British Columbia Scholarship Society supports post-secondary education by providing scholarships for students attending public post-secondary institutions. Awards vary from $1000-$3500

The BC Aboriginal Student Awards (BCASA) support gaining access to post-secondary education. The award is available to students who begin their first or second year of a program of study between January 1, 2010 and May 15, 2011. Application for these awards have not yet been posted for 2011.



RBC Aboriginal Student Awards Program

The RBC Aboriginal Student Awards Program was launched in 1992 to assist Aboriginal students to complete post-secondary education, and provide an opportunity for RBC to strengthen its relationship with the Aboriginal community. Selected students are awarded up to $4,000 each academic year for two to four years to use towards tuition, textbooks, supplies and living expenses.

RBC awards 10 scholarships in two categories:

  • For students majoring in disciplines related to the financial services industry
  • For students majoring in disciplines unrelated to the financial services industry

We also consider scholarship recipients who are interested in careers in financial services for summer and post-graduate employment.

Who is eligible

You are eligible to apply to the RBC Aboriginal Student Awards Program if you are a Status Indian*, a Non-status Indian, Inuit or Métis and meet these criteria:

  • You are a permanent resident or citizen of Canada
  • You have been accepted to or are currently attending an accredited post-secondary institution in Canada
  • You maintain a full course load that leads to a recognized degree, certificate or diploma
  • You have two to four years remaining in your current academic program
  • You require financial assistance to pursue your education

If you are already receiving partial funding from other sources, you may still apply to the RBC Aboriginal Student Awards Program to cover additional educational and living expenses.

Application Process

Please note we have made some changes to the application process:

  • We have a new application period. Applications can be submitted between December 1 and February 28 each academic year before the fall start date.
  • We have streamlined the application process to make it easier for students to apply.
  • Also note, as part of your application you must provide a letter of recommendation and a school transcript.

Please contact the following email address if you have questions about the program.

I strongly encourage everyone to share any information you think may help others. Education is an important tool that I wish was more easily accessible for short and long term goals.

Good luck!!!

Surviving at NEC

As a returning student I’ve picked up a few tips on student life. The purpose of this blog is to help you by giving you great advice. So grab a cup of coffee, kick back and read!

Teachers:  OK, the first thing you need while attending at NEC is a good teacher.  Having a good teacher will help you learn more and it helps when you have a good connection with them. I know that when I have a really good teacher, learning comes more naturally and easily.

Single Parent Life

I know a few people who are single parents and they have to deal with the whole balancing act. Use the following:

  • Make a schedule
  • Prepare meals ahead of time so you don’t spend forever getting it done. Prepare beforehand, throw whatever in the oven and serve!
  • Search the web and community centres for daycare. You can also ask fellow parents for advice.
  • Join a single parent club
  • Join a homework club


You also have to keep your stress and depression levels in check. It’s natural for all students to have high stress and medium to high levels of depression. Try and keep positive and not dwell on the negative. If you feeel stressed or irritated, use the following:

  • Take a 5 min break to walk around inside the school
  • Take deep breaths
  • Get some fresh air
  • Think of something you like. Eg. Animals have a calming affect, think of your pet and how much they mean to you.
  • Talk to a friend
  • Join a monthly group and talk about your feelings. You’ll be surprised to find how much you have in common with them.

In conclusion, life is tough when you are a student. Stressed emotions, sore body due to stress and demand of work load. It can be easier when you know what to do.

Take a walk or think of your loved ones, you can be a survivor!