Prince George, B.C. - New funding will help First Nations in central and northeast British Columbia build skills and explore careers in environmental stewardship and natural resource development.
The $390,000 investment will go towards the Environmental Technology Access program which is open to members from McLeod Lake, Nadleh Whut'en, Nak'azdli Whut'en, Saik'uz, Stellat'en, Takla Lake, Tl'azt'en and Yekooche First Nations.
The Nicola Valley Institute of Technology in partnership with the Prince George Nechako Aboriginal Employment and Training Association will deliver the program.
Fifteen First Nations members will be able to use the program to obtain skills for employment in the natural resource sectors or post-secondary education in the environmental resource technology program. Participants will receive training in forestry, fishery enhancement, environmental assessment, mining, oil and gas and grassland ecology.
Tree and plant identification, navigation skills, mapping skills for use in the field and with geographic information systems, soils identification, resource measurements and forest fire suppression are some of the skills students will be able to obtain.
The program is funded through the Province's Indigenous Skills Training Development Fund, and is designed to provide education and transferable skills that fit the needs of individual communities.
Of the people trained by the program in 2015-16, a total of 52 per cent have found employment and at least 21 per cent have gone on to further training or education.