THOMAS KERVIN PHOTOS North Island College held its annual student orientation on Tuesday, Sept. 11.

NIC students hit the books as the new school year starts

The Mount Waddington campus relocated last year and faculty expressed a sense of settling in.

Community sponsors and partners were eager to set up on Mount Waddington’s North Island College (NIC) campus in preparation of an open house.

Information brochures and student resources were splayed out on community partner tables on top of free merchandise giveaways.

The event started around noon with students trickling in to finish their final registration forms. NIC faculty, instructors, and lifelong learners alike congregated together in the student lounge as hereditary chief George Hunt gave a Kwakwaka’wakw (Kwak’wala-speaking) traditional welcome. Maggie Sedgmore, Elder-in-residence, accompanied Hunt in giving a warm welcome to those beginning courses this fall semester.

“Gilakas’la (welcome), what a great honour to sit with educated people. It is a great honor to welcome you,” said Hunt, who noted the territory on which the campus was located sits on Kwakiutl traditional lands.

Hunt started the traditional welcome speaking fluently in Kwak’wala, and then immediately translated the speech to English. Sedgmore added “this is a wonderful campus … and it seems we have more people now. We have wonderful staff.”

“The programs here like Awi’nakola are offered here. It’s the second year it’s being offered. We have native authors we study from. We are reconnecting and I feel great to be a part of it. I feel I have something to offer. This is a wonderful day for orientation and to stand beside George,” Sedgmore concluded.

The Mount Waddington campus relocated last year and faculty expressed a sense of settling in. Faculty also noted concern over helping students any way they can during the learning process and listed the many resources students may use throughout the year.

The campus offers a variety of courses for students that are either working during the day, raising a family, or for any other reason that they may need to enroll part-time. Sara Child, NIC instructor and Kwakiutl Elder, teaches “Awi’nakola”, a new Indigenous land-based learning program.

The initiative grew out of response to calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The program allows students to study and practice Kwak’wala while also taking other courses at the college.

NIC provides other services to students, like offering an online program “Blackboard”, giving students accessible learning resources at their fingertips.

Community partners included North Vancouver Island Aboriginal Training Society (NVIATS), Community Futures, Building Blocks, Mt. Waddington Food Initiative, and Sacred Wolf Friendship Centre.

The college boasts an estimated enrolment of 60 students in the Mount Waddington region alone, many of whom are enrolled part-time, but hope to progress on to full-time university courses later on in their programs.

NIC faculty organizes the open house event annually near the start of the school year with support from the North Island Students’ Union and community partners.


Just Posted

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

VIDEO: North Island Peewee Eagles unleash avalanche of goals against Peninsula in semi-final showdown

The two teams squared up on Sunday morning at the Chilton Regional Arena in Port McNeill.

North Island Seniors Housing Foundation takes the next step towards getting Trustee Road land

Seniors rejoice, Port Hardy council is very much in favour of helping… Continue reading

Port Hardy Volleyball club requests funding from Port Hardy council

The sport of Volleyball is alive and well in the North Island,… Continue reading

Should aquaculture programs be offered at North Island College in Port Hardy?

“I think it would be very timely to have an aquaculture program”

‘Our entire municipality is heartbroken’: Seven children die in Halifax house fire

A man and woman remained in hospital Tuesday afternoon, the man with life-threatening injuries

B.C. BUDGET: Income assistance raise still leaves many below poverty line

$50 per month increase included in funding for poverty and homelessness reduction

B.C. BUDGET: Indigenous communities promised billions from gambling

Extended family caregiver pay up 75 per cent to keep kids with relatives

B.C. BUDGET: New benefit increases family tax credits up to 96 per cent

BC Child Opportunity Benefit part of province’s efforts to reduce child poverty

B.C. BUDGET: Carbon tax boosts low-income credits, electric vehicle subsidies

Homeowners can get up to $14,000 for heating, insulation upgrades

B.C. man survives heart attack thanks to Facebook

A Princeton man suffered a heart attack while at an isolated property with no cell service

B.C. man sues Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party over trademark

Satinder Dhillon filed application for trademark same day Maxime Bernier announced the new party

New trial ordered over banning whales, dolphins at Vancouver aquarium

Park board’s appeal reverses previous decision that found it had no right to implement a ban

Make sure measles shots up to date, Public Health Agency says

Measles causes high fever, coughing, sneezing and a widespread painful rash

Most Read