A new partnership between Homalco First Nation and North Island College will provide Indigenous students a first step into a wide range of entry-level forestry careers.

The Coastal Forest Worker Certificate program starts October 5th and applications are now being accepted.

Offered tuition-free to eligible students, it’s been made possible through a $196,308 grant from WorkBC’s Community Workforce Response Grant program.

“This training program is a vital step for Homalco Nation in building capacity to participate in the local forest economy,” said Chief Darren Blaney.

“Our territory is home to diverse forest and plant species and balancing stewardship and economic values requires skilled people. I encourage our members to take advantage of this opportunity.”

This isn’t the first time Homalco Nation and North Island College have successfully worked together.

Last year, the partners collaborated on a Hatchery Operations Certificate program which graduated twelve Indigenous students.

Cheryl O’Connell, NIC’s dean of trades and technical programs, says that the school is thankful for another opportunity to work together.

“North Island College is honoured to be again collaborating with Homalco to serve the Nation’s education and economic development priorities.”

To learn more about the Coastal Forest Worker Certificate, visit NIC’s website.

You can also attend a Virtual Info Session on September 9th at 11am. To register, click here.