First grads complete certificate program in Kitselas Nation

Cindy MacDougall

Thirteen students have successfully completed courses in the Certificate in Cultural and Natural Resources Assessment (CCNRA) program offered by Royal Roads University in partnership with the Kitselas Nation.

The graduates, members of the Kitselas Nation, Métis Nation and Gitxsan Nation, began the program in April. The program took place in the community of Gitaus in the Kitselas Nation, just outside of Terrace.

The program teaches students how to perform assessments of natural and culturally significant resources and sites that may be affected by developments within their traditional territories. Students received up to 15 university credits in subjects ranging from vegetation inventories to soil science to geographic information systems to archaeology.

Ten of the 13 graduates have already been employed in the environmental sector.

“The Kitselas Nation is thrilled with the results of the partnership created with Royal Roads University,” says Debbie Moore, director of community services for Kitselas Nation. “The first cohort of the ‘university in community’ has been a huge success.”

This community-driven program received $700,000 from the Aboriginal Community-Based Training Partnerships Program, a federal-provincial partnership funded through the Canada-British Columbia Workforce Development Agreement.

“Royal Roads is grateful to have had this opportunity to work in partnership and community with the Kitselas Nation and these students,” says Dr. Zoe MacLeod, director of Professional and Continuing Studies at Royal Roads. “During this first offering of the program, we learned with and from each other. We’re proud of the commitment and perseverance demonstrated by these hard-working scholars.”

Fifteen students from nations in northwestern BC are enrolled in the second offering of the CCNRA program, which begins in 2019.