College of the Rockies and School District #5 have a long history of working together. That was evidenced recently through a program held, in part, at our Cranbrook campus.
The Metis Youth Industry Training program (MY IT) is designed to increase Metis youth awareness of the different trades-based careers available in BC. Funded by grants obtained by the Rocky Mountain Metis Association and the Elk Valley Metis Association, students across the district in grades 10 to 12 had the opportunity to participate in information sessions and hands-on practical workshops within a particular trade. In addition to the interactive post-secondary programs, some of the funds were also used to provide students with the opportunity to earn training certificates. At the conclusion of the event, students had the opportunity to enjoy a Metis Kitchen Party with the opportunity to network with Elders and community members.
At the event at the Cranbrook campus, 12 Indigenous students from Elkford, Sparwood, Fernie and Cranbrook took part in hands-on training in Welding, Electrical and Carpentry. The participants also had the opportunity to earn Fall Protection certificates.
As a large part of Indigenous culture is the idea of generosity and reciprocity, when it came to the hands-on learning experience, the student participants wanted to find a way to contribute to their community. As a result, they – with the assistance of the College’s Carpentry instructor, Mark – built insulated dog houses that they will be giving to the region’s SPCA.
We’re sure there are a lot of dogs who will appreciate the cozy dog houses as they wait for their forever homes and it was a great opportunity for the students to take part in a building project and to simultaneously have a way to give back to their community.
Thank you to the Metis Nation of BC, Rocky Mountain Metis Association, Elk Valley Metis Association, School District #5 (especially Debbie and Amy), all of the College and other instructors who helped provided the certifications and hands-on experience over two days, the College’s Indigenous Education team (Avery and Raye), and members of the Metis and Ktunaxa community and Elders who helped to make this experience a success. But the biggest thank-you is to the students who participated – thanks for coming and spending some time with us at the College and thanks for being such great examples of giving back. We hope you enjoyed your time here and hope to see you again when you’re ready to begin your post-secondary educations.