Native Education College (NEC) is the largest private Indigenous college in British Columbia and honours the cultural perspectives of its students. The unique Vancouver campus is modelled in form and function on a traditional cedar longhouse and features a totem pole created by well-known carver Norman Tait. Some programs are free to Indigenous students, who are covered by the Aboriginal Community Career Employment Services Society. Funding includes tuition, books, course fees and a weekly stipend.
Credits earned at NEC can be transferred to five post-secondary institutions in the province. Class sizes are small, capped at 15 people. Diplomas and certificates are offered in office administration and employment training, family and community counselling, Indigenous land stewardship, Indigenous justice studies, Indigenous early childhood education, technology and health care.
The Indigenous adult basic education program, which is also free to Indigenous students, prepares learners for post-secondary education and focuses on cultural studies, self-government and First Nations studies. The Indigenous justice studies program is centred on decolonization and the challenges Indigenous people face in the Canadian justice system.
In 2017, NEC opened a cultural gathering space at its main campus to give students, faculty and staff a safe place to carry out traditional ceremony and prayer.
• Family and Community Counselling
• Indigenous Land Stewardship
• Indigenous Justice Studies
• Diploma $7,441-$9,571
• Certificate $6,358-$8,911
• Information Technology Support Technician: This certificate program is a foundation for careers in technology systems in business and community settings. A critical analysis of cultures and communities allows graduates to further their leadership skills in building digital infrastructure.
• Indigenous Early Childhood Education: This program builds on knowledge about children’s behaviour, development and emotional needs. Students learn to incorporate an Indigenous perspective while creating and delivering programs in childcare centres.
• Indigenous Land Stewardship: Students study land resource management through courses grounded in Indigenous knowledge. This one-year certificate program includes an online option, which can also be taken part-time.