Nicola Valley Institute of Technology

Founded 1983 | Merritt, BC

The Nicola Valley Institute of Technology (NVIT), founded by five First Nations, focuses on learning that is based on Indigenous culture, tradition and knowledge. Nearly 80 per cent of students are Indigenous and the school is fully governed by members of the First Nations community. An Elders council provides support and guidance for approximately 1,400 students. In 2020, the school introduced an immediate entrance bursary covering one year of tuition for all Indigenous Grade 12 graduates in B.C. All NVIT offerings have an Indigenized curriculum, including career-training programs in business, health, environmental studies, education, trades, justice studies and human services. An Indigenous-centred bachelor of social work is the only program of its kind in the province. 

The school’s Centre of Excellence in Sustainability features lab space, solar and geoexchange technologies, a culinary arts teaching kitchen, a greenhouse and a gymnasium for large campus events. Most of NVIT’s programs have returned to in-person learning, but the criminology degree and office administration certificate are still available online. Two travelling trades-training centres—fully equipped for electrical work, welding, millwrights, and piping and plumbing—bring 12-week trades courses to rural locations.

Popular Programs

• Bachelor of Social Work

• Health Care Assistant

• Environmental Resources Technology

• Indigenous Language Fluency

• Indigenous Early Childhood Education

School Size



• Degree $4,928-$7814

• Diploma $2,638-$2,783

• Certificate $2,839-$5,625

Residence Offerings


Cool Courses

• Language Fluency: One-year degree and certificate programs are open to members of Indigenous communities who speak

Nłekepmx, Nsyilxcen, Nadut’en, Niwhkinic, Secwépemc or St’át’imcets.

• Indigenous Human Services: Students learn social work through an Indigenous perspective, blending contemporary practices with Indigenous ways of knowing. Graduates can move directly into the bachelor of social work program.

• Indigenous Holistic Wellness and Addictions: Courses focus on healing through understanding the history of the colonization and genocide of Indigenous people and of complex trauma theory.