BCIT welcomes youth from the Wet’suwet’en community for a day of applied learning

BCIT recently welcomed 12 youth from the Wet’suwet’en community to experience a day of applied learning at the Burnaby Campus. While touring post-secondaries in the Lower Mainland, George Mitchell, a training and employment coach with Access Building Futures and a member of the Wet’suwet’en community, reached out to Tamara Pongracz, Department Head, BCIT Trades Access, who helped coordinate their visit to BCIT.

Starting their morning with an overview of BCIT, Andrew George, Director of Truth and Reconciliation for Skilled Trades BC, opened with a Skill Trades and Education talk discussing the need to empower youth to pursue a career in trades, and the value of a BCIT education in helping students gain job-ready skills.

The students then toured many of the shops at the Burnaby Campus. Mike McKoryk, Department Head, BCIT Steel Trades, and faculty Sean Owen demonstrated the full process of building wood burning camp stoves, from concept to assembly.

Among other places the students toured were the Great Hall and the BCIT Indigenous Gathering Place, where Tami Pierce, Associate Director, Indigenous Initiatives and Partnerships, and Elder Alf Dumont hosted a Welcome lunch and shared information about the services Indigenous students receive through the Gathering Place. The students then got the opportunity to hear from various students, faculty, and staff from the BCIT community, such as BCIT Broadcast and Online Journalism student Kobie Smith, who shared his learning journey and all of the exciting things he has experienced, such as broadcasting at the All Native Basketball Event.

BCIT Financial Aid and Awards also spoke about the opportunities available for students to receive financial assistance from BCIT.

Finally, a volunteer group from the School of Health Sciences hosted several hands-on workshops for the students. Erin Ruggeri, Marketing Coordinator, and Ebony James-Cazabon, Administrative Assistant in School of Health Sciences, also conducted a tour of the new Health Sciences Centre, which includes the Nuclear Medicine, Clinical Genetics Technology, and Medical Laboratory Science labs. The day ended with the students participating in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) races led by Sam Dhothar, Teresa Moon, and Jasica Munday from the Bachelor of Nursing (BSN) program.

Thank you to the community of the BCIT Trades Access, Steel Trades, Indigenous Initiatives and Partnerships, Financial Aid and Awards, and the School of Health Sciences, who collaborated to welcome guests from the Wet’suwet’en community. BCIT is honored to have hosted these young learners and look forward to continuing to build strong relationships with Indigenous communities by providing opportunities to help them pursue post-secondary education.

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