Sister paddles bestowed at BCIT Enhanced Bridge Watch Rating program celebration

BCIT celebrated 11 students who completed the Enhanced Bridge Watch Rating program (BWR-E) in a graduation ceremony at the Marine Campus. The ceremony included a performance from the talented ensemble Haisla Braid.

The performance featured 35 singers, drummers, and dancers spanning all ages from the Haisla Nation in Kitimat, BC. The group entered the graduation ceremony in a drumming line while singing a welcome song. Once the whole group entered the space, the audience enjoyed a series of musical and dance performances. The Haisla Braid group was in Vancouver for the Hoobiyee New Year celebration and was able to join the graduation ceremony for one of their own Haisla members.

Symbolizing the Enhanced Bridge Watch Rating program

An important part of the graduation ceremony was the bestowal of a new Indigenous-carved ceremonial paddle. Kobie Smith, Haisla Hereditary Chief of the Salmon Clan, blessed and presented the paddle to BCIT President Dr. Jeff Zabudsky.

Trevor Hunt is a Kwaguilth artist who was commissioned to carve two ceremonial paddles. Each paddle holds the symbol of the orca on one side and the raven on the other. The orca symbolizes family, harmony, travel, community, and protection, while the raven symbolizes creation, transformation, and knowledge. As BCIT and Camosun College partner to deliver the Enhanced Bridge Watch Rating program, the sister paddles reflect the collaboration between the two Institutes in providing marine industry opportunities to underrepresented groups. Each paddle was painted with the traditional colours of red, black, and white on one side, while the other side was painted in the colours of the Institute.

Richard Haire, Business Development Manager, and Debbie Power, Program Coordinator, from the BCIT School of Transportation, visited Camosun College to gift a sister paddle to Camosun College President Dr. Lane Trotter, the Professional Studies and Industry Training team, and the Bridge Watch Rating students. Dr. Skip Dick, Elder, Songhees Nation, offered a territorial welcome and shared messages on reconciliation and the power of education for those in attendance. The sister paddles at BCIT and Camosun College will provide a legacy for all students who graduate from the BCIT Bridge Watch Rating program.

Begin your nautical career

The BCIT Bridge Watch Rating Associate Certificate is a full-time program that explores a marine career working on tugboats, ferries or deep sea vessels. Program graduates are equipped with knowledge and hands-on training to work in water-based ecotourism, commercial fishing, sport fishing, travel and other recreational marine guiding roles

The program is offered in an Enhanced pathway, which has a longer time-frame to allow for the additional courses while offering subsidized tuition to women and Indigenous applicants.

Start your marine career today


Leave a comment