The Northern Lights College Director of Aboriginal Education and I, as President, recently returned from our participation in the Truth and Reconciliation Summit that was hosted by Nicola Valley Institute of Technology and the BC Department of Advanced Education. It was a gathering of B.C. College and University presidents, other senior government and institutional officials, and senior Aboriginal Education policy advisors from across British Columbia’s post-secondary system.
The recommendations made by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission are of significant importance to educational institutions in Canada and these were discussed. Northern Lights College has a major role to play in order to advance this agenda of reconciliation. I am proud of the positive responses so far from our many students, faculty, staff, administrators and our Board of Governors who are not only willing to contribute towards reconciliation, but very eager to do so.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission challenged Canadian schools, colleges and universities to lead a healing and reconciliation process by supporting a fundamental social shift within Canada through education. The foundations of the TRC Report sits upon an unwritten universal truth that the most significant agent of change in our world has always been driven through education. The report challenges all educators to teach all the truths about our historical Canadian past and use what we have learned from that history to improve our circumstances for the betterment of all on a going-forward basis.
Northern Lights College accepts the challenges of the Commission’s recommendations. We look forward to working with our Aboriginal community partners in education, and with each individual First Nation community in our region to achieve the long-range goals that are being addressed. Our Aboriginal Education Department staff will play a key role in guiding our college as we proceed. If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact them and share your contribution. They will be happy to hear from you.