DAWSON CREEK – The accomplishments of more than 380 students at the Chetwynd, Dawson Creek and Tumbler Ridge campuses of Northern Lights College were recognized on June 15 during Convocation ceremonies held in the Aircraft Maintenance Engineering Hangar at the Dawson Creek Campus.
Students in 41 different programs offered at the three campuses were honoured through the conferral of certificates and diplomas. Credentials were presented by NLC President Laurie Rancourt, Board chair Edith Leer, deans of instruction and program instructors.
Two valedictorians – Jessica Johnston, an Applied Business Technology student in Dawson Creek, and Andrea Carlson, a Career and College Preparation student in Chetwynd – extended thanks and congratulations to their classmates, families and friends, and instructors and staff at NLC.
“We are moving forward once again, with new responsibilities, stresses and challenges,” said Johnston. “This is the day we get to close this chapter in our lives, and start a new one.”
Carlson thanked the instructors and staff at the Chetwynd Campus.
“We have all had the pleasure of working with some of the most amazing instructors and administrative staff. I never expected to find such an amazing support system,” Carlson said.
A special highlight was the conferring of an Honorary Associate of Arts Degree on Catherine Dokkie from West Moberly First Nation.
Dokkie was recognized for her commitment to preserving heritage, supporting education, and community service. She is an Elder and inspirational figure for West Moberly First Nation, and has shown a commitment to lifelong learning for herself, her family, and students she has worked with in School District 59 and at NLC. Most recently, Dokkie was an Elder support for students enrolled in Mining Fundamentals programs at NLC.
Catherine’s son, Dean, spoke on his mother’s behalf, and explained that her foundation of learning evolved from the belief that “our culture teaches us to finish everything you start.”
“When you live in the bush, you can’t lie to yourself. There is no such thing as, ‘you can’t’,” Dean Dokkie said. “You don’t have to be afraid to ask for help…. It’s about making up your mind and moving forward, even if it doesn’t feel like it.”
A number of other dignitaries were in attendance, including Mike Bernier, Mayor of Dawson Creek; Jerrilyn Schembri, Peace River Regional District; Dale Bumstead, Metis Nation B.C.; Chief Roland Willson, West Moberly First Nation; and Chief Clifford Calliou, Kelly Lake Cree Nation. Elder Louise Isadore delivered an opening blessing, and the Northern Lights Drummers performed an honour song.
NLC hosts three Convocation ceremonies each year. Other Convocation ceremonies are held in Fort St. John (June 14) and Fort Nelson (June 22).
Catherine Dokkie (centre) receives her
Honorary Associate of Arts Degree from
NLC President Laurie Rancourt and
Registrar Dr. Loren Lovegreen.
Andrea Carlson, a Career
and College Preparation
student in Chetwynd, was
one of two Valedictorians.
Graduates assembled for a group photo at
Convocation ceremonies on June 15.
Jessica Johnston, an Applied
Business Technology student in
Dawson Creek, was one of two