North Island College launches first Indigenous Plan

The plan signifies NIC’s commitment to become more Indigenous serving

The Comox Valley campus of North Island College. (File photo)

The Comox Valley campus of North Island College. (File photo)

North Island College marked National Indigenous Peoples Day June 21 with the launch of Working Together, the first Indigenization Plan in NIC history.

The plan signifies NIC’s commitment to become more Indigenous serving.

“It’s my honour to launch this plan, today, on National Indigenous Peoples Day,” said Kelly Shopland, NIC executive director, Indigenous Education. “I raise my hands and say G̱ilakas’la / ʔimot to the collective voices who have guided the development of Working Together, and who will guide our work in the coming years.”

Working Together 2026 – Making Space for the Great Things to Come lays out steps for NIC to answer the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action and United Nations Declaration of Rights for Indigenous Peoples.

The plan builds on vision of the College and Institutes Canada Indigenous Education Protocol, signed in 2015. In the past two years, more than 150 Indigenous community members, Elders, Indigenous Education Council members, NIC employees and students, have used the protocol as a framework to develop detailed goals and actions.

The resulting plan confirms NIC’s commitment to reconciliation with actions that integrate and honour local Indigenous cultures, histories, languages and ways of knowing and being in NIC curriculum, teaching, planning and operations.

“It would be irresponsible to commit to reconciliation, today, on Indigenous Peoples Day, without a real plan for change,” said NIC president Lisa Domae. “We will listen to Indigenous communities, to educate ourselves and others on the impacts of colonization and learn from the Indigenous communities on whose traditional and unceded territories the college’s campuses are situated. I am so proud to be able to support Working Together in our planning processes.”

Domae adds that BUILD 2026, NIC’s recently approved strategic plan, is founded on an ambitious vision to deliver B.C.’s best individualized education and training by 2026.

“It commits us to working with Indigenous communities to achieve tangible action on reconciliation, Indigenization or decolonization. I want to thank all those community members and students who contributed and let them know I am committed to working together as we discover how much further we, as an educational institution, must go.”

Working Together is available at https://www.nic.bc.ca/pdf/nic-indigenization-plan.pdf/

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