Students Cameron Garner and Mindy Philips unveil one of the two totem poles which now outline the door to Seabird College. MC Jason Campbell

Raising the poles of success at Seabird Island

First Nations band celebrates government approval at Seabird College and unveils two totem poles to adorn entrance

Official dignitaries, students, staff and citizens gathered to celebrate the forward movement at Seabird College last week.

In a windy outdoor ceremony, positive words flowed from the MC, the chief and other dignitaries about the importance of this moment, commemorated by the raising of two totem poles which outline the entrance to the local college doors.

“We’re taking care of something that really belongs to our children and grandchildren,” said Chief Clem Seymour.

The gathering was organized to unveil two new totem poles for the college and to celebrate the college’s recent approval from the Private Career Training Institutions Agency of BC (PCTIA). PCTIA, a Crown Corporation, sets basic education standards for registered private career training institutions in B.C. and establishes standards of quality which must be met.

Tyrone McNeil, Seabird College committee chair, spoke about the significance of the day.

“We’re identifying and giving recognition on the next steps of growth and education here in the community,” said McNeil.

He paid tribute to Diane Janzen, director of education for the Seabird Island band, and her team for the hard work they did to achieve the PCTIA approval.

“It means we’re delivering programs of a standard that the province recognizes,” said McNeil. “It’s not easy to be certified, but Diane and her staff have been diligent.”

He said in no way does this mean they are finished growing, but that it’s important to pause and celebrate this step.

Janzen spoke at the ceremony as well, explaining the two-year process for this milestone. She praised the Chief and Council and the Board of the College for having this great vision. She stated that Seabird College is unique, allowing adults who want to complete their high school education and train for a trades career to do both at the same time.

“We can’t have cookie-cutter eduction, because it doesn’t work,” she said, adding they have a “wrap-around” model of support to promote student growth and development.

The day was marked with celebration, as two totem poles were unveiled. The beautifully-handcrafted pieces of art feature a bear, a wolf and a beaver, representing the values of leadership, family values and work ethic.

The totem poles were carved by inmates at Mountain Institution in an ongoing collaborative partnership. Mountain Institution Warden Shawn Huish says this partnership helps the institution achieve one of their main goals, which is encourage the inmates to become law abiding citizens through partnerships such as this.

“The offenders that worked on those totems, many didn’t know their culture,” says Hewitt. “They began to learn about where they came form while working on the poles. They’ve actually had a chance for their hands to work on something good instead of evil.”

 

-30-

Just Posted

Local committee creates opposition strategy for quarry open house

‘Friends of Agassiz and Harrison Hot Springs’ to hold info session on same day

Stó:lō Nation prepares to host its 26th annual Children’s Festival

Titled Battle for the House Cup, this year’s event adorns a Harry Potter theme

PHOTOS: Fun in the sun for Paddle Expo 2018 and National Indigenous People’s Day

Harrison’s Rendall Park filled with fun for all ages

Man missing from near Chilliwack prompts massive police operation near Grand Forks

RCMP saying little about the case of Wilfred Kilgren of Popkum who was eventually found in Creston

Chilliwack man arrested after drugs, weapons and cash seized

Suspect had been arrested three weeks earlier in another drug-related incident

VIDEO: Agassiz Community Gardens turns 15

Growing is good for personal and community health

Vancouver Canucks tab Quinn Hughes with No. 7 overall pick in NHL draft

University of Michigan standout was second defenceman picked in first round

Horse put down after hit by car in Maple Ridge, one person to hospital

Accident along 132nd Avenue in Maple Ridge Friday afternoon

Gun, drugs and cash seized in arrest of alleged B.C. fentanyl dealer

Vancouver Island man Brent Connors is facing nine charges in relation to investigation

Jogger spent two weeks in U.S. detention centre after accidentally crossing B.C. border

Cedella Roman, 19, crossed the border while out for a run

PHOTOS: Police rescue baby seal found on rocky B.C. shoreline

Marina Mammal Rescue Centre recommends residents observe from a distance

B.C. woman with severely disabled son keeps getting parking tickets

‘There has to be something they could do’

‘Creep off’ reporting system aims to track street harassment in Metro Vancouver

Text-based hotline launches to collect public reports on where and when harassment occurs

10 feet from home: B.C. grassfire offers stark reminder how quickly blazes burn

Kamloops woman among first people in B.C. to be told to evacuate home this wildfire season

Most Read