Finning’s 2023 grant to BCIT supports Indigenous learners from Seabird Island Band, Heiltsuk, and Kitasoo Xai’xais First Nations

For the second consecutive year, we are proud to support the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) INSPIRE Campaign. This campaign is an important part of our broader community investment strategy and aligns with our organization’s Indigenous Guiding Principles, highlighting our commitment to championing science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education.

Build Strong Connections in Year Two

2023 marked the second year of our five-year partnership with BCIT’s School of Construction and Environment. This year, our grant-sponsored training supported Indigenous learners from the Seabird Island Band, Heiltsuk, and Kitasoo Xai’xais First Nations.

  • 21 students at Seabird College in Agassiz completed BCIT’s course on building code. This course prepares students to take the Level 1 exam from the Building Official Association of BC and become Level 1 inspectors. By providing financial support for the exams and virtual classroom set up for hybrid learning, we are removing barriers to accessing education and training, and giving them the ability to bring the skillset back into their community.
  • 7 students from Heiltsuk and Kitasoo Xai’xais First Nations received training in BC Parks Law and Administration (BCIT course PRKS 1010). Our sponsorship extended beyond education scholarships for the students. We also helped coordinate travel for the BCIT instructor to deliver the in-person training, and accompany guardians from Heiltsuk to Klemtu for the sessions. Indigenous guardians are trained experts responsible for protecting their ancestral lands and waters, serving as knowledgeable caretakers and environmental stewards for animals, plants, water and land development. Being able to provide education to facilitate the transition of park ranger responsibilities to Guardians is a powerful aspect of the grant. It paved the way for the ground-breaking Guardian Shared Compliance and Enforcement Pilot Project between the Kitasoo Xai’xais and Nuxalk First Nations and BC Parks.
INSPIRE students INSPIRE students
INSPIRE students INSPIRE students

Looking Ahead to Year Three

We will continue to invest in supporting training that is hands-on, technology-focused, and easily accessible to Indigenous learners in their own communities. We are looking at sustainable lakeshore development training to continue our support in fostering stewardship of traditional Indigenous landscapes as well as increasing community capacity within the construction industry.