First Nations centres teaming up on early childhood education

The Ooknakane Friendship Centre in Penticton and the En'owkin Centre are teaming up to create more early childhood educators.

The Ooknakane Friendship Centre in Penticton and the En’owkin Centre are teaming up to create more early childhood educators.

Ten First Nations learners in the Okanagan region are on the path to becoming early childhood educators thanks to a community-based education and training partnership between the two local organizations and the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology.

The program, which is receiving $101,302 in funding through the Aboriginal Community-based Delivery Partnerships Program, consists of accredited early childhood education courses that will provide participants with the skills and education to enter into early childhood educator positions.

“These partnerships will help develop economic and learning for aboriginal learners. The skills and education that participants will receive in this program will lead to opportunities in early childhood education, teaching the next generation of aboriginal students,” said Dan Ashton, Penticton MLA.

This program is one of five new partnerships worth a total of $1 million that are enabling First Nations members to get skills and education in their communities to prepare for jobs in B.C.’s growing economy.

The other communities and organizations that will benefit from the partnership program with public post-secondary institutions are Lhtako Dene Nation, Squamish Nation, Xeni Gwet’in First Nations and Osoyoos Indian Band.

This $1 million investment is in addition to the $6.4 million in joint federal and provincial government funding previously announced for 23 projects to create partnerships between public post-secondary institutions and aboriginal communities. These projects are expected to deliver education and training that ranges from academic upgrading to skilled qualifications to more than 440 aboriginal people.