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Justice Institute of British Columbia Office of Indigenization

Planning for a future through education

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Malcolm Stewart, of the Nisga’a Nation, is a student in the Justice and Public Safety Certificate program at JIBC. Here he works on an essay in JIBC’s Aboriginal Gathering Place as a house post by Nisga’a artist Mike Dangeli looks on. (Story and photo by Wanda Chow)

 

Malcolm Stewart has always wanted to further his education. Ironically, it took an injury to give him the opportunity.

Malcolm, 47, hails from the Nisga’a Nation in northwestern BC. He’s spent the past 20 years working in the construction industry as a carpenter, and most recently as a construction safety officer/occupational first aid attendant at local highrise projects.

Restless while on medical Employment Insurance, off work due to an injury, he sought a way to be constructive with his time.

It was on Facebook where he learned of Justice Institute of British Columbia’s (JIBC) Justice and Public Safety Certificate program for Aboriginal learners which started in January 2016. Run in conjunction with Native Education College, it concludes in April 2017.

The program, from tuition to textbooks, is fully funded by government through the BC Ministry of Advanced Education, the Employment Services and Supports (ESS) stream of the Canada-BC Job Fund Agreement, and Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada. To be eligible, students must identify as being of First Nation, Metis or Inuit heritage and have an interest in justice and public safety careers.

“Going back to school has always been on my mind but financially it was just not viable for me,” Malcolm said.

Then the opportunity for free post-secondary education at JIBC came up and he jumped at it. read more »