At Native Education College, the focus is on traditional Indigenous culture and academic excellence. They provide an encouraging environment for adults to thrive and engage with Indigenous culture. We spoke with Howard Calliou Campbell, Dean of Student Services at Native Education College to learn more about them.
Describe your charity/non-profit in a few sentences
The Native Education College fills a critical and much-needed niche in Vancouver’s post-secondary market. Indigenous Adults living in Vancouver, as well as students from across the province and Canada, come to the college at different stages in their educational journey. The college prepares these students for either the workforce or for further study in one of our 10 targeted programs. We do this within an Indigenous framework following Coast Salish longhouse values.
What problem does it aim to solve?
The College aims to help learners realize their potential in a supportive and cultural environment, founded on the principles upheld by the Elders of our respective nations.
When did you start/join it?
I am Cree from Treaty 6 territory and a long-time school administrator from Calgary. I was searching for an educational institution that operated in a non-colonial way that strived to help Indigenous people attain their educational goals.
I came to NEC 3 months ago and I have not been disappointed with the exceptional work the college does.
What made you want to get involved?
In my educational career, I have seen a gap in the way education is delivered to Indigenous people. The way forward for many people is education. I wanted to be involved with an organization that just didn’t deliver a Western-European, colonial education system that had failed so many people for so long. The NEC does just this and I am excited to be a part of it.
What was the situation like when you started?
The NEC has struggled with budget shortfalls all while delivering an excellent education experience for Indigenous people that provides results by meeting students where they are at. A move towards public designation can only improve the experience for Indigenous people.
What more needs to be done?
The move toward public designation will be a welcome tool in our toolbox as we strive to provide the best education for Indigenous people in Vancouver. NEC is a living place, evolving and reflecting the value of its community. It is a safe place where people are heard, respected and given the opportunity to learn in surroundings which reflect their traditions and culture. We want to continue this invaluable work.
How can our readers help?
We would invite others to come to join us and champion Indigenous education through several opportunities: scholarship and bursary donation, volunteerism, and donations in kind. We can be reached, right at our home in the heart of Mount Pleasant.
Do you have any events coming up?
We are waiting to receive our new students for the start of the 2022-2023 school cycle that begins in September.
Where can we follow you?