The start of a new year is always a chance to reflect on where we’ve been and look ahead to the future. It’s been some time since our last update and a lot has happened. I’m excited to share this update with you on what we’ve been working on and what’s in store for the next year.
2021 marked incredible highs and lows. At NIC, our continuation of online and blended learning options created increased access for many students in our communities. We saw enrolment numbers go up and heard from many students how much they appreciated being able to pursue their education and training without leaving their home communities.
In Campbell River, construction crews were hard at work on our new Gathering Place and plans are in the works for a celebratory grand opening soon. This new space will provide a dedicated space for Indigenous-led learning. I raise my hands in gratitude to all the community members who helped make this project a reality.
We launched Working Together 2026, NIC’s first Indigenization Plan. This plan, in conjunction with NIC’s new strategic plan, Build 2026, will guide NIC’s work for the next five years and beyond.
2021 was also a year of challenges. COVID-19 continues to impact our daily lives and our ability to gather in community. Our hearts broke as hundreds, then thousands, of graves of Indigenous children were confirmed across Canada, shining a light on a terrible reality Indigenous peoples have long known to be true. It highlighted how little is broadly known about the reality of our shared history and the work that still needs to be done to move forward, together.
I am optimistic as we look ahead to the coming year, of the work we have planned, supporting reconciliation and our commitment to working with communities to meet your needs.
Gilakas’la / ʔimot,
Kelly Shopland, Executive Director, Indigenous Education