Skip to content

Aboriginal Education Services

North Island College is honoured to acknowledge operations within the traditional territories of 35 First Nations inclusive of the Nuu-chah-nulth, Kwakwaka’wakw and Coast Salish peoples. We raise our hands to the Chiefs and Elders of these territories where we are guests.

Each year, more than 1,100 students from 35 First Nations discover their path through NIC. We proudly offer Aboriginally focused student services, culturally significant programs, and customized training delivered in First Nations communities to meet the needs of Aboriginal learners.

Learn more about this commitment in NIC’s Aboriginal Service Plan 2017/18 – 2019/20. For a full list of services read the Aboriginal Education Guide adobe, or contact NIC's advisors and elders.

NIC Turns 40

NIC Turns 40

North Island College's commitment to Aboriginal Education has been evident throughout its 40-year history. It was the first post-secondary institution in BC to appoint an Aboriginal director to its senior education table, to hire a First Nations coordinator, to adapt curriculum to include First Nations perspectives in nursing and to sign a national Indigenous Education protocol alongside 35 First Nations. NIC now has four Aboriginal Education advisors and five Elders in Residence, as well as a host of Aboriginal focused services and programs, each prioritized by regional advisory councils.


Our relationship with First Nations across the region is key to providing communities the opportunities they're looking for. Our successes belong to the council members, elders, advisors, and all the community members who inform our decisions and support Aboriginal Education across the region.

Kelly Shopland, NIC's Director of Aboriginal Education

The Story behind NIC’s Aboriginal Logo

Aboriginal Education Logo

NIC's Aboriginal Advisory Council revealed a logo on Oct 14, 2016 to welcome Aboriginal students and cultures. The logo contains images of a Gwawina-Raven and Kwikw-Eagle, significant to the culture and traditions of 35 First Nations in the Nuu-chah-nulth, Kwakwak'wakw and Coast Salish traditional Territories which NIC serves.

The Gwawina–Raven represents creation and transformation. The Raven is the bringer of light; releasing the sun, moon and stars. He is a benevolent figure that helps people whenever possible.

The Kwikw–Eagle represents leadership, status, power, peace and friendship. Its feathers are a sacred part of many ceremonies; to this day, eagle down blesses the Big House floor before ceremonies commence.


North Island College has been established for over 40 years and their logo is well known in all of our communities. I wanted to ensure the college is still strongly evident within the new NIC Aboriginal Education Advisory Council logo – but when people look closely they see First Nations components of the region. Together, they represent Aboriginal Education at NIC.

Curtis Wilson, Lekwiltok artist and creator of this artwork


About College?

About Regional Delivery?

Lou-ann Neel
Interim Director, Aboriginal Education

About Customized Training?

Tracy Parker
Aboriginal Services Plan

Aboriginal Services Facebook