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NVIT Electrical students in the dog house

May 26, 2014

NVIT donates doghouses

The NVIT Pre-Apprenticeship Electrical students donated dog houses to Habitat for Hounds Kamloops and Angel’s Animal Rescue in Merritt. The electrical students were building the dog houses as a class project in their segment on the proper use of various hand tools. The electoral instructor, Pete Clarke, said: “[making the dog houses] is a great way to practice using hand tools while giving back to the community.”

Habitat for Hounds Kamloops made mention of the NVIT cohort on its facebook page giving thanks and we are sure many dogs are wagging their tails right now in thanks for their new homes.

The NVIT Pre-Apprenticehip Electrical program had an open house on May 21, 2014 at its training site in Merritt and presented the doghouses to the two organizations. People from as far as Kelowna and Kamloops came for the open house and gift presentation. The NVIT Pre-Apprenticeship class has 20 students and started February, 2014. For more information on trades training at NVIT, visit the website

Pre-Apprenticeship Electrical cohort 2014


Aboriginal Early Childhood Education students make moss bags as part of their “Child Development I (AECE 102)” course

February 7, 2014

AECE students make their own moss bags

AECE students make their own moss bags

It is important at NVIT to incorporate traditional knowledge and teachings into our programs. NVIT Aboriginal Early Childhood Diploma students decide amongst their intake group on a project that combines provincially accredited curriculum with Aboriginal knowledge. This particular group decided to make moss bags.

The conversation started with a discussion on various Aboriginal traditions of swaddling babies and the various forms of doing so. Traditionally moss bags were constructed of hides, furs and actual moss but now they are made of modern fabrics, ribbons and lace- the intention is the same, hence, to swaddle your baby.

The students enjoyed the project and were especially proud of their end product because they felt involved in the process as the idea came from them. Although very beautiful, the end product doesn’t quite represent everything that is learned from the project- we quietly sit and sew and discuss various Aboriginal child-rearing topics and share from our various nations’ beliefs and practices. Stories are shared and the students come away with a deeper understanding of the importance of Aboriginal knowledge and teaching in Early Childhood Education.

For more information on the Aboriginal Early Childhood program, visit the link below.

Be Well,

Nedra McKay
Instructor- Aboriginal Early Childhood Education

NVIT students experience live theatre for the first time!

November 5, 2012

Submission by: Kathleen Wasacase

Do you remember your first live theatre experience?

NVIT students at the play, Where The Blood Mixes

Lorne Cardinal (third from the left) who played Floyd in the play, Where The Blood Mixes, joins NVIT students and faculty for a group photo after the show.

Some of our NVIT students got to go through the whole live theatre experience for the first time this past October.  On October.20, 2012, over 15 students from NVIT attended the play “Where the Blood Mixes” at the Sage Brush Theatre in Kamloops. NVIT faculty members Mil Juricic, Don Vincent and I brought the students over as a way for students to examine what was being discussed in class through a live medium.Where the Blood Mixes is an award-winning story about loss and redemption. “Though torn down years ago, the memories of their Residential School still live deep inside the hearts of those who spent their childhoods there. Set during the salmon run, Where the Blood Mixes takes us to the bottom of the river, to the heart of a People.” had been talking about residential schools in a couple of my classes. I was aware this play was coming and thought it would provide an experience in which students would be able to examine the outcomes in a way they could all relate.  For some students, the play was their first live theater experience but it was an experience that saw everyone laughing along with the cast or choking back a tear that sometimes threatened to spill down cheeks.

William Sandy, a first year student in the Associate of Arts program at NVIT said:

“This was my first time attending a live play, I did not really know what to expect at first.  I knew what the story line was, and I knew it was going to be very emotional.  They covered many different issues with First Nations people, the Indian Residential School, Alcoholism, Gambling Addiction, Violence, Suicide, and Influence of the women’s power.

A lot of humour was worked into the play, which was amazing.  You were sitting on the edge of your seat, holding your breath, eyes welling up, and then bam, a joke was cracked and the whole audience started to laugh.  You could hear some people in the audience crying during the course of the play, all the feelings and emotions brought up from the play running through the room, bringing up Canadian History, what was done to First Nations People across the country.

I thoroughly enjoyed the play.  They showed true emotions, they did an excellent job at telling the story. If I have the chance to see it for a second time, I am absolutely going to.”

This trip was sponsored by Academic/Indigenous Studies, College Readiness and Student Services at NVIT; many thanks to these departments for making it possible for students to attend.

“Where the Blood Mixes” by Kevin Loring, writer and actor, is a member of the N’lakap’mux (Thompson) First Nation in Lytton, B.C.

Kathleen Wasacase is Department Head of the Academic and Indigenous Studies program at NVIT. Kathleen is currently teaching

FNWS 206 – Visionaries and Dreamers: First Nations Women’s Artistic Traditions and ;

HIST 100 – Introduction to General Canadian History 1: Precontact to Confederation.

If you are interested in University Transfer at NVIT, you can contact Kathleen at

Health Care Assistant Students tour The Florentine, an Independent Community Living Centre

October 4, 2012

Students from the HTCA156 toured The Florentine last week as part of their Personal Care Assistant II course. The favorite part of the tour for most was meeting the residents of the Independent Community Living Centre. Others were surprised at how nice the centre was: “[The Florentine] reminded me of a 5 star hotel… I thought it was going to look like a hospital.”

The first time the HCA students saw an actual bath in a care facility.

Students were also surprised to find a mini movie theatre, lounge/bar area and on site workout gym. One excited student says “I would LOVE to work here! It’s a beautiful place!”.

HCA 156 students sitting in the Florentine’s movie theatre.

HTCA 156 is one of the courses required for the Health Care Assistant program offered at NVIT. The Health Care Assistant Program is designed to provide students with opportunities to develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to function effectively as frontline care-givers and respected members of the health care team, in community and facility settings.

For more information, pleast contact Marti Harder 250.378.3355

Justice Studies: it’s about Community, 2011/2012 Year in Review

April 25, 2012

       The Justice Studies Department at NVIT celebrates another successful academic year. Congratulations to all NVIT students for their hard work and dedication to their studies and learning journeys! Good luck to those who are continuing into the summer semester and best wishes to those that are at home and work attending to other important responsibilities. Here are some 2011/2012 highlights from the Justice Studies Department at NVIT.

       We value the importance of community building in our programs. This includes bringing community to campus and immersing students in community. Criminology 231 (Introduction to the Judicial Process) students enjoyed a day fieldtrip to the Kamloops Provincial Courthouse and the Vancouver Provincial Courthouse where we were greeted by the Justice Education Society of BC. The organization arranged for students to have a personal session with a provincial court judge and crown prosecutor. Our Vancouver students had the unique opportunity to watch court proceedings in our Downtown Community Court, which applies an integrated problem-solving approach to justice. Unfortunately, weeks later we had to cancel our planned field trip to the Aboriginal Court in New Westminster with Judge Buller Bennett due to snowfall on the Coquihalla Highway.

       Criminology 104 (Sociological Explanations of Crime and Deviance) students experienced a campus visit from Inspector Brad Desmarais, Officer in Charge of the Major Crime Section in the Vancouver Police Department. Inspector Desmarais spoke about the changing nature of homicide and organized crime in BC.

        The Criminology 230 (Criminal Law) students appreciated dinner and a circle with Warren McDougall. Warren shared the following introduction about himself: “I’m a Russian/Native Canadian, who just served fifteen years of a life sentence before being released on day parole, which is where I’m at now. I studied law in a paralegal program while incarcerated and, in particular, practiced administrative law for ten years in my role as an advocate and peer counselor. I’m looking forward to meeting you and sharing my experience in a manner that provides a practical perspective on how the criminal law affects the lives of those entangled in it. My goal is to provide information that helps you develop your understanding of the law and the criminal justice system in Canada, so please feel free to ask any questions you may have. I assure you, I’m an open book; no question is off limits.”

       We also acknowledge our NVIT Elders who gracefully shared their wisdom and teachings with us in (and out of) class to help us gain a better understanding of Aboriginal ways of being, knowing and doing. Our Elders encourage us to improve our understanding of who we are as individuals and as a learning community.

        Significantly, on February 14, 2012 the halls of NVIT-V were quiet as many of our students and staff honoured the memory of women from the Downtown Eastside who have died due to the violence of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual abuse. The Annual Women’s Memorial March is an immensely powerful action that brings courage and commitment to end violence against women. Thank you for your support.  


Picture: The 21st Annual Women’s Memorial March. February 14, 2012. Hastings Street, Vancouver BC.

       We also value the importance of community partners at NVIT. We acknowledge our Sweat Lodge Keeper Elder Gerry Oleman and partners Joanne Stone-Campbell, Celeste Dunstan, and Derik Joseph at the BCIT Aboriginal Services for their ongoing committee to ceremony and cultural practices. We welcomed NVIT and BCIT guests for lunch at NVIT-V to acknowledge and congratulate Tyrell Willier-D’Aoust for his support and hard work as our Sweat Lodge Fire Keeper. Tyrell has worked very hard over the last four years and will be graduating from BCIT this summer.


Picture: Sweat Lodge Keeper Celebration. April 4, 2012. NVIT-V Campus. In Picture (L-R): Lara-Lisa Condello, Elder Betty Gladue, Tyrell Willier-D’Aoust, Elder Gerry Oleman, and Elder Philip Gladue.

       We also acknowledge our partnership with the Surrey School District’s Career Education Principal Susan Chow. I was pleased to present our first LEPP (Law Enforcement Preparatory Program) Bursary to Kyle Morriseau (Newton Learning Centre Secondary Student) at the Surrey School District’s Board of Trustee Meeting. Kyle successfully completed LEPP 140 in the Fall 2011 semester and will be joining us at NVIT. Our success story was televised on Channel 4 (Shaw) on Saturday April 21, 2012 at 3:30pm.

Picture: Surrey School District Trustee Meeting and LEPP Bursary Award. April 19, 2012. In Picture (L-R): Surrey School District Career Education Principal Susan Chow, NVIT Instructor Lara-Lisa Condello and Award Recipient Kyle Morriseau.

 Picture: Surrey School District Trustee Meeting and LEPP Bursary Award. In Picture (L-R): NVIT Instructor Lara-Lisa Condello, Award Recipient Kyle Morriseau and Kyle’s proud parents.

       To end the semester off, NVIT students and staff dedicated a Sunday afternoon to health and ran the 10km Sun Run in Vancouver. The thousands of people who came in all different ages, shapes, and walks of life were inspiring. Congratulations to our students and staff who crossed the finish line!

       Lastly, the LEPP (Law Enforcement Preparatory Program) students will be heading to Regina, SK for our LEPP 170 Fieldtrip visit to the RCMP Training Academy May 13-16, 2012. I will be attending with 7 of our students and RCMP member Chester Williams. Students will have the opportunity to stay on site at the Depot and experience a day in the life of a RCMP cadet. We look forward to another exciting visit and this year we will be joining RCMP Dee Stewart and the RCMP Aboriginal Cadet Program team on site. We are proud to announce that Shawn Tai Stevens, one of our LEPP students has been accepted in the Cadet Program and will be working at the Training Academy until June. We wish the LEPP students the very best in their practicum work experiences that will follow.

Picture: LEPP 170 Field Trip to RCMP Training Academy in May 2011. In Picture: LEPP students with RCMP Cpl. Dan Toppings, NVIT Dean John Chenoweth, NVIT Instructor Lara-Lisa Condello, and RCMP Cst. Chester Williams.

Wishing you a safe and relaxing summer.

Lara-Lisa Condello
Instructor and Department Head, Justice Studies NVIT

NVIT Deans lend a hand…and foot for HTCA 156 – Personal Care Assistant course.

January 19, 2012

Hand massaging and foot massaging are part of the Health Care Assistant program (HCA) and as part of today’s Personal Care Assistant class NVIT Deans, Warren Weir and John Chenoweth rolled up their sleeves and pants so students could practice massaging technique.


Camilla Williams, NVIT HCA faculty member says “In the course students learn important skills of how to care for nails on the hands and feet and more importantly learn to assess the hands and feet for any actual problems or impending issues (especially important in those with diabetes, circulation problems and sensation concerns). Practicing hand and foot massaging brings the students focus back to the humanity and art of caring for people. They learn the power and therapeutic worth of touch and presence with another. Simple act of spending 5 minutes massaging hands can relax, distract from difficult behavior, diffuse difficult behavior and/or lift the spirits of anyone. We can learn so much about another person and create relationships when we spend (even just) 5 minutes paying attention to them.”

15 students are currently enrolled in the HCA program which will end in April. Graduates are prepared to work in any level of continuing care, including: home support, adult day care, assisted living, and complex care (including special care units). To find out more about this program you can visit the NVIT website at, call NVIT at 1.877.682.3300 or stop by our campuses in Merritt or Vancouver.

NVIT Aboriginal Early Childhood class approaches assignments through medicine and berry picking.

January 18, 2012

Written by: AECE 250 (Advanced Health, Nutrition & Safety) instructor Nedra McKay.
“The students had an awesome time! We stopped by a lake for lunch (potluck style). There is nothing like having a bunch of women cooking for one another…the food was awesome!! All food served was healthy of course therefore, in keeping with the course outcomes. The absolute highlight of the afternoon was finding a raspberry bush with hardly any berries on it and one of the students almost stepping in wet, steaming, covered in urine, bear scat. A few hundred yards away we saw a mother black bear and her cub. Both stood up on the side hill to have a better look at us.
The following week the same class went fishing. Many students had never fished before, and some students that had fished before, had never used a rod for fishing. Of course, most of us First Nations have used dip nets, gill nets, fish weirs, fish corrals and gaffing techniques. We only had a few rods so the first two casts out into the Thompson river by Spences Bridge the students lost a couple of my favorite fishing lures. There goes 10 bucks flying through the air! Lol. On this trip, we also had a potluck lunch that was a feast I say! A total of 13 salmon were caught that day. 
I should give a small note that during the duration of this course, one assignment is to make a snack that infants or toddlers would love. Each student must do a recipe of something they have never done before, give the recipe to each classmate and write an explanation as to how their snack is nutritious.
In addition, each student must write an assignment that explains why the salmon fats and nutritional make-up of salmon is healthy for us. They are to also comment and include in the essay the cultural impact has for children that are in daycares.
In this way, we have successfully combined the practical, theoretical and the technical whilst having fun and learning!”
There are currently 10 students enrolled in the Aboriginal Early Childhood Education Diploma . Graduates are prepared to work in day-care centres, nursery schools family and group facilities private kindergartens, pre-schools , under-3 centres and special needs centres.
To find out more about this program you can visit the NVIT website at, call NVIT at 1.877.682.3300 or stop by our campuses in Merritt or Vancouver.