Media Release

September 13, 2017


Vancouver, BC (Coast Salish Territory) – On September 28 the Native Education College will host a celebration of its 50th Anniversary at its campus in East Vancouver. Former staff, students and board members will be honoured and traditional drum groups will provide entertainment. 

“Our persistence tells the story of the success of the Indigenous community in Metro Vancouver to organize and meet our needs,” said Jason LaRochelle, Dean of Academics. “We see this success every year in our grads who work hard to get an education, often against enormous barriers.”

The celebration runs from 4 pm to 8 pm at the college at 285 East 5th Avenue. In addition to a salmon BBQ there will be drum groups from the three First Nations on whose traditional territory the college operates. There will also be contemporary Indigenous entertainers and speakers. Guests representing the five decades of the NEC’s operation will be honoured. 

“It’s rare that the self-determining spirit and great advances of our people are celebrated,” said Tammy Harkey, Dean of Student Services. NEC has a special atmosphere and teaches students about their fit into the history of BC.” 

“Over the past decade all the public colleges and universities in BC have been funded to improve their service to Indigenous students, said Dr. Dan Guinan, NEC President, “and the NEC has been doing it for 50 years. We invite all to come by and see our longhouse facility and learn about our plans for future expansion.” 
About NEC Native Education College The Native Education College (NEC) was founded in 1967 by Ray Collins who worked for the Department of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada. The College began to meet the educational needs of Indigenous people who relocated to Vancouver, British Columbia from their rural First Nation community. The overall objective was to provide Indigenous adult learners with the academic and life skills to secure employment and improve their quality of life. By 1979 the Native Education Centre, as it was called at the time, became a private college governed by a non-profit society of Indigenous people. 

Today, the College provides a supportive learning environment, including cultural activities, which creates a connection to the Indigenous community of Metro Vancouver. Labour market needs are met by delivering a variety of academic programs that are pathways to careers and further education. Indigenous learners can start their learning journey by choosing one of the 14 transferrable certificate or diploma programs. Programs cover the areas of academic upgrading, business, health sciences, social sciences & humanities, or fine arts. To learn more visit 

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For more information, please contact:

Cara Lenoir, Marketing Specialist
Tel. 604.873.3772 ext. 330