The Nicola Valley Institute of Technology bills itself as “BC’s Aboriginal Public Post-Secondary Institute.” With campuses in Merritt and Vancouver NVIT targets Aboriginal youth and adults alike. The goal of NVIT is to become the school of choice for Aboriginal students because they believe they are best suited to educate Aboriginal students. They hope to create Aboriginal leaders who can make a difference in their communities. NVIT states that it involves elders in the direction of the university and keeps it Aboriginal focus.
The NEC Native Education College (formerly Native Education Center) in Vancouver opened it’s doors in 1967 and is British Columbia’s largest private Aboriginal college. The NEC is governed by the NEC Native Education Society, a non-profit charitable organization that assumed governance of the institution in 1979. NEC provides an avenue for culturally responsive post-secondary education for Aboriginal students grounded in it’s physical setting as well as it’s philosophical underpinnings. in 1988/89, Dr. Celia Haig-Brown, currently faculty of York University, conducted fieldwork towards a critical ethnography of the institution to identify the meanings and processes of First Nations control of First Nations education. The published ethnography, Taking Control: Power and Contradiction in First Nations Adult Education (UBC Press) is a thorough read and I recommend it to any person with an interest in First Nations’ educational issues.