Proud of our humble beginnings...
The Nicola Valley Institute of Technology (NVIT) is BC’s Aboriginal public post-secondary institute. NVIT was formed as a private institute in 1983 by the founding bands of Coldwater, Nooaitch, Shackan, Upper Nicola and Lower Nicola Bands. Working from a basement in the downtown core of Merritt, three instructors taught thirteen students the basics of what is now our Environmental Resource Technology program. The program was taught in an environment that promoted traditional ways and fostered student success, a vision that sticks with NVIT today. Gradually building its program offerings to address Aboriginal community needs such as health care, economic development and child care with programs like Health Care Assistant, Business Administration and Aboriginal Early Childhood Education, NVIT became and still remains a unique and important public post-secondary institute in Canada.
We have come a long way…
After spending years in the downtown core of Merritt, the long awaited Eagles' Perch campus opened in 2002. In 2007 another campus was added in Vancouver along with the opening of much needed student housing at our Merritt campus. NVIT completed construction of a Lecture Theatre / Daycare building in 2010 at its Merrit campus which offers much needed facility space and daycare support for students. In 2010, NVIT served 2/3 of BC First Nation bands within its student population of 1300.
Community based-education is a big factor in NVIT's enrollment growth as communities outside of the Nicola Valley, like Seabird Island, Saulteau First Nation, Lytton Tribal Council and Hazelton, utilize an in-community method of program delivery. Last year NVIT delivered programs in 21 different BC First Nation communities to over 200 full time-equivalent Aboriginal learners.
Education is now more accessible than ever here at NVIT where students can earn an accredited and transferrable Degree, Associate of Arts Degree, Diplomas and Certificates, on campus in Merritt or Vancouver or in their own community.
Looking back, growth has come from all facets but the commitment and vision of NVIT and its supporting communities remains the same. Exploring knowledge from an Aboriginal perspective is giving our people the Education, Strength and Leadership need to enhance our communities.