Indigenous Youth Career Camp made possible by RBC Future Launch Foundation grant
This summer, a unique five-day camp gave 15 Indigenous youth from across the Lower Mainland the chance to gain a hands-on introduction to various justice and public safety careers.
Through JIBC’s second Indigenous Youth Career Camp, participants aged 15 to 20 engaged in various hands-on activities and field trips to give them a sense of what is possible for their future career goals.
Organized by JIBC’s Office of Indigenization, the camp was made possible by a generous $40,000 grant from the RBC Foundation to The Justice Institute of British Columbia Foundation (The JIBC Foundation).
Activities at the New Westminster campus included trying out the Correctional Officer’s Physical Abilities Test, working with police dogs, learning CPR, participating in a paramedic simulation and engaging in team building and conflict resolution group work. They also visited the New Westminster courthouse while court was in session.
They visited JIBC’s Maple Ridge campus where they tried on firefighter turnout gear, worked the hoses and extinguishers and learned basic firefighting skills.
In addition, Indigenous Elders and knowledge keepers provided cultural teachings and activities to the youth to strengthen their understanding and knowledge of their heritage.
“I’ve really enjoyed this week, with the people I’ve met being awesome and learning some interesting skills,” said Chilliwack resident Sebastian, 16, a member of the Ts’kw’aylaxw First Nation interested in law enforcement and forensics. “It’s also given me some ideas for career opportunities. This program gives people like me a chance to learn and see others like us in these professions.”
Mount Currie resident Tess, 19, of the Lil’wat First Nation who is interested in a career in law enforcement or firefighting added, “If you are considering a career in first responders, take this camp. It’s a really good opportunity.”
“There are not enough Indigenous people represented in justice and public safety careers,” said Jason La Rochelle, Director for the Office of Indigenization. “The great thing about this camp is that Indigenous youth get to see first-hand the skills needed to excel, and through making connections, will go back to their communities after the camp and share what they’ve learned.”
“Whether it’s retraining or starting fresh, it’s clear that the skills needed to excel in today’s workplace are changing,” said Mark Beckles, Senior Director, Youth Strategy and Innovation, RBC. “That’s what RBC Future Launch is all about, and through our partnership with JIBC, we hope to be able to define those skills—and help young Canadians develop them.”
“The camp shows youth what is possible and can be a transformative experience. We want to recognize and thank RBC and RBC Foundation for their longstanding commitment to JIBC,” said Tracy Campbell, Director of JIBC’s Office of Development and Executive Director, The JIBC Foundation.
“We are proud to be part of the history of RBC, which is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year,” Campbell said. “Together, we have made a difference in the lives of over 140 youth from more than 20 Indigenous communities in BC through our two camps and previous program support. That’s what we call impact.”
About The Justice Institute of British Columbia Foundation
For 25 years, The Justice Institute of British Columbia Foundation (The JIBC Foundation) has inspired giving for important needs that enhance education, training, student learning, and applied research at JIBC. These needs most often include student financial support in the form of awards and bursaries, highly specialized training equipment and technology, and funding for innovative new initiatives. The JIBC Foundation is proud to be building meaningful relationships with communities to support Canada’s leading public safety educator.