Canadian Firefighter Magazine

Indigenous youth introduced to public safety careers

By CFF Staff   

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July 27, 2022, B.C. – The Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC) welcomed participants to its Indigenous Youth Career Camp (IYCC) at its campuses last week, July 18 to 22, where attendees gained an introduction to public safety career options.

Nine participants, aged 14 to 20, from across the province, explored careers in justice, public safety and health care through hands-on learning and engagement with a wide range of community partners at JIBC campuses.

“The overall goal of the camp is to provide Indigenous youth with the chance to learn about a variety of justice and public safety careers through an applied experience,” said Jason La Rochelle, director, Office of Indigenization.

The participating youth experienced firefighter training at the Institute’s Maple Ridge campus, as well as emergency medical responder training at the main New Westminster campus. At the main campus, they also engaged in sessions with the Police Academy, and JIBC’s Corrections & Court Services, Emergency Management, and Community & Social Justice divisions. They also paid a visit to the New Westminster Courthouse with members of the Sheriff Academy. In addition, the youth received Indigenous cultural programming and were supported by JIBC Elders-in- Residence.

JIBC believes bringing Indigenous people and perspectives into the fields of justice, public safety and health care is essential to achieve Canada’s national goal of Truth and Reconciliation. As the fastest growing demographic in Canada, Indigenous youth will make up a significant portion of British Columbia’s future workforce.

This is the first fully in-person IYCC since the pandemic began more than two years ago. This year’s camp was funded by the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training at no charge to participants.

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