MP Mark Strahl visited Seabird Island on Tuesday to learn more about a federal program that helps youth overcome employment barriers. Here

Seabird leading the way with education programs

Federally funded program encourages self sufficiency and job readiness

Seabird Island is once again being noted for its forward-thinking educational programs.

MP Mark Strahl visited the community on Tuesday to hear how a federally-funded youth employment program is changing the lives of those who take part in it.

“I’m hearing good news today,” he said in a phone call to the Observer.

“I’m out here for the morning to hear from the students and their administrators, teachers and program directors on how the Enhanced Service Delivery program is going. While the ESD is a federally-funded program, he said, it was only given funding because Seabird has shown that it was capable of delivering it successfully.

“They’re kind of a pioneer out in this region and we wanted to hear how it’s going, how to improve and what’s working,” he said. “Seabird recognizes, as a First Nation community, that education is the key to economic success and that’s why they are so focused on their young people. Anytime there is a program, Seabird wants to be a part of it and they have put a lot of their own resources into this.”

The ESD program targets youth ages 18-24 and helps them address barriers to employment, offering skills upgrades and other resources to help them succeed in the work force. Currently, 95 young people are accessing the services in Seabird. In B.C., the number is 250, and nationwide, 4,000 youth are involved with ESD.

“They received these funds because they were ready for them,” he said. “They were the only First Nations that could show capacity and ability to deliver.”

Strahl noted that even before Seabird’s youth are preparing for life after high school, they are encouraged to explore potential career options.

“They encourage them to think about what they do and what they want for a career,” he said, and try to employ youth in a number of different businesses and organizations within the band’s economy. “They rotate them through and get them some job experience.”

He said one of the highlights of his day at Seabird was seeing young students stand up and declare what they see themselves becoming, whether it was an electrician or a business owner.

The Seabird Island Enhanced Service Delivery program includes six affiliated First Nations: Seabird Island, Chawathil, Shxw’ow’hamel, Squiala, Cheam and Union Bar.

Chief Clem Seymour said they are focused encouraging members to be self sufficient.

“Seabird Island Band believes in the success of our people and empowering our members to achieve independence. With help from Enhanced Service Delivery, our youth and young adults are achieving self sufficiency through employment, reducing the dependency on income assistance and positively impacting our community,” he said.

news@ahobserver.com

 

Just Posted

Hope Food Bank struggling after dismal outpouring at annual Holly Days fundraiser

Food Bank may have to reduce hours, services if lost revenue isn’t made up

Students in Hope are ‘100 Days Smarter’

Coquihalla Elementary rang in 100 days of school in a concrete, yet creative manner

Chilliwack’s Chief Ernie Crey a firm pipeline supporter

Crey lauds NEB focus on marine safety in his role representing Indigenous oversight committee

Measles case confirmed within Fraser Health region

One case within Fraser Health is related to the outbreak in three Vancouver schools.

Harrison Festival to share the culture behind the music

Festival director Andy Hillhouse will be talking about nationalism in music, starting March 4

VIDEO: Iconic ‘snow cone’ takes shape at B.C. park near Clearwater

Snow cone forming at Wells Gray Provincial Park one that would make Disney’s Queen Elsa proud

A ‘warm embrace’ for grieving parents at funeral of seven young fire victims

Mourners offered love and support to Kawthar Barho, mother of seven children

Indigenous leaders, politicians say Trans Mountain report flawed

The National Energy Board has endorsed an expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline a second time

UPDATE: Reports of rashes prompt closure of all Harrison Hot Springs pools

Public pool available after Fraser Health shut down all five mineral pools until further notice

Legislation to protect B.C. farmland comes into effect

Regulations enhance food security, encourage long-term farming

Have you heard the legend of Shuswaggi, the Shuswap Lake monster?

Witness accounts as old as 1904, and as recent as 2018, place a creature in the lake’s depths

UPDATE: B.C. ticket holder winner of $25.9-million Lotto Max jackpot

Next draw set for Mar. 1 with an estimated jackpot of $10 million

B.C.-based ‘Team Tardi’ brings home gold in junior curling worlds

In a 9-4 victory over Switzerland, a Langley-based curling team earned its 2nd straight world title

B.C. weavers to help Alaska Native project honouring survivors of violence

Dozens of Chilkat and Ravenstail weavers from all over North America will be weaving 5-inch-by-5-inch squares

Most Read