Langley, BC— In May 2009, the School of Business at Trinity Western University and 23 other universities and colleges across BC signed the Ch’nook Aboriginal Business Education Accord. By collaborating with Ch’nook Aboriginal Business Education, an organization headed by retired UBC Sauder Emeritus Professor Dr. John Claxton, the TWU School of Business committed to working together with the community and to increase Aboriginal participation in business education, says Dean of the School of Business, Andrea Soberg.
Through the initiative, fourth year Sports and Leisure Management major Brenna Doolan and Danielle Tracey, afourth year Business major, received the Ch’nook Scholarship for the 2009-2010 school year from the Ch’nook Scholars Program.
“Doolan and Tracey are the first two students from Trinity Western to apply, and are among 46 students from across BC chosen for the program; it’s a great honor to be involved,” says Soberg. “As Ch’nook Scholars, they are connected with other aboriginal students across the province, have a chance to meet and develop professional networks in their field, and get to reach out to the local aboriginal community to build awareness about education opportunities.”
The School of Business involvement with the Ch’nook program is connected with TWU’s Indigenous People’s Task Force which aims to build partnerships and relationships with the aboriginal community. “We have begun meeting with chiefs and educational ministers in the area, making our presence and opportunities known in the community,” adds Soberg. “I have had TWU alumni who were aboriginal tell me that TWU was a great environment for them because of the smaller community, smaller classes, and the relationships with the instructors.”
“The program is meant to help us build our own career goals and to give back to the community,” says Tracey. One of the workshops the scholars participate in is a gathering with grade 11 and 12 aboriginal students from across the province to talk with them about going to university. “Its all about making people aware of the opportunities that are out there and stressing the importance of education in achieving one’s goals.”
Doolan, who is from the Nisaga Nation from Kincolith in northern BC, also sees the program as a way to make an impact. “It means a lot to know that people are interested in reaching out to the aboriginal community. If we can provide a door of opportunity to someone who wasn’t thinking about going to college, that person can reach another person, and so on; it has an influence.”
Doolan concludes, “Eventually, I want to go back to Kincolith and bring back what I’ve learned. Everything I’ve experienced, I want to bring it back to the community.”
Trinity Western University, in Langley, B.C., is a provincially chartered, independent Christian liberal arts and sciences university, enrolling approximately 4000 students. TWU offers 42 undergraduate majors, ranging from biotechnology, education, theatre and music, to psychology, communications and biblical studies. TWU's 16 graduate degree programs include nursing, counseling psychology, marriage and family therapy, business, theology, linguistics, and leadership, and interdisciplinary degrees in English, philosophy and history. TWU holds Canada Research Chairs in Dead Sea Scroll Studies, Developmental Genetics and Disease, and Interpretation, Religion & Culture.
Last Updated: 2010-04-09