Tuesday, December 19, 2023

UNBC in partnership with Nisga'a to create new Bachelor of Arts in Nisga'a Language Fluency

The Prince George main campus of the University of Northern BC
is set to offer a Nisga'a Language Fluency Degree program in September

A New Bachelor of Arts program is in the final stages of launch for September at the University of Northern British Columbia, with UNBC and the Wilp Wilxo’oskwhl Nisga’a Institute to offer a four year undergraduate program in Nisga'a Language Fluency.

The Plans for the Prince George based University were announced on Monday, with the two educational organizations teaming up to ensure the long term vitality of the Nisga'a language.

In their information release from Monday, UNBC and WWN outlined the scope of the program and how it will launch come the start of the September semester.

The new four-year undergraduate degree is the first of its kind in northern B.C. and will offer students an immersive education in the Nisga’a language with about 70 per cent of the courses having a Nisga’a language component. 

The degree is offered through UNBC’s Faculty of Indigenous Studies, Social Sciences and Humanities, in co-operation with WWN. Students in the program will study at WWN’s campus in Gitwinksihlkw. The courses will be delivered using the expertise of WWN’s faculty, instructors from UNBC’s Department of First Nations Studies and other UNBC faculty in related programs.  

The program will build on the success of the existing certificate an diploma program offered through the Nass Valley's WWN.

For WWN President and CEO Dr. Deanna Nyce, the prospect of students becoming fluent in the Nisga'a Language is cause for much excitement for both institutions.

“It is exciting to witness students becoming fluent and using their language skills in public. Students are excited and are encouraging others to enrol in WWN-UNBC Nisga’a Language program to earn a certificate, diploma or the full Bachelor of Arts degree.”

For the British Columbia government the UNBC/WWN program is another step along the path of reconciliation in the province.

“Investing in Indigenous language-fluency programs is critical for strengthening language revitalization and moving towards meaningful reconciliation in B.C. Together, we are creating a province where Indigenous students, and through them their communities, can re-connect with their language as a way to reclaim their history and culture and reach their full potential.” -- Selina Robinson, Minister of Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills.

More notes on the announcement of Monday from UNBC officials and student Christopher Morven who completed the existing certificate and is excited for the future of the new program can be reviewed here.

The UNBC page dedicated to the new program can be explored further here.

Further notes from the Nisga'a Nation can be reviewed from our archive page.

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