Pioneering Indigenous Education: NVIT is Bridging Communities and Empowering Minds


Photo © Courtesy of the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology

The Nicola Valley Institute of Technology (NVIT) has long been a pioneer in championing holistic education, celebrating Indigenous heritage, and fostering academic excellence—a source of Indigenous education excellence.

The Roots of Knowledge

The roots of NVIT trace back to the brave efforts of the five First Nations bands of the Nicola Valley who founded it. From its humble beginnings with 13 learners in a forestry program, NVIT has blossomed into an institution serving approximately 1,500 learners, with campuses in Merritt and Burnaby. The driving force behind NVIT was to create a space where Indigenous people could thrive in learning, reclaiming and celebrating their cultural heritage while pursuing academic excellence.

The institution’s vision and mission are built upon Indigenous values and aspirations. NVIT aims to share traditional knowledge while fostering academic success, ensuring that Indigenous learners have access to relevant and quality education. Education is a transformative tool, empowering individuals and communities to shape their own realities, and NVIT is determined to share that lesson across all campuses and programs.

Programs that Empower

NVIT offers diverse programs tailored to meet the needs and interests of Indigenous learners and allies alike. From environmental resources and business to Indigenous early childhood education and social work, NVIT provides pathways to success in various fields. Notably, the institution prioritizes the preservation of Indigenous languages and cultural heritage, offering certificate and diploma programs exclusively at the Merritt campus.

NVIT offers several advantages that set it apart from other educational institutions. With affordable tuition, small class sizes, and a focus on personalized learning, NVIT provides an intimate and supportive learning environment. Its transferable and accredited programs also open doors to further academic pursuits at colleges and universities across B.C. and Canada, ensuring that NVIT graduates can “start at NVIT and go anywhere.”

Whether your educational journey includes training in the skilled trades, continuing education in university, or getting job-ready training for your dream career, NVIT has countless learning opportunities that fit your needs.

NVIT’s commitment to practical skills development is clear in its career upgrading programs, which equip learners with the tools and knowledge needed to thrive in today’s rapidly evolving job market, fostering economic self-sufficiency within Indigenous communities.

Vibrant Campuses

NVIT’s campuses offer distinct learning environments, each with its unique advantages. The main campus in Merritt, located in quiet and charming Nicola Valley, provides a serene backdrop conducive to immersive learning experiences. Here, students benefit from a close-knit community and supportive faculty dedicated to their academic and personal growth. It is ideally situated for those who seek peaceful country living with easy access to urban centres. It is a one-hour drive to Kamloops and Kelowna and a three-hour drive to Vancouver.

NVIT’s Vancouver satellite campus, located in Burnaby, is home to 201 learners. Located on the unceded traditional territory of the Coast Salish, this campus immerses students in dynamic Metro Vancouver, providing access to diverse industries and networking opportunities essential for success in the globalized world.

Even beyond the walls of their two campuses, NVIT is present in over 35 Indigenous communities to provide Community Education, an alternative learning model, for learners who wish to stay in their community. NVIT’s innovative mobile trailers allow them to bring the teaching labs directly to Indigenous communities across B.C. in programs such as Bridging to Trades, Health Care, and Technology. With highly qualified faculty, an invaluable Elders’ Council, and a dedicated support staff, NVIT offers a distinctive post-secondary experience.

nicola valley institute of technology
© Courtesy of the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology
© Courtesy of the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology

The Start of Your Journey

At the heart of NVIT’s mission is its commitment to community education, inspired by the teachings of Coyote, the legendary trickster figure in Indigenous folklore.

Coyote spent his winters in the Nicola Valley, and at other times of the year, he travelled about the world, making transformations. He gave names and shape to different parts of the country—a hill here, a bench or plain there; a rocky bluff here, a grassy slope there; bushes or trees of certain kinds here and there, widen or narrow a river, make shallow or deep water, make canyons, falls, and rapids, and so on.

Like Coyote, NVIT’s Community Education program travels throughout the land, breaking norms to provide access to education for transformation within Indigenous communities. For over three decades, NVIT has challenged the norms of the B.C. public post-secondary system by sharing its offerings with partner communities across the province and country.

“We take pride in creating a learning community where students can thrive and succeed,” said NVIT President Ken Tourand. “‘Start at NVIT and go anywhere” is not just a slogan; it’s a testament to our transferable and accredited programs, which are recognized by colleges and universities across B.C. and Canada.

There has never been a better time to embark on your educational journey with NVIT. Whether you’re drawn to the Nicola Valley’s tranquility or Burnaby’s vibrancy, NVIT invites you to experience the transformative power of Indigenous education. Register today and discover the NVIT difference.

For more information, contact NVIT at or call 1.877.682.3300. Visit to explore program offerings and start your educational journey with NVIT.

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As British Columbia’s Indigenous Public Post-Secondary Institute, NVIT offers innovative and relevant credentials for future leaders in the fields of wellness, technology, governance, land and economic development


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