Recognition of BEAHR Training for Post-Secondary Academic Credit: Lakeland College and ECO Canada Partner to Support Indigenous Learners

In authentic efforts to provide a meaningful environmental career path and reduce barriers to success for Indigenous BEAHR Graduates, Lakeland College and ECO Canada signed an articulation agreement on June 17, 2020.
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Lakeland College and ECO Canada signed an articulation agreement on June 17 in a commitment to provide a meaningful environmental career path and reduce barriers to success for Indigenous BEAHR Graduates,  2020. This document states that Indigenous learners who graduate from BEAHR Training can receive academic credit when entering into Lakeland’s Environmental Sciences Bachelor and Diploma Programs.

For over a decade, Lakeland has been an accredited institution meaning that they meet a national standard of excellence and their environmental programs align with the employability standards of Canada’s growing environmental workforce.

Mal Dissanayake, PhD, P.Eng. and Dean-School of Environmental Sciences, declared:

I am pleased to state that last month Lakeland College entered into an agreement with ECO Canada to provide Indigenous Communities further opportunities to develop technical skills in environmental sciences and foster exciting careers through the “Building Environmental Capacity within Indigenous Communities (BEAHR)” program of ECO Canada. ECO created the BEAHR Training Program to provide environmental training to First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities across Canada. This program focuses on the development of local environmental competencies and fosters green careers by integrating Traditional Knowledge with Western science. Lakeland College Environmental Sciences department is delighted to participate in this program since one of the core goals of the College is to provide technical training to Indigenous communities and extend a helping hand to the young adults to build meaningful careers.

Providing pathways and support for Indigenous students is an ongoing priority for Lakeland College. In this context, these graduates who successfully complete the BEAHR programs will have the opportunity to enroll in Lakeland College Diploma programs in Environmental sciences. This will create a path for the students to seek undergraduate studies through the applied degree and diploma programs offered by the environmental sciences department, if the students wish to pursue formal post-secondary education.

ECO Canada has accredited all our environmental sciences diploma programs and the applied degree program. ECO Canada has been a supporter of our environmental sciences program and our annual conference on environmental management for a number of years. I have no doubt that the BEAHR program will strengthen the relationship between ECO Canada and Lakeland College for many years to come.

BEAHR Training is a vocational, career-based environmental training, providing Indigenous learners with the practical, field-based skills they require to secure meaningful employment in local labour markets. The training is short-term (2-15weeks), high impact, and customized to meet both the needs of the nation and local employment demands.

What is unique about BEAHR Training is that it braids Western Science with Indigenous Knowledge, inclusive of Elder and TK Holder participation, therefore strengthening the overall delivery framework by using both Indigenous and Western approaches to environmental practice.

Over 3500 Indigenous learners from nearly 220 Indigenous nations across Canada have graduated from this program, with many moving on to advance as environmental professionals such as Environmental Development Officers, Land Guardians, and even Chiefs of their own Community.

For the past 14 years, BEAHR has been successful in supporting Indigenous members in securing meaningful employment in local environmental labour markets.   This new partnership established between Lakeland College and ECO aims to reduce barriers to success and increase the opportunities for BEAHR graduates to pursue higher forms of education and continue on developing the necessary skills required of them in their roles as environmental stewards of the land.

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