Seats still available in upcoming Kutiis Program

By Lorraine Forster, July 21, 2011

Jan Green and Wendy Gallic of the Nuu-chah-nulth Employment and Training Program are inviting participation in the upcoming Kutiis program beginning Aug. 15 and hosted by Tseshaht.

Port Alberni — 

The Tseshaht First Nation will be hosting a unique training program for young adults presented by the Nuu-chah-nulth Employment and Training Program (NETP).

Kutiis, which means to lead by the hand, is a seven-week course designed to give participants job readiness skills. It will run from Aug.15 to Sept. 29 and is open to all members of the aboriginal, Metis, and Inuit community.

Wendy Gallic, supervisor of the NETP department, said Kutiis is intended for those who have been unemployed or out of school for at least one year. The program was first piloted in Tseshaht in 2006.

"If a person is struggling to maintain employment or to stay in school or lacks direction in their life then Kutiis would be an excellent opportunity for them," Gallic said.

Kutiis provides a foundation for people to build on. It helps individuals become aware of who they are, what they want in their life, and how to get there.

"There are a lot of life skills, primarily focused on the workplace."

Since 2006 Kutiis has been offered in nine different communities.

"Not a lot of programs are offered directly in the community," said adult alternative learning specialist Jan Green. "The previous course was held at Hot Springs Cove in February and March."

First Nations are encouraged to invite NETP presenters to come and offer the program in their region.

"All we are asking them to do is to provide a space," said Gallic. "We will bring in our facilitator and hire a caterer."

Green said the next session has yet to be booked. They would like to teach the course twice a year. 

Kutiis is broken down into a series of certificates of completion. For the first time Food Safe will be offered, Green said.

"The Aboriginal Essential Skills Journey certificate offers credit that can be transferred to Douglas College," said Green. "First Host gives credit for the Native Education College in Vancouver."

On completion of the full seven-week program Kutiis participants receive a portfolio of all their certificates and a letter of recommendation. There is a $700 bonus, or equivalent in gift certificates, on completion of the program.

"We have about half a class signed up for the Aug.15 program," said Gallic. "So we still have openings."

For information on Kutiis and other programs offered by NETP call 250-723-1331 or drop by the NETP office located at 3088 Third Ave. in Port Alberni, B.C.