NTC grad and scholarship celebration to go online

Denise Titian, July 3, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has prevented the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council from holding its annual gathering for graduates and scholarship winners, leading the NTC's education department to offer an online celebration. Pictured are some of the graduates and scholarship recipients from the 2019 gathering. (Eric Plummer photo)

Port Alberni, BC — 

With the province still under partial lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council’s education department had to come up with an alternative to the annual gathering that they normally hold to celebrate the academic successes of Nuu-chah-nulth people.

Ian Caplette, the NTC’s director of Education, Training and Social Development, told Ha-Shilth-Sa that scholarships will still go out to kindergarten to Grade 12 Nuu-chah-nulth students. After students apply to the NTC for a scholarship, a committee made up of representatives from Nuu-chah-nulth nations review the applications to select winners.

According to Caplette, the selection committee meets during the first week of July to select the K-12 scholarship winners. Recipients will be notified by phone and letters will go out to the individual nations.

Post-Secondary scholarships will be distributed based on merit.

“We will calculate their GPA (Grade Point Average) and award scholarships accordingly,” said Caplette. The higher the GPA, the better.

Scholarship awards are also based on criteria that may be set by outside donors.

“For example, we have a group of lawyers offering a scholarship so that may go to a law student; we try match donors with recipients,” said Caplette.

The post-secondary scholarship decisions have been made and notifications will go out to recipients very soon. They will be notified by email or by phone.

There will be no large gathering this year like there has been in the past, with a dinner and a graduate procession. The NTC education department has been meeting regularly and will soon decide whether or not to organize a parade of graduates and scholarship winners.

In the absence of a traditional dinner and presentation event, the education department is collecting grad photographs and photos of the scholarship winners. The plan is to make two videos celebrating the success of both groups of students.

In addition, Grade 12 graduates are being asked to submit a form to the NTC to register.

“We will be sending gifts to graduates and we are requesting photos from each of the graduates so that we can make a video; one for grad and one for scholarship winners,” said Caplette.

The deadline to register for Grade 12 graduation and to send photos to the NTC is July 10. All photos of graduates and scholarship winners must be sent to the NTC by July 10.