Education, Employment & Training
The Ta7lnew̓ás department ensures the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation) has integrative, effective, and streamlined collaborative processes to help our Members meet their individual education and employment goals.
The department strives for each Nation Member, on- and off-reserve, to reach their full educational and employment potential. The Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw works in partnership with school districts, post-secondary institutions, and other First Nations to advocate for programs and services related to education, employment, and training from private, provincial, and national sources.
Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Name: Ta7lnew̓ás
“Ta7lnew̓ás” could be interpreted as “learning with each other,” such as a group of people learning together.
Programs & Services
Xwemelch’stn Etsímxwawtxw (Capilano Littlest Ones School)
Many Members have expressed a desire to see the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh sníchim (Squamish language) offered in school. The quality of Squamish children’s education must reflect and express our language and culture, which are inseparable in the teaching and learning process. It is with this intent that we make this submission to move towards a Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw Immersion school to reverse the tide of language loss. The Capilano Littlest Ones School offers K4 to Grade 4 on site, with grades 5 – 7 offered through distance learning.
The Income Assistance team is responsible for the efficient administration of the Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) Income Assistance program. We provide financial support to eligible adults and their dependents who are unable to meet their basic needs. Income assistance funding may include covering the costs of basics needs, such as food, clothing, and rent and utilities allowance.
The team assists Members living on-reserve to:
- Maintain a basic standard of living.
- Prevent dependency by developing individual and family strengths.
- To assist recipients to access services that will enhance their ability to assume primary responsibility for their own affairs.
Stitsma Career Center
The Stitsma Career Centre offers employment and training services to assist Indigenous clients who are Status, Non-Status, Métis or Inuit. Our goal is to help and support in overcoming barriers to employment and provide services that will support candidates in gaining employment or entering into training or an educational program to gain and/or enhance skills and qualifications.
Our staff is always here to assist clients with job searches, resumes, and offer the following services for clients:
- Employment counselling: Resume/cover letter building, job search, education & career planning
- Individual seat purchase: For courses from one day to one year, support includes tuition, books and, depending on situation, living allowance
- Transportation assistance: Help to travel to confirmed employment/interviews, training and programming
- Work gear/clothing: Support provided with confirmed employment for work boots and coveralls
- Essential skills development: Assess levels in chosen occupation and skill level
- Skill building certificates: Help with accessing required training & certifications for occupational upgrading
- Academic program support: Support to clients to help cover the cost of courses and educational programs
- Summer student career program: The summer student program is for ages 15-29 at to gain work experience.
- Job development: Working with industry partners to create work practicum’s and employment opportunities.
Eslha7an Learning Centre
The Eslha7an Learning Centre offers a safe and holistic environment where our First Nations students can take their first steps towards education, training, and employment while maintaining their traditional values.
Eslha7an Learning Centre is able to provide three programs in partnership with the North Vancouver School District 44 (NVSD 44) and Capilano University. These three programs below are available to all Nation Members as well as any First Nation Status, Non-Status, Métis, and Inuit living on the North Shore and Greater Vancouver area.
Adult Dogwood Diploma (Students 19 years and older)
Adult students can enter this program and complete an Adult Dogwood Diploma. This is a full-day program which includes essential skills, computer skills, Squamish culture, and the five required courses needed to receive your Adult Dogwood diploma. This is the first educational step to help students towards their post-secondary schooling and/or on their path to full time employment. This program also offers the opportunity for our students to upgrade in English and Math.
Youth Dogwood Diploma Program (Students 16 to 19 years old)
This program is in partnership with the NVSD 44. We offer our youth a safe and comfortable environment to learn. This program is a great alternative for our youth who may need a little extra encouragement to return to school to complete their high school education. Classes are self-paced and individualized; most students are working toward their high school Dogwood Diploma (Grade 12). All students who wish to register for this program will be required to enroll through the North Vancouver School District.
Adult Essential Skills Program (Students 19 years and older)
With the strong partnership with Capilano University and implementing culture, we have created a one-of-a-kind adult literacy program. Our goal is to help our students improve their math and literacy skills to a level that they can be successful and use in any other training programs, help gain employment, and/or move into our Adult Dogwood program to earn their Diploma. In this program we will also provide the necessary essential skills to help build the learners confidences to become more self-sufficient.
Nexw7áýstwaý (Training and Trades Centre)
Building a Culture of Excellence
The Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation) Training & Trades Centre (TTC) was established in 2004 to provide quality training and trades programs to Indigenous individuals including First Nation Status, Non-Status, Métis, and Inuit. Since 2004, the TTC has trained over 800 apprentices and over 500 skilled trades workers.
We offer a safe and holistic environment where our First Nations clients can take their first steps towards education, training, and employment while maintaining their traditional values. Our purpose is to evaluate the needs of our clients on an ongoing basis and to continually develop and implement training and education that meet their diverse needs.
K-12 Educational Supports
Education is an inherent right; it is lifelong and holistic. Education is central to our growth as a prosperous, healthy and self-governing Nation. More information can be found in the Elementary – Secondary (K-12) Policy.
Program staff work to inform students, parents, guardians, and membership of the K-12 education services and supports available through Ta7lnew̓ás. The Nation believes that by formalizing policies, all individuals interacting with the department will be treated in a way that reflects our commitment to excellence based on the following principles:
- Enhance the educational outcomes for students
- Support students with learning disabilities or special needs
- Promote the overall well-being of students
- Ensure fairness, equality, and transparency
K-12 Support Contacts:
High School Advocate (10-12): TJ Nahanee
Middle School Advocate (5-9): Casie Panganiban
Elementary Advocate (K-4): Sandra Siah
Inclusive Education Advocate: Catherine Wairimu
Emergency Response & Planning
Emergency Response & Planning is overseen by the Ta7lnew̓ás department Director. The program aims to ensure the Nation and its Members are well equipped to respond to emergencies or crises.
The program also oversees the submission and review of Event Safety Plans (Communicable Disease Prevention) which increase public safety and assist in having all events run smoothly. Organizers of community events are required to submit an Event Safety Plan a minimum of 5 business days before an event.