Ecotourism Internship Program

Aboriginal Ecotoursim Internship


Aboriginal Ecotourism Training Program is a partnership between Vancouver Island University, Heiltsuk Tribal Council and North Island College. Funding provided by both the Government of Canada through the Canada- British Columbia Job Fund and the Province of BC.

Vancouver Island University
is a comprehensive postsecondary institution located on Vancouver Island. VIU’s main campus is located in Nanaimo, with regional campuses in Duncan and Powell River and a campus centre in Parksville. More than 18,000 full-time and part-time students are enrolled in adult basic education, career, technical, trade and academic programs leading to certificates, diplomas and baccalaureate and masters degrees.

The Heiltsuk Nation is a First Nation government located on BC’s central coast with the largest community, Bella Bell on Campbell Island. The nation elects its chief and 12 council members that are the political body for the nation and oversees all other operations.

North Island College opened in 1975 and now offers more than 900 courses and 70 credit programs ranging from adult upgrading to trades training and university courses. NIC operates four campuses and one centre providing northern Vancouver Island and the BC mainland coast access to post-secondary educational opportunities.

The flexible nine-month Aboriginal Ecotourism Training Program is designed to give you certified skills for employment within British Columbia’s rapidly growing Aboriginal Tourism sector, while benefitting from an applied learning experience that provides a Certificate in Adventure Tourism and Recreation to those who successfully complete all the courses. Participants are brought together for 6-10 days/month at various locations where Aboriginal ecotourism is provided to complete course work.

  • The program is delivered in a unique, community-based format where students travel to different communities participating in ecotourism activities once a month for seven months, and then enter a two-month internship.

  • Experience coastal British Columbia through place-based approach to training by trravelling to and learning in communities involved in Aborginal Ecotourism.

  • Hear directly from Aboriginal entrepreneurs who are working in the ecotourism industry, and be welcomed by local Chiefs and Elders to their teerritory.

  • Earn a certificate in Adventure Tourism and Recreation from Vancouver Island University, and credit towards North Island College's Adventure Guiding certifcate and Tourism Management diploma, all of which can lead to further degree-level studies.

Tuition fees, learning resources, travel and accommodations during course delivery are
covered and additional travel may be supported.


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