Due to a lack of funding, the Northern Shuswap Tribal Council has discontinued its Cariboo Chilcotin Weekend University program.
A protocol agreement between Thompson Rivers University, University of Northern British Columbia and NSTC has been discontinued as the program funding from the Indian Studies Support Program of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada was not received for this year.
The funding had allowed the CCWU program to run successfully for the last 14 years.
“We didn’t receive ISSP funding this year and it was decided to take a step back and restructure,” confirmed Cici Sterritt, Cariboo Chilcotin Weekend University co-ordinator.
The Weekend University program brought degree opportunities to 15 First Nations bands in the Cariboo Chilcotin area. Students attended classes on weekends, tuition was subsidized and supports like tutors were offered.
More than 200 adults completed courses in the program’s 14-year history and CCWU has 43 graduates. Since 1997, 14 bachelor degrees, four diplomas and 25 certificates were issued.
The last day of class will be Aug. 26.
“This wouldn’t have happened if the funding had come through as we would have continued with the courses,” said Sterritt.
“It’s pushing us to look at change. We’re saddened by the loss because with 43 graduates it was quite a success but it’s moving on and offering something new.” There will be a celebration acknowledging the end of the CCWU program on Aug. 12 at the TRU Gathering Place from noon to 2 p.m.