YVR and NEC declare ‘We are One’ partnership

Tammy Harkey, president Native Education College (left); and Tamara Vrooman, president & CEO of Vancouver Airport Authority signed a Memorandum of Understanding to embark on new initiatives to raise awareness for NEC and its mission.

Vancouver International Airport (YVR) and Native Education College (NEC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), deepening the relationship between the two organizations and marking a significant step toward fostering cultural understanding, educational empowerment, and reconciliation. As part of the agreement, NEC will provide annual Indigenous Cultural Awareness Training sessions for Vancouver Airport Authority employees.

At its core, the MOU brings together YVR and NEC, creating opportunities for joint initiatives that will benefit Indigenous and non-Indigenous learners, communities, and partners.

Initiatives include scholarship programs, education and development resources, ongoing communications, networking opportunities, event planning and marketing activities to raise awareness of NEC and its mission to provide a culturally appropriate and supportive learning environment. 

NEC works with First Nations, Métis, and Indigenous communities to deliver accredited post-secondary and adult upgrading programs in locations throughout British Columbia. NEC programs are developed with Indigenous content and teaching methods for Indigenous learners on its campus in east Vancouver. 

With a legacy that spans generations and a foundation laid by the late Musqueam Chief, Gertrude Guerin, NEC is a unique learning institution, enabling individuals to achieve their educational and career aspirations while staying true to their cultural heritage. 

The announcement builds on YVR’s commitment to advance reconciliation and walk together with Musqueam under the 30-year Sustainability and Friendship Agreement based on friendship and a willingness to achieve a sustainable future for the community and the airport’s lands. 

This new MOU between YVR and NEC also stands in addition to partnership agreements that YVR has in place with the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada, Indigenous Tourism BC, and Iskwew Air.