Blue Line

Indigenous youth introduced to public safety careers

July 27, 2022  By Blue Line Staff / Justice Institute of British Columbia

July 26, 2022, New Westminster, B.C. – The Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC) recently welcomed participants to its Indigenous Youth Career Camp (IYCC) at its campuses last week, where they gained an introduction to public safety career options. This year’s camp was funded by the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training at no charge to participants. It saw nine participants, aged 14 to 20 and hailing from across the province, explore careers in justice, public safety and health care through hands-on learning and engagement with a wide range of community partners at JIBC campuses.

“The overall goal of the camp is to provide Indigenous youth with the chance to learn about a variety of justice and public safety careers through an applied experience,” said Jason La Rochelle, Director, Office of Indigenization. “It is valuable for Indigenous youth to learn more about these fields, so they can decide if any of these career options are for them. I believe Indigenous People can benefit with more Indigenous representation in justice and public safety careers and this camp is one way to show these youth what opportunities are available.”

The participating youth experienced firefighter training at the Institute’s Maple Ridge campus, as well as emergency medical responder training at the main New Westminster campus. At the main campus, they also engaged in sessions with the Police Academy, and JIBC’s Corrections & Court Services, Emergency Management, and Community & Social Justice divisions. They also paid a visit to the New Westminster Courthouse with members of the Sheriff Academy.

In addition, the youth received Indigenous cultural programming and were supported by JIBC Elders-in-Residence.


“JIBC’s Indigenous Youth Career Camp provided the opportunity for Indigenous youth to learn about careers in justice, health, and safety which is important because they are the people to protect our well-being in our communities,” said Elder Ken Pruden, Métis Nation. “It provided hands-on experience to enable them to know the career… the profession they choose.”

The JIBC believes bringing Indigenous people and perspectives into the fields of justice, public safety and health care is essential to achieve the national goal of Truth and Reconciliation. As the fastest growing demographic in Canada, Indigenous youth will make up a significant portion of British Columbia’s future workforce.

Print this page


Stories continue below