Continuing Education Through the Lens of Indigenization

Video of this presentation can be viewed here:

Join us as we reflect on the journey of developing and Indigenizing Continuing Education programming. Using Okanagan College's Aboriginal Community Support Worker certificate program as a case study, we will review the process used, lessons learned and some best practices for Indigenizing programming. We will wrap up the session with an open discussion on each school's experience in Indigenizing their programming.


Kara Kazimer (She/Her/Hers) has been a Program Administrator in the Continuing Studies and Corporate Training department at Okanagan College since 2012 and is responsible for developing new Indigenous programs and adapting existing programs to reflect Indigenous content. She regularly works with Indigenous partners to bring valuable training to their communities throughout the Okanagan College region. Prior to joining Okanagan College, Kara worked with Community Futures North Okanagan as a Community Economic Development Coordinator working with  multi-million, multi-year local, regional, and international projects including entrepreneurship initiatives for women and youth in Indonesia and Russia.

Kara has an active member of the Indigenization Taskforce since inception and has recently discovered that her great-grandfather was Indigenous from North Dakota and is actively researching her Indigenous lineage.

Jewell Gillies (They/Them/Theirs), an Indigenous Student Services Coordinator at Okanagan College, is Musgamagw Dzawada'enuxw of the Kwakwaka'wakw First Nation on the West Coast (Wolf clan). They come from 5 plus years working as an Aboriginal Student Advocate for School District 23 (Central Okanagan). In that time Jewell has fostered enduring relationships with their students, their families, and the community supports to provide a holistic and authentic support for Indigenous youth. Their goal has been to provide cultural/spiritual practices and teachings as well as support a student's sense of understanding of their indigenous identity as part of their overall educational journey.

Jewell's work experience prior to advocacy was in the criminal justice system serving as a Police Officer for the City of Vancouver Police Department for over 5 years. They are passionate about connecting with their community and providing them every opportunity possible to see success in their life goals. Jewell feels very fortunate to be able to raise their young child in the traditional territories of the Okanagan people and spends as much time as possible out exploring the hiking/biking trails and beaches.