AN EVENT to honour graduates of an aboriginal internship program included a former resident of the Nass Valley.
John Kervel (Dim Ni Bahl’ Ges Xsgaak) is a Nisga’a from New Aiyansh, who was honoured with other graduates of the Aboriginal Youth Internship Program at a ceremony with provincial and aboriginal leaders in Victoria Oct. 3.
“I will, and always will be, at heart, an environmental activist,” said Kervel.
His road to the internship began way back when, while in the navy, he took part in an Aboriginal Outreach Tour he did on the HMCS Oriole.
“I had the privilege of listening to the adawaks (stories) of many of the coastal nations. I was inspired by the many stories of trials and triumphs our proud nations of the coast had to offer,” he said.
“That’s when it sparked with me that I wanted something different in my life.”
After working at a variety of outdoor or environmental positions, he took on the internship.
It involved nine months working with the Ministry of Environment and then three months working for Nisga’a Ts’amiks. Afterward, he worked for the Ministry of the Environment.
He’s looking to be an environmental activist or an Environmental Response Officer (ERO) for the Ministry of the Environment.
His application to be an ERO wasn’t successful this time – he was the second choice – but he will try again.
One day, Kervel says he intends to return to the Nass Valley. although says a job as an ERO will likely keep him in the Lower Mainland.