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Nass Valley residents recognized for academic achievements in UNBC ceremony

Wilp Wilxo’oskwhl Nisga’a Institute holds 30th annual graduation ceremony
Master of Arts graduate Julia Adams received her degree May 30 at a ceremony at Gitwinksihlkw in the Nass Valley. (Photo courtesy the University of Northern B.C.)

Four Wilp Wilxo’oskwhl Nisga’a Institute (WWNI) students received their credentials in a ceremony held May 30 at the Ts’oohl Ts’ap Memorial Hall in Gitwinksihlkw in the Nass Valley.

WWNI is affiliated with the University of Northern B.C. so that the credentials apply to both post secondary institutions and this was the 30th graduation event featuring students benefitting from that arrangement.

One of the students, Julia Adams, received her Master of Arts degree in First Nations Studies, the second credential to have been earned.

“We have schools, we have university, we have government and I think it’s important for our people to have their education to be able to do their jobs and still follow the culture and the traditions that our grandmothers taught us,” the 77-year-old matriarch noted.

She said the Nass Valley is blessed to have a post-secondary institution located there.

Also receiving credentials were Francine Stewart, who graduated with a Certificate in General First Nations Studies, Destinee Clayton, who graduated with both a Certificate in General First Nations Studies and Certificate in Nisga’a Studies, and Andrea Clayton who received a Heath Care Assistant Certificate through a partnership involving WWNI and the Native Education College.

Both WWNI President Dr. Deanna Nyce and UNBC President Dr. Geoffrey Payne offered words of encouragement.