Province fills college board vacancies

New appointees come from First Nations organizations

The provincial government has reached into the ranks of First Nations organizations in the region to flesh out its representation on Northwest Community College’s governing board.

Just named to the board are Hazelton-based Gitxsan Government Commission executive director Diane McRae, David Try who is a director of the Kitselas First Nation Development Corporation and Jolene Wesley, the Terrace-based Kermode Friendship Centre’s program director.

Try and Wesley are also former college employees with the former having once been the dean of instruction and the latter its First Nations access coordinator.

The three appointments now mean that after a period of vacancies, the province has filled all of its eight slots on the college board.

Named earlier this year was Skeena Watershed Conservation Coalition executive director Shannon McPhail from Hazelton and Nicole Halbauer from Terrace who is employed by the First Nations Health Authority.

Paul Bjorn, Ernie Dusdal and Bill Parmar are existing provincial government appointees. Also sitting on the board are Catherine White the chair of the college’s education council, elected faculty member Ann Marie Merkel and student representatives Reilly Walker and Adelle Jonker.

Halbauer was further elected chair of the board last week while Try was elected as its vice chair.

With a full board now named, the college can fully turn its attention to its planned name change. The name Coast Mountain College was chosen to better reflects its geographic location, the college said. The board approved of the name change last year but has been waiting for some time now for a response from the province.

Although both Premier John Horgan and advanced education minister Melanie Mark, whose ministry is responsible for colleges, were on the Terrace campus last week, the subject didn’t come up in any of the public remarks made by Horgan or Mark.

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