The 2017 graduates from the Certificate in First Nation Tax Administration program were recognized at a graduation celebration dinner held in their honour. In attendance were the 15 graduates, their guests, and representatives from the Tulo Centre and the First Nations Tax Commission.
After the welcome from Tulo Centre Chair, Michael LeBourdais, students received their Tulo/FNTC certificates from Tulo Centre Director and Instructor, Dr. Andre Le Dressay.
Valedictorian Jesse James delivered a speech reflecting on his experience in the program and his fellow classmates, “Jurisdiction. It’s something that’s important. It’s a very interesting word. There’s other words to describe jurisdiction; including authority, power, control and sovereignty. Because we are all from the First Nation world and in administration, we know those words have worth. And to be able to go back home and apply what you learned over the eight courses, it’s really important and it shows the leadership in the room here tonight.”
Tulo Centre Chair, Mike LeBourdais congratulated the graduates, “There is no doubt you will all accomplish great things for yourselves and for your communities. Remember to celebrate and share your success. You encourage all of us to continue and provide an example to follow. You give us hope for a bright future for all First Nations.“
This year’s graduating class included:
- Kimberly Albinet, Stellat’en First Nation
- Mercedes Brown, We Wai Kai Nation
- Jennifer Doss, Xaxli’p First Nation
- Heather Fader, Shackan Indian Band
- Rena Gregoire, Adams Lake Band
- Lisa Hall, Kwaw-kwaw-Apilt First Nation
- Jesse James, Shxw’ow’hamel First Nation
- Winston Lapatak, Saddle Lake Cree Nation
- Kenneth Large, Saddle Lake Cree Nation
- Keith Morgan, Kispiox Band
- Beth Nicholas, Tobique First Nation
- Tania Solonas, McLeod Lake Indian Band
- Miranda Squakin, Upper Similkameen Indian Band
- Bernice Whalley, Kwantlen First Nation
- Gailene William, Williams Lake Indian Band
The graduates also participated in the Thompson Rivers University convocation. The graduates received their certificates along with 300 other graduates from TRU’s School of Business and Economics.
The certificate program is delivered in partnership between Thompson Rivers University, the First Nations Tax Commission and the Tulo Centre of Indigenous Economics. The program focuses on establishing the legal framework required to support a First Nation taxation system and economic development.