Aboriginal Services

One of Okanagan College’s key directions is working with, and learning from, the Indigenous community. The College is dedicated to providing culturally relevant support to Aboriginal students as they journey toward their personal, educational and career goals. Each year the College hosts a powwow, Aboriginal Career Fairs, recognition ceremonies and other cultural events. Thoughtful Aboriginal spaces can be found on each campus including Indigenous outdoor gardens that celebrate and recognize the traditional ways and knowledge of the Indigenous peoples of the region.

Okanagan College respectfully acknowledges that our Penticton, Kelowna, and Vernon campuses are located on the traditional and unceded territory of the Syilx (Okanagan) people and our Salmon Arm campus is located on the traditional and unceded territory of the Secwepemc (Shuswap) people.

We celebrate the rich culture and heritage that all students bring to Okanagan College and are proud to provide a respectful learning environment. We value community and growing our partnerships and dialogue with First Nation, Métis and Inuit communities in Canada. We invite you to join our community.

Meet Rebecca

rebeccaThe professors in the psychology department are so engaging. They all have their own teaching styles, but they all encourage students to ask questions and give feedback. I love the small class sizes and that the professors know you by name.

In between classes, you can almost always find me in the Aboriginal Student Centre, whether it be to grab a quick coffee or to use the computer lab to work on a paper. When I’m not there doing school work, I’m there working as an Aboriginal Peer Mentor. Aboriginal Services offers help in whatever way I need it. I even received the Okanagan College Aboriginal Students Bursary this term which helped relieve financial stress.

Rebecca Dalhuisen | Associate of Arts Degree, Psychology | Sandy Bay Ojibway First Nation, Manitoba | Aboriginal Peer Mentor


Your Learning Community

Attending post-secondary is an exciting new chapter in your life and we are here to help you realize your goals. While attending the College, you will have access to various supports from Aboriginal Services, to help navigate through school while still achieving balance. Here are some of the services we offer:

Aboriginal Transition Planners

Aboriginal Transition Planners are one of your primary resources while you attend OC. They are a main point of contact for recruitment and act as community liaisons. They will help you apply to the right program, secure funding or sponsorship for your various academic needs, navigate resources and provide post-secondary transition support.

Aboriginal Student Centres

Okanagan College provides gathering places for students at each campus. Enjoy coffee, snacks, study spaces and a comfortable area to relax in between classes and to connect with your peers.

Peer Mentorship

Connect with a peer mentor at each campus. Mentors are current Aboriginal students who have been in your shoes before and can provide insight, support and guidance to help you on your educational journey.

Aboriginal Student Awards

There is more than $50,000 in scholarships, bursaries and awards available to Aboriginal students at OC. There is also a variety of other scholarships, awards, bursaries or grants available to Aboriginal students through community or government programs.

Cultural Programing

We provide a series of workshops and ongoing supports at each campus aimed to uphold traditions and enrich the students’ experience at Okanagan College. With our visiting Elders program students may choose to receive support and guidance from Elders who have distinct traditional knowledge that we recognize has immense importance and value to our students. Our Aboriginal Student Centres facilitate ongoing workshops, from traditional beading, moccasin making, to storytelling and drum groups.