Mission – A special ceremony to mark the beginning of a brand new forestry training program that was two years in the making took place at Fraser River Heritage Park earlier this week.
The Indigenous Guardians Training Program is a six-week course developed by the City in close partnership with Kwantlen First Nation, Leq’a:mel First Nation, Matsqui First Nation, and the Mission Public School District.
Program participants will learn about forestry field training in tree and plant identification, forest ecology, forest health, stream classification, as well as Guardians-specific training in archaeology and Cultural Plant identification. The course is taking place at Riverside College, with training provided by Stillwater Consulting Ltd.
Graduates of the program will be working within lands located in the shared territories of the Kwantlen, Leq’a:mel, and Matsqui First Nations. Some of the roles for Guardians include environmental and fire patrol, cultural interpretation, archaeology fieldwork, managing cultural trees and plants, and stream assessment and rehabilitation.