Coast Mountain College Receives Multi-Year Funding from SkilledTradesBC for Indigenous People in Trades Training

Jun 28, 2024
A CMTN student chops carrots during a culinary course

Northwest BC – Coast Mountain College (CMTN) is a recipient of a multi-year grant through SkilledTradesBC’s Indigenous People Trades Training Programs (IPTT)

The grant, valued at $573,422, will be distributed over two-years and will support the Cook’s Helper Program in the communities of Gitxaala, Old Masset, and Kispiox (Anspayaxw). Gitxaala will have capacity for 12 students, while both Old Masset and Kispiox (Anspayaxw) will run with eight students in their cohorts. 

The 12-week Cook’s Helper Program prepares successful students to work in the food services industry as line cooks, short order cooks, caterers’ assistants, prep cooks and kitchen helpers. Students will learn skills such as safety and sanitation, professionalism, communication skills, math, and food preparation. The instructor will work with the community to integrate local culturally-sourced foods and recipes into the program. Students will receive their Food Safe Level 1 as part of this program.

The Cook’s Helper Program also prepares students to enter the Professional Cook Level 1 Program or the West Coast Culinary Diploma Program at Coast Mountain College, the latter of which includes field school electives in Indigenous and non-Indigenous harvesting and processing techniques for locally sourced and Indigenous foods. 

In addition to training, CMTN assists in creating an individual training and career plan for each participant upon entry into the program. The plan will include a path forward for the participant’s transition either to employment or to additional post-secondary education. 

“With the support of SkilledTradesBC and our community partners, we are thrilled to be able to offer the Cook’s Helper program in each of these communities. We recognize that students being close to their home and having family, community, and support networks can contribute to their success in education and future employment,” says Kelly Swain, Dean of Trades, First Nations Fine Arts, and Workforce Training. 

“We are committed to training local people for local employment and continue to seek opportunities to train folks in their home communities.” 

This program is only open to those who self-identify as Indigenous. The first intake runs from September 3 to November 22, 2024 in Gitxaala. 

Learn more on our website here or by emailing Sue-Ann Norton, Regional Contracts Officer, at


Media Contact:

Heather Bastin
Executive Director, External Relations, Coast Mountain College
250-635-6511 ext. 5494