Education Department

The Lheidli T’enneh Education Department provides financial assistance, advisory services, and moral support for its band members who wish to pursue educational goals.  Knowing full well that education can improve one’s quality of life as well as contribute to the development of community, Lheidli T’enneh is proud to support their band members in achieving these educational goals.

Applying for government funding can be challenging, especially for adults who may also be working or caring for family members.  For that reason, the Education Department understand that supporting a student may also mean supporting their health and wellbeing as they transition from a secondary student into a post-secondary one. 

Education Department staff also work closely with the Lheidli Employment & Training Services Department.  If a band member’s goals are more general and don’t fit the scope of formal education, they can develop life skills or trades, and access other programs to help them secure future employment.

Education Manager

Vincent Joseph

Vincent Joseph is the Lheidli T’enneh Education Manager.  He supports band members in their pursuit of education including students from K-12 all the way up to those wishing to enroll in post-secondary institutes.  In addition to taking in school applications and supporting individuals in applying for funding, Vincent spends much of his time meeting with School District 57 staff to discuss Lheidli students’ success and how to maintain and further that success.  These conversations help ensure that everyone is on the same page when developing an educational plan for a student, better helping them reach their goals.  By learning where they are at, he helps them get to where they want to go.

In his role as Education Manager, Vincent does much more than just give students moral support.  He ensures they are looked after, particularly post-secondary students who may already being taking on additional responsibilities.  Vincent helps them understand the requirements necessary to access the different kinds of funding available to them.   

As a member of the Cariboo Clan and Tl’azt’en Nation, Vincent Joseph is happy to be working with Lheidli T’enneh.  Having originally worked in the health field for the past forty years, Vincent applied for the position on a whim and was hired.  His dedication and passion for others remains an asset however as he continues to support band members who wish to better themselves, helping them follow through with their educational goals.  Vincent is a firm believer in the motto that, “when your heart is in the right place, you’re good to go anywhere.”

Education Officer

Mel Aksidan is the Education Officer of Lheidli T’enneh, dedicated to supporting the community members and families; from K-12 and onward to post-secondary education or trades. Working under the direction of the Education Manager and the Executive Director; he will be helping with the planning, operations, and administering educational opportunities for LTFN.

Mel was born in Terrace, BC and raised in his home community of Gitsegukla in BC. He is a family-oriented man who believes educational success is very important to indigenous people in today’s way of life. After bouncing from job to job, trying to survive, Mel decided to complete his grade 12 at the age of 34 and went right into a post-secondary program where he finished at the top of his class. Since then, he’s worked for School District 57 as an Indigenous Education Worker for 4 years, where he gained a lot of experience working with elementary and high school students and their families.  Without his education, he feels that all the opportunities that he’s had wouldn’t have been realized. For that, he is honored to be serving as the Education Officer and is dedicated to helping the LTFN members on their educational journeys.

Indigenous Education Leadership Table (IELT)

From left to right: Jayde Chingee, Jodie Ware, Mel Aksidan, Corie Neill, and Joshua Seymour

Lheidli T’enneh First Nation (LTFN) and McLeod Lake Indian Band (MLIB) have formed the Indigenous Education Leadership Table (IELT). For years, LTFN and MLIB have shared their concerns of systemic racism, the lack of accountability, and proof that targeted funding is not being spent on what it is intended for in School District no. 57 (SD57). These concerns, along with several issues, including policy and practice concerns that do not favor our Indigenous Students success are what will be addressed at the IELT.

The IELT members include: Joshua Seymour (LTFN Council), Crystal Gibbs (LTFN Council), Marcel Gagnon (LTFN Council), Vincent Joseph (Education Manager), Mel Aksidan (LTFN Education Officer), Jayde Chingee (MLIB Deputy Chief Council), Jodie Ware (MLIB Education Director), and Corie Neill (MLIB Workforce Promotor). The chairs for the table are Mel Aksidan and Corie Neill.

Education Funding

There are two different sources of funding for Lheidli Education Programs – one through the Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC); the other is through the LTN Contracting Ltd. Education Fund.

Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) Funding

Each year, Lheidli T’enneh makes an annual application to the Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada’s (AANDC) Post-Secondary Student Support Program (PSSSP) and University and College Entrance Preparation (UCEP).  Although funding may be limited, Lheidli T’enneh strives to work with this funding agency every year, making post-secondary education a priority by supplementing other funding opportunities. 

LTN Contracting Ltd. Education Funding

LTN is a limited company owned by Lheidli T’enneh and Roga Contracting Ltd.  Throughout their operations, $0.25 a tonne/logging revenue goes into an educational fund. This funding is available to aid in sponsoring non-status Lheidli T’enneh members.

Student support funding is most often put towards tuition and compulsory student fees, it may also be available for:

Be sure to contact the Education Coordinator to confirm funding availability.

Applying for Funding

It is imperative to remember that when applying for educational funding (i.e. sponsorship) that you include all supporting information and documentation.  This not only shows you are serious about your education, it helps makes the decision process easier and quicker. 

Things to remember when applying:


These guidelines explain the program objectives and administrative role of the Education Department. It is a helpful resource for staff and applicants in better understanding how to secure funding.  It also goes into specific detail for what funding can be used for, limits of assistance, and the responsibilities of students who are sponsored.

This application form needs to be filled out in order to apply for educational funding.  It contains a checklist of required documents and explains how to obtain them or write them (e.g. a cover letter, resume and references, transcripts/grades, etc.) 

Educational Resources and Websites

This website provides resources for Aboriginal students wishing to pursue or continue college or university (post-secondary) studies in British Columbia.  It includes information on the programs available to support learning such as financial support, housing, transportation, career planning or employment services and childcare.

This website provides resources for Aboriginal students wishing to pursue or continue college or university (post-secondary) studies in British Columbia.  It includes information on the programs available to support learning such as financial support, housing, transportation, career planning or employment services and childcare.

Learn about the BC Transfer System, how to successfully transfer, the different types of transfer credit, and understand how to move from another university or province.

This federal government website provides a wide range of resources for helping you plan for an education, save, budget and explore student aid and career options. 

Approximately 34% of CNC students self-identify as Aboriginal, and at some CNC campuses Aboriginal learners make up the majority of the student population.  Aboriginal culture, history, and knowledge enhance the experience for all students and staff and help to create a diverse and welcoming campus culture.

This provincial government website helps eligible students with the cost of their post-secondary education through loans, grants, bursaries, scholarships and special programs.  There is also information on programs that can help with loan repayment. 

PGNAETA serves the First Nations and Urban Aboriginal community in the north central interior of British Columbia.  This organization works collaboratively to aid the Aboriginal workforce to participate in the shifting labor market in today’s economy.

Consisting of over 32 Elementary schools, 8 secondary schools, and 1 Centre for Learning Alternatives (which includes: Continuing Education, Distance Education, and Community Alternate Programs), SD57 serves a diverse range of nations and nationalities and strives to honor the strength that comes with the diversity in our population.   

The Prince George campus is located on the traditional territory of the Lheidli T’enneh.  With over 3500 students enrolled in academic programs, UNBC offers courses to help you achieve your educational goals. 


Lheidli T’enneh Education Department

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