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ECO Canada and Royal Roads University Continue Partnership Towards Environmental Leadership

Press Release

Since 2012, ECO Canada’s partnership with Royal Roads University (RRU) has created higher education programs to provide students with advanced education, training, and professional development tailored to the Canadian environment industry. As green jobs continue to grow in Canada, RRU and ECO Canada strive to increase the number of environmental workers while ensuring they are equipped with the proper education and training.

ECO Canada and Royal Roads University are the founders of the Canadian Centre for Environmental Education (CCEE). In accordance with the National Occupational Standards (NOS) for Environmental Employment, the CCEE offers interdisciplinary training with four different post-secondary programs to suit students’ career needs and interests. Unique to other universities, all programs are offered 100% online. The partnership programs offered are Graduate Certificate in Science and Policy of Climate Change, Master in Environmental Practice, Bachelor in Environmental Practice, and officially signed on July 14, 2023, the Indigenous Environmental Leadership Pathways Program.

Graduates of the Certificate in Indigenous Environmental Leadership Pathways gathered in July to celebrate in the Japanese Gardens at Royal Roads University. This certificate is the first-of-its kind in Canada: designed and taught by Indigenous scholars, it’s a 100 per cent online program focused on integrated Indigenous-led environmental stewardship and planning. This program is designed and taught by Indigenous scholars and is based on Indigenous science, knowledge, values and laws. It is overseen by an advisory circle of Indigenous scholars, Elders, Knowledge Keepers, leaders, practitioners and advisors from the learners’ communities.

The pilot program, funded by the Government of Canada, was formalized by Royal Roads Vice-President and Provost Veronica Thompson and ECO Canada President Kevin Nilsen before the graduation, adding the certificate to the list of programs offered in collaboration with ECO Canada and Royal Road’s School of Environment and Sustainability.

“I’m so proud of these students and their accomplishments,” said Thompson. “ECO Canada knows how critical Indigenous leadership is to protect our environment and our future. Their vision to support this new community-based learning program will have a tremendous impact on the students, their families and their communities.”

Graduates can apply their credits to their post-secondary programs, including Royal Roads’ Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Practice programs.

“There is a growing demand for leaders like you — leaders with new approaches to climate change, and to protecting, maintaining and restoring ecosystems in communities and territories,” says Nilsen.

The certificate is not only a springboard into post-secondary and post-graduate programs but also into the workforce. Nilsen encouraged the graduates to stay in touch with ECO Canada regarding their careers.

The next semester for the Certificate in Indigenous Environmental Leadership Pathways begins in January 2024. Learn more here. Between the four programs offered through ECO Canada and RRU’s partnership, there has been participation from more than 2500 students. To learn more about the partnership and offered programs, click here.

Photos from the Indigenous Environmental Leadership Pathways graduation:

About ECO Canada:

ECO Canada is the steward of the Canadian environmental industry. We aim to promote and drive responsible, sustainable economic growth within the industry while ensuring that environmental care and best practice are priorities. Over the past 30 years, we have forged academic partnerships, tools, and research to train and certify environmental job seekers and help fill the labour market.

We work alongside government, policymakers, academia, students, employers, professionals, industry, and international audiences to ensure we support Canada as a global leader in innovative workforce solutions and job creation. We remain the go-to source in the environmental labour market. Our research provides unmatched statistics and analysis on the industry’s economic and labour trends that identify workforce gaps.

For more information, contact:

Aaron Wilson

VP, Marketing & Sales

ECO Canada


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