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Forging paths: $1M donation from Gene Haas Foundation paves the way for BCIT students through faculty like Indigenous Red Seal Machinist Chelsea Barron – BCIT

Chelsea Barron has an angel. Her name was Angelina. She hunted on horseback, and was a residential school survivor and fierce mother of nine children. Angelina was her grandmother and is a driving inspiration in Chelsea’s life.

“My grandmother was barely 20 years old when she decided to leave the reservation,” Chelsea says, recalling stories from her childhood. “Despite all the challenges she faced, she found the courage to leave everything she knew behind, move to a big city, and make a better life for her children. Her strength, courage, and resilience are what inspire me to pursue my dreams every day.”

Like her grandmother before her, Chelsea is forging her own unique path. A member of the Tsilhqot’in (Chilcotin) Nation, the BCIT alumna is a Red Seal Machinist and one of few women working in a male-dominated trade. She says the leading-edge skills she learned as a student in the BCIT Machinist program helped prepare her to succeed.

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