Malahat Nation partners with Safer Ocean Systems to host Marine Courses at Malahat Nation

The Government of Canada started the Marine Safety Equipment and Training (MSET) Initiative in October 2020 to respond to concerns of Indigenous communities along the Trans Mountain Expansion Project marine shipping route. The program’s goal is to improve vessel safety and provide marine safety equipment and training to First Nation community members.

Malahat Nation was awarded funding from the Marine Safety Equipment and Training (MSET) Initiative earlier this year. To kick off the program, the Environment Department reached out to community members at the Open House on July 4 to ask members if they were interested in signing up for marine courses.

On August 18, 19 and from August 29-September 1, Malahat Nation partnered with Safer Ocean Systems based in Nanaimo to host the marine courses for Malahat members on reserve. Courses included the Marine Emergency Duties (SDVBS), Marine Radio Operators Course (ROC-M) and the Small Vessel Operator Proficiency (SVOP) course. 

SVOP Course at Malahat Nation. Pictured: Barb Thomas and Kenneth Charles practicing chartwork skills for the SVOP Course.
SVOP Course at Malahat Nation. Pictured: Barb Thomas and Joan Seymour tying a bowline knot during the SVOP course.

A total of 18 certificates were obtained by Malahat community members who successfully completed these courses. They learned various skills including chart work, knot tying, using marine navigation buoys, fire safety on vessels and use of marine VHF Radios.

SVOP Course at Malahat Nation. Pictured left to right: John Harry, Barb Thomas, Joan Seymour, Robert Oakes (instructor), Kenneth Charles, Samantha Daniels, Andrea Daniels

These certificates are required for many careers in First Nations government, whale watching, ferries, Coast Guard, fishing, and other marine industry jobs. Many of them do not expire.

The Environment Department is currently accepting applications and interest from the Malahat community for the next round of courses. Email for more info.