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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.