IAHLA is the representative organization for a wide variety of Aboriginal controlled adult and post-secondary educational institutes across BC.
IAHLA members offer a broad spectrum of courses and programs that include:
- college and university programs leading to certificates, diplomas, and degrees;
- Adult Basic Education leading to the Adult Dogwood Diploma for secondary school completion;
- language instruction;
- occupation specific training and upgrading; and
- a broad spectrum of lifespan learning programs that support Aboriginal people, communities, languages, and cultures.
Aboriginal controlled institutes are non-private, not-for-profit agencies. IAHLA members include the public institute, Nicola Valley Institute of Technology (NVIT) in Merritt and Burnaby, as well as non-public Aboriginal institutes – all of which are governed by Board members representing Aboriginal communities.
Generally, IAHLA institutes work in partnership with public institutes to deliver certificate, diploma and degree programming that has been adapted to make the curriculum relevant to the learners and community.
Aboriginal institutes are sensitive both to the needs of their communities and to the constraints that too often prevent Aboriginal adult learners from fulfilling their potential. The community and cultural sensitivity of these institutes makes learning more relevant for Aboriginal adult learners.
Many Aboriginal learners who struggle in public and private post-secondary settings succeed at Aboriginal controlled adult education institutes. The success of these students carries a major economic benefit not only for the successful students, but also for their families, employers, communities, the province, and the country.
IAHLA members also bring post-secondary education to remote communities, improving access and facilitating the maintenance of student support systems.