The Indigenous Adult & Higher Learning Association (IAHLA) was created to support and represent Aboriginal-controlled adult and post-secondary education institutes in British Columbia.

IAHLA provides a unified voice for its member institutes, and strives to support Aboriginal adult and post-secondary institutes through research, professional development, and networking opportunities. IAHLA is committed to building strategic partnerships to enhance the quality of education available for Aboriginal adult and post-secondary learners.


Our mission is to support quality post-secondary educational institutes that leverage Indigenous language, culture and knowledge to create adaptable, competent, skilled citizens who are able to contribute to local, provincial and national advancement.


  • To collect and disseminate relevant information to assist Indigenous adult and higher learning agencies in their provision of education services
  • To undertake research that will benefit Indigenous adult and higher learning agencies throughout BC
  • To facilitate networking and information sharing activities, such as conferences, meetings, and workshops
  • To support collective professional development and training opportunities
  • To undertake other support activities at the direction of Indigenous adult and higher learning agencies
  • To solicit funding as necessary to undertake the activities listed above


The Indigenous Adult and Higher Learning Association (IAHLA) was formed in 2003 by adult learning centres and post-secondary education institutes in BC that are controlled by Aboriginal boards. This unique sector of adult and post-secondary education system makes a critical contribution to the success of Aboriginal learners in this province.

Working together through IAHLA, Aboriginal controlled adult and post-secondary education institutes are striving to do the following.

  • Increase recognition of the institutes’ unique and successful approaches to community-based, culturally-relevant learning
  • Join public and private institutes as the third sector of the adult and post-secondary education community in BC
  • Contribute in a direct and meaningful way to First Nations’ economic and social development efforts, and to First Nations’ efforts to promote and revitalize First Nations languages and cultures
  • Gain recognition and accreditation for the institutes’ courses and programs
  • Coordinate the development, accreditation, and sharing of courses and programs
  • Develop and share curricula and credentials, particularly in First Nations language instruction and accreditation
  • Collaborate to more effectively use existing resources and increase opportunities for adult learners
  • Share successful approaches with public and private sector institutes to improve the overall success of Aboriginal adult learners
  • Make innovative use of emerging communications and learning technologies, both to provide more educational choices to Aboriginal learners and to enhance networking amongst the institutes
  • Promote the need for adequate, sustained core and program funding to support the critical efforts of Aboriginal institutes

Executive & Board


IAHLA RegionBoard of Director Member IAHLA Institute
Coast Salish / IslandNancy SewardSnuneymuxw House of Learning
Coast Salish / Mainland/ Lower St’atl’imcNadine PascalTs’zil Learning Centre
Gitksan / Wet’suwet’enPriscilla MichellTreasurerKyah Wiget Education Society
Haida / Tsimshian / Haisla/ Nisga’a Dr. Deanna NyceWilp Wilxo’oskwhl Nisga’a
Kaska / Dene / Tahltan / Tagish/ Inland TlingitCathy WarrenVice-ChairKwadacha Dune Ty
Kootenay / OkanaganTracey Kim BonneauChairEn’owkin Centre
Kwakwaka’wakw / Heiltsuk / Nuxalk / OweekenoBonita WallasK’ak’ot’lats’i School, Quatsino First Nation
Secwepemc / St’át’imc / NlakapamuxDr. John ChenowethNicola Valley Institute of technology
Tsilhqot’in / Carrier / Tse’keneDr. Louise LacerteSecretaryLake Babine Nation
Coast Salish / IslandKendra Underwood Director at LargeSaanich Adult Education Centre


IAHLA is committed to working in partnership with other Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal organizations in order to effectively share information and resources, collaborate on relevant projects, and promote a coordinated approach to Aboriginal adult and post-secondary education issues in BC.

IAHLA strives to maintain a positive and effective relationship with relevant government agencies. In particular, IAHLA is actively involved in ongoing discussions with the BC Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training, with the intention of increasing recognition of and support for Aboriginal-controlled institutes in BC. IAHLA also communicates regularly with the federal government to promote the needs and priorities of Indigenous institutes.

IAHLA is a founding member of the BC Aboriginal Post-Secondary Education and Training Partners Group, which reflects a significant commitment by post-secondary education stakeholders in BC. That group has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in 2005 on Aboriginal Post-Secondary Education and Training, which is designed to facilitate collective efforts to improve levels of participation and success of Aboriginal learners in post-secondary education and training.

Annual Report

Read the latest IAHLA Annual Report, or go to the Resource Library for past annual reports.

A Member

IAHLA members are Indigenous institutes governed by Board members representing Indigenous communities, and they offer a broad spectrum of courses and programs.  We welcome new members and encourage members to stay in touch.