Nicola Valley Institute of Technology

Nicola Valley Institute of Technology | Merritt, B.C. | Founded 1983

(Courtesy of Steven Bauwens/NVIT)

Nicola Valley Institute of Technology (NVIT), founded by five First Nations, focuses on learning that is based on Indigenous culture, tradition and knowledge. Nearly 80 per cent of students are Indigenous, and the school is fully governed by members of the First Nations community. An Elders’ council provides support and guidance for approximately 1,400 students. Last year, the school introduced an immediate entrance bursary covering one year of tuition for all Indigenous Grade 12 graduates in B.C.

NVIT offers career-training programs in business, health, environmental studies, education, trades, justice studies and human services. An Indigenous-centred bachelor of social work is the only program of its kind in the province. The school has two campuses, in Merritt and Vancouver. Its Centre of Excellence in Sustainability building, opened in 2018, features lab space, solar and geo-exchange technologies, a culinary arts teaching kitchen, a greenhouse and a gymnasium for large campus events. The school’s new 182-seat amphitheatre opened in 2020 and will be used for classes, speaker series, performances and community bookings.

Hybrid distance learning options are available for students who wish to stay in their communities. Two travelling trades-training centres—fully equipped for electrical work, welding, millwrights, and piping and plumbing—bring 12-week trades courses to rural locations.


Size of school Tuition (degree) Tuition (diploma) Tuition (certificate) Residence offerings
Small (fewer than 2,000 full-time students) $3,947-$5,132 $2,729-$7,193 $1,637-$4,912 Yes

Cool options

  • Indigenous Holistic Wellness and Addictions: Courses focus on healing through understanding the history of the colonization and genocide of Indigenous people and of complex trauma theory.
  • Foundations in Innovation and Technology: Students get 12 weeks of hands-on experience in this certificate program, which focuses on current opportunities in B.C.’s technology-based fields.
  • Social Work: Combine knowledge and skills based on Indigenous perspectives with contemporary social work practices. Students learn through Elders, classroom experiences and critical analysis.

Popular Programs

  • Social Work
  • Foundations in Innovation and Technology
  • General Arts
  • Indigenous Human Services 

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