BCIT House Inspection Program paves way for full-time programs on reserves

Photo credit: Gwen Greenway, caption: Skeetchestn students of the 12-week BCIT House Inspection Program seen here are receiving their certificates alongside instructors of the program. date: June 14, 2013 Those in the photo include (left to right): Tara Gonzales-Nicholas, Charles Gairdner, Patti Linton, Carey Lamb, Calvin Draney, Dawn McGrath, Doug Seymour, Ken Mayo, Mike Battistel, Wayne Han

Skeetchestn students of the 12-week BCIT House Inspection
Program receive their certificates alongside
instructors of the program. Photo by Gwen Greenway.

A 12-week BCIT House Inspection Program moved from a classroom to a Thompson-Nicola region reserve this past summer. Now, it is paving the way for other training opportunities on reserves.

The House Inspection Program is usually offered part-time at the BCIT Burnaby campus over an extended period of time.

This summer, the program was revamped and relocated to the Skeetchestn Indian Reserve near Savona, BC, with the purpose of training individuals to better inspect and review buildings, according to two instructors who are part of the program.

Training and curriculum were designed to be delivered full-time on a reserve, something that has not been done before in Canada, instructor Mike Battistel said.

Battistel told The Link the newly designed program allows instructors to incorporate materials and instructions that were not able to be taught in a classroom during a part-time curriculum.

“We even included a site visit to some of the buildings on the reserve and kind of did some inspections of the building envelopes on a couple of the buildings on the reserve,” said Battistel. “That was really beneficial. That’s something that’s typically not done because there’s just not enough time to do it during the regular part-time studies on campus.”

While the new program proves to be beneficial to students, it also was an educational experience for instructors like Ken Mayo.

“I found the experience to be very challenging and rewarding. It was a great opportunity to learn about the Skeetchestn culture and a different way to view the world,” said Mayo.

Battistel recalls lunches that band members prepared for students and instructors, which included authentic foods such as bannock and beer stew.

Both instructors explained that it is a program that has allowed for education, training, and opportunities in building inspections to be provided right on reserves.

According to both Battistel and Mayo, students were eager and interested in studying on the reserve.

Thi course is the first of its kind in Canada, and is one of the first steps to having a group of people on a reserve to enhance building inspection skills. Battistel says the program is paving the way for the introduction of similar programs reserves across Canada.