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Squamish Nation Launches Online Learning

The Squamish Nation ("SN") recently launched online learning asking if I would teach Activ8's Youth Confidence, Money Management and Career Workshop over Zoom this past December and as an opportunity to reach more Indigenous youth, I jumped at the opportunity!

Lisa Newman, manager at SN's Education Department sees online learning as a way to keep members developing their skills from the comfort of their homes and has given SN parents a way to keep their children learning and growing during a time in our lives when in-person learning is limited. Additionally, SN members living off-reserve are able to more easily access ongoing education with a live (vs pre-recorded video) instructor. Many thanks to Lisa, Vanessa and the education team for supporting and organizing the digitally-driven Youth Career Development workshop.

Research shows that student satisfaction with online learning is high – overall, 94% say it has or will have a positive ROI and 95% would recommend online education to others. Activ8's online career development workshop had a similar response with the youth expressing their enjoyment and continuing to take action on the material weeks later.

We had six participants attend the online session a few weeks ago who were ready to learn and practice life and career skills that will help to propel their lives in the direction of their dreams. The participants were interested in learning how to amplify their strengths and gain tools to increase their confidence. They were also excited to learn how to manage their money through budgeting, saving, credit use and investing, in addition to gaining knowledge in business ownership and careers that are hot in British Columbia. We had several interactive digital learning games and fun assessments that were a hit. Everyone did well in their retention of the information.

We had loads of talent in the Zoom classroom that day with participant Mabel playing some of her music for us on the guitar and Tagen shared her e-commerce business idea that has real potential. After learning goal-setting skills and ways to overcome the inner critic, the participants began conducting action plans and vision boards to achieve their short and long term goals. We even had a few hilarious exercises to warm up their creative minds! E-learning is growing more popular every day and the youth seem quite open to adopting this new way of gaining knowledge.

Since the pandemic started in early 2020 our entire society had to change the way we do business, live and learn. Online education has been gaining ground over the last decade thanks to advances in technology and the benefits of learning on demand at one's own pace. A report revealed that the percentage of students taking one or more online undergraduate classes increased from 15.6% in 2004 to 43.1% in 2016. That's a big jump in demand and I suspect the 2020 numbers when published will push this number significantly higher.

Udemy's president Darren Shimkus recently stated, “The biggest challenge is for learners is to figure out what skills are emerging, what they can do to compete best in the global market. We’re in a world that’s changing so quickly that skills that were valued just three or four years ago are no longer relevant. People are confused and don’t know what they should be learning." At this moment, online learning is becoming a huge catalyzer for people and companies to help the adoption of this rapid change in the world.

Although it's a convenient way of learning, online education poses a challenge for some people that aren't used to a lot of online activity or who may encounter connectivity issues. However, there are ways around these challenges that lead to rich rewards in personal and professional development.

It's important to continuously expand our minds and practice positive habits every day, taking action towards the attainment of our career and life goals. It's especially valuable to give youth access to today's critical knowledge and skills that will provide some direction, open doors and help them to stay inspired.

Activ8 Training exists for this reason. We aim to help Indigenous people cultivate and direct their natural gifts and talents into careers that they will love, leading to a life of purpose and fulfillment. Feel free to reach out on any inquiries related to higher learning, creating more business opportunities and economic development for your nation.


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