First Nations communities have long recognized the need to engage partners in their efforts to preserve and revitalize the Indigenous languages in British Columbia. The Developmental Standard Term Certificate in First Nations Language and Culture (DSTC) is a
successful example of how such partnerships can contribute to the education of Aboriginal language teachers.
Together, the First Nations communities, the First Nations Education Steering Committee (FNESC) and the BC College of Teachers (BCCT) developed a program framework for the DSTC. To earn the DSTC requires three full years of course work (or 90 credit hours) at post-secondary institutions. The course work includes studies in an Aboriginal language indigenous to British Columbia, First Nations studies or culture, BCCT academic prerequisites, and professional development in teaching. Twenty-two of the credits must be offered within an approved teacher education program.
The DSTC was developed to provide accreditation to language teachers and also to offer an avenue for language teachers to bridge into regular teacher education programs and complete a teaching degree. This has been a very successful initiative that has resulted in several language teachers going on to complete teaching degrees, and it is widely regarded as a highly effective Aboriginal teacher recruitment strategy.