A total of 278 First Nations people will benefit from $4-million in new funding to help them become job ready for the liquefied natural gas (LNG) sector.
Over the next three years, a $2.1 million Nisga’a Lisims Path to Employment program will provide training, work experience and entry to trades apprenticeships for 215 participants from the Nisga'a communities. The program covers introduction to trades or carpentry foundational skills, employment placement and work experience, as well as basic job skills and acquiring work skills certificates. These include first aid/CPR, road safety, Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) and driver training. The program will be administered by the Nisga’a Employment and Skills Training (NEST) Department of the Nisga’a Lisims Government.
Over the next three years, a $1.6 million environmental stewardship technicians training program will also be provided to 48 participants from up to 13 First Nations communities on the central and north coast and Haida Gwaii. Participants will receive industry-recognized training and certifications in areas such as environmental monitoring of fish and fish habitat, water, lands and construction sites and conducting inventories of archaeological features. They will also gain knowledge and experience in monitoring environmental compliance, protected area management and small motor servicing. The program will be administered by the Great Bear Initiative Society and Vancouver Island University.
A further investment of $300,000 over the next three years will support the creation of a Gitanyow First Nation Employment and Training Institute which will develop and deliver a range of skills training programs. The funding will also provide 15 Gitanyow members with accredited training in areas such as wildlife monitoring; transportation of dangerous goods; All terrain vehicle (ATV) training, as well as land clearing and construction. The program will be administered by the Gitanyow Huwilp Society.
All three programs are being funded through the B.C. government’s $30 million Aboriginal Skills Training Development Fund. The fund supports strategies outlined in B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint and the overall goal of increasing the number of Aboriginal people in the provincial workforce by 15,000 over the next 10 years.
John Rustad, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation –
“Ensuring First Nations members have the training they need to access the good, family supporting jobs that the LNG industry will provide is a priority for all of us. Through skills training programs like these, more Aboriginal people and communities will benefit from new employment opportunities, improved quality of life and the enhanced prosperity that LNG development is bringing to B.C.”
Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour –
“Aboriginal youth are the fastest growing demographic in our province with half under the age of 25. With the many LNG job openings on the horizon, these new programs will provide Aboriginal people with the skills training and work experience necessary to find their fit in our diverse, strong and growing economy.”
Mitchell Stevens, President, Nisga’a Lisims Government –
“The Nisga’a Nation strives for sustainable prosperity and self-reliance and the Nisga'a Lisims Path to Employment program will contribute towards our vision. The program adds to the capacity of our people to participate in the major developments which are coming soon to our region. NEST has already successfully delivered training programs to our people and this funding will enhance NEST’s resources to deliver even more.”
Chief Marilyn Slett (Heiltsuk Nation), President of the Coastal First Nations –
"As we build capacity in our First Nation stewardship offices, there is an increasing demand for qualified field staff to implement marine plans, monitor land use objectives, monitor compliance in protected areas, protect cultural heritage sites, and work as environmental monitors on development projects. The Stewardship Technicians Training Program is custom designed to provide the applied skills and knowledge needed by our Guardian Watchmen and other field technicians who are out on our territories monitoring what is going on."
Glen Williams/Malii, President and Chief Negotiator, Gitanyow Hereditary Chiefs –
"The Gitanyow Employment and Training Institute will provide a lasting legacy in our community and ensure that the Gitanyow Huwilp and community benefit from the current development proposed in our Lax'yip (territory)."
- Aboriginal people are a priority in B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint.
- More than 40,000 Aboriginal British Columbians live in northern communities and almost half of all Aboriginal people in B.C. are under 25 years old.
- The participation of Aboriginal people in skills training programs is critical to the economic success of B.C. as a whole.
- Aboriginal participation in apprenticeship training has doubled since 2006.
- To date, more than 2,800 Aboriginal people have accessed pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship training programs provided by the Industry Training Authority (ITA).
- In the past year, the ITA has added six apprenticeship advisors focused on supporting apprentices in Aboriginal communities.
Nisga’a Nation: http://www.nisgaanation.ca/
Nisga'a Nation signed the Nisga'a Final Agreement with Canada and the Province of British Columbia on April 27, 1999. The Nisga'a Treaty came into effect on May 11, 2000.
Coastal First Nations: http://www.coastalfirstnations.ca/
The Coastal First Nations is an alliance of First Nations on British Columbia’s North and Central Coast and Haida Gwaii. The Coastal First Nations include Wuikinuxv Nation, Heiltsuk, Kitasoo/Xaixais, Nuxalk Nation, Gitga’at, Metlakatla, Old Massett, Skidegate, and Council of the Haida Nation.
Gitanyow First Nation: http://www.gitanyowchiefs.com/about/vision
The goal of the Gitanyow Huwilp Society is to establish government-to-government agreements over time to form the foundation of a modern day treaty through an Incremental Treaty Approach, on behalf of the Gitanyow Huwilp membership.