The Tsimshian Roundtable, a unique partnership of the six Tsimshian First Nations and LNG proponents in northwest B.C., is getting provincial government support to develop solutions to historic employment barriers for First Nations.
The B.C. government is committing $9 million over three years through an agreement with Roundtable members to implement an innovative new framework that focuses on skills training and the socio-economic wellbeing of Tsimshian members as a critical path to employment and career success.
“We are pleased to support the work of the Tsimshian Roundtable as a key partnership with First Nations related to LNG development and shared prosperity,” said B.C. Premier Christy Clark. “Through the co-ordinated efforts of the First Nations and industry members of the roundtable, they are shaping a better future for the Tsimshian people and all British Columbians.”
The Tsimshian Roundtable is building on the accomplishments of programs such as Pathways to Success. In just over a year, Pathways to Success in Prince Rupert and Terrace have helped more than 180 Tsimshian women and men find jobs in construction, customer service, and environmental monitoring. Their average wage is $18.75 per hour, and the estimated total income of these formerly unemployed workers is over $4 million per year to-date.
“We are taking an unprecedented, holistic approach that aligns industry objectives with the vision of First Nations in a unified plan,” said Chief Clifford White, co-chair of the Tsimshian Roundtable. “First Nations across Canada, and beyond, have often seen large developments occur in their territories but have not historically experienced the substantive or long-term benefits. This is not just about getting a job. It is a partnership that supports our people’s long-term career aspirations and considers the socio-economic health of our communities.”
Tsimshian Roundtable partners have been working together on four key areas for ongoing development: K-12 education, training and experience, recruitment and employment, and the socio-economic wellbeing of Tsimshian members.
“Central to the relationship among First Nations’ communities, governments, and LNG proponents created through the Tsimshian Roundtable is that LNG development must have a long-term, positive impact on Aboriginal people – individuals, families and communities,” said John Rustad, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation. “We will work with the members to support their aspirations and to seek similar funding from the federal government to enrich the planning.”
“This partnership with the Tsimshian Nations, proponents and government recognizes that LNG can help to create opportunities that can lead to economic prosperity and social well-being in all our communities,” said Natural Gas Development Minister Rich Coleman.
The Tsimshian Roundtable is comprised of representatives of the Tsimshian Alliance and six LNG project proponents (Aurora LNG, BG Canada, LNG Canada, Pacific Northwest LNG, WCC LNG and Woodside LNG).
More information on LNG in B.C., including the Province’s latest news, frequently asked questions, and links to LNG skills and training can be found at: http://engage.gov.bc.ca/lnginbc/
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