Treaty 8 Tribal Association bands now have a five-year, community-specific labour-market strategy to help its members take advantage of current and future economic development opportunities.
The project has received $116,000 in funding through the Labour Market Partnership stream of the Community and Employer Partnerships program.
Treaty 8 First Nations communities - including Doig River, Halfway River, Prophet River, Saulteau and West Moberly First Nations - participated in the project. The project included a skills and employment assessment, as well as interviews, roundtables and surveys with First Nations, local training institutions and businesses.
This information was used to create a community-specific human-resource strategy to help Treaty 8 First Nations communities fill local labour-force needs for small businesses in services and retail, and for industry needs in sectors like oil and gas, manufacturing, transportation and tourism.
The strategy identifies current strengths, including dozens of successful First Nations businesses, events, projects and programs – such as Tse’K’wa Heritage Centre, Doig Tribal Park, Treaty days, Chalo School, Dane-zaa lodge, Moberly Lake Golf Course, local gas stations and a number of family businesses – as well as intrinsic cultural knowledge and practices, a strong commitment to the region and a dedication to paving a positive path for future generations.
Labour-force challenges, including the need for more community-based training opportunities and social and cultural supports to address the complex barriers and changing needs of the Aboriginal workforce in Northeast B.C. are also included in the strategy. A cross-sector Northeast Aboriginal labour market committee is also recommended as a way to improve regional integration, respond to labour-market needs and promote and develop training programs that address skills gaps for labour-market priorities.
A copy of the community presentation summarizing the project is available on the Treaty 8 Tribal Association website, as well as at community band offices.
Labour Market Partnerships are a component of the Employment Program of BC’s (EPBC) Community and Employer Partnerships fund for projects that share labour-market information and increase employability throughout the province. They were introduced with the EPBC in April 2012. Labour Market Partnerships help local employers, employee and employer associations and communities develop ways to deal with worker shortages or changes in the job market so they can prepare for the future.
The Community and Employer Partnerships program is featured in B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint and provides more support to people who are struggling to gain a foothold in the job market. It helps build stronger partnerships with industry and labour to connect British Columbians with classroom and on-the-job training, while making it easier for employers to hire the skilled workers they need – when and where they need them.
To date, more than 1,000 job seekers have benefited from work experience and more than 200 projects have been funded throughout the province.
Michelle Stilwell, Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation –
“The Government of B.C. is proud to be part of helping Treaty 8 Tribal Association members plan for a sustainable and prosperous future. Through outreach to individuals, businesses and industry, this project has created a roadmap that will help Treaty 8 Tribal Association members in northeastern B.C. develop community-based skills training and a supportive environment that will allow individuals and communities to contribute to labour market needs in the region.”
John Rustad, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation –
“This project has identified skills training close to home as an important way of addressing labour-market needs and the barriers faced by Aboriginal workers. We look forward to continuing to work with Treaty 8 First Nations to achieve that goal.”
Pat Pimm, MLA for Peace River North –
“Northeastern B.C. will have labour-market needs in areas like oil and gas, agriculture, construction, manufacturing, transportation, hospitality and tourism in the coming years. Having a plan to address the skills and training needs of Treaty 8 Tribal Association communities will ensure that more people are ready to take advantage of job opportunities in the region.”
Diane Abel, director of administration, Treaty 8 Tribal Association –
“On behalf of the Counicl of Treaty 8 Chiefs, the Treaty 8 Tribal Association was happy to contribute to meaningful programs, such as the Labour Market Partnership that is focused on getting real results for our membership. Building the tools and identifying the gaps is an important step to becoming successful. The many projects that we’ve been involved in to date have paved the way for us to connect the dots and work together to build something that will support both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people in our region.”
- The Treaty 8 Tribal Association was created in 1982 to provide advisory services to Treaty 8 First Nations for the purpose of achieving economic prosperity, self-sufficiency and a healthy environment. The Treaty 8 Tribal Association works collectively with six First Nations in northeastern B.C.
- Treaty No. 8, encompassing a landmass of approximately 840,000 kilometres, is home to 39 First Nations communities, including:
- 23 Alberta First Nations;
- three Saskatchewan First Nations;
- six Northwestern Territories First Nations; and
- eight British Columbia First Nations.
- The ministry has committed to investing $331 million in employment and labour-market programs under the Employment Program of BC this year.
- The Employment Program of BC is funded by the Province of British Columbia and the Government of Canada through the Labour Market Development Agreement.
- Funding supports 84 WorkBC Employment Services Centres throughout the province and the four components of the Community and Employer Partnerships fund:
- Job Creation Partnerships
- Labour Market Partnerships
- Project-Based Labour Market Training
- Research and Innovation
Who is eligible for Community and Employer Partnerships?
- Non-profit organizations
- Crown corporations
- Municipalities, agencies or territorial governments
- Bands/tribal councils
- Public-health and educational institutions
Treaty 8 Tribal Association: http://treaty8.bc.ca/
For more information on Community and Employer Partnerships: www.workbc.ca/CEP
Find a local WorkBC Employment Services Centre: www.workbccentres.ca
Learn more about the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation: www.gov.bc.ca/sdsi
For more information on B.C.'s Skills for Jobs Blueprint: www.workbc.ca/skills
To find out more about the BC Jobs Plan: www.engage.gov.bc.ca/bcjobsplan/