Lakes District News file photoThe B.C. government is providing $400,000 to support a range of training programs for Wet’suwet’en First Nation and the Burns Lake Band.

B.C. supports First Nations training in Burns Lake area

Burns Lake Band and Wet'suwet'en benefit from new funding

  • Nov. 14, 2017 12:00 a.m.

The B.C. government is providing $400,000 to support a range of training programs for Wet’suwet’en First Nation and the Burns Lake Band.

Up to 38 participants will benefit from parts and warehouse training, professional development, Indigenous negotiations training, a work experience partnership program, and craft construction.

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These programs are aimed at helping members prepare for new jobs and careers across their traditional territories.

“This announcement, which will provide funding dollars to train our people for careers and not short-term jobs, is great,” said Burns Lake Band Chief Dan George. “It’s vital for our people to have long-term jobs.”

“Teaching the young on our culture and traditional ways has also been a large part of our culture,” he continued. “It is very important for continuous skills development as the ever challenging environment changes around us.”

These programs will be delivered by the Yinka Dene Economic Development General Partnership. The craft construction training will be delivered in Vancouver in partnership with CSWU Local 1611.

“The Wet’suwet’en First Nation (WFN) and Yinka Dene Economic Development Limited Partnership aim to increase our participation in the labour market, ensuring that we are engaged in sustainable, meaningful employment,” said WFN councillor Ruby Ogen. “Knowledge is power, and when our people obtain education and training to upgrade their skills in preparation for a particular job, WFN trainees gain knowledge, specialized and employment. We continue to move forward with pride.”

The Yinka Dene Economic Development Limited Partnership is the corporate business arm for the Wet’suwet’en First Nation with the mandate to provide and improve the economic welfare of its members.

Over the past two years, more than 2700 Aboriginal people have accessed training through projects supported by B.C.’s Indigenous Skills Training Development Fund.

“These programs exemplify First Nations, government, industry and post-secondary institutions coming together to deliver education to improve employability and create real opportunities for Indigenous people,” said Scott Fraser, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation. “Providing the foundations for apprenticeships and further education supports continued success for communities and an improved quality of life for participants.”

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