NEWS RELEASE: Ring Of Fire Aboriginal Training Alliance (RoFATA) Prepares Matawa First Nations Members for Employment in Mining Sector

THUNDER BAY, ON, Aug. 8, 2013 /CNW/ – The Ring of Fire Aboriginal Training Alliance (RoFATA) is pleased to announce that it is receiving over $5.9-million from the Government of Canada’s Skills and Partnership Fund to provide training for employment in the mining sector for the people of Matawa First Nations.

Nine specialized training and six pre-trade courses are being made available to Matawa First Nations members, with many delivered in their First Nation communities and others locally in Thunder Bay.

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Matawa First Nations, Kiikenomaga Kikenjigewen Employment and Training Services (KKETS), Noront Resources Ltd. and Confederation College of Applied Arts and Technology, creating The Ring of Fire Aboriginal Training Alliance (RoFATA) partnership. RoFATA’s key objective is to provide training-to-employment opportunities to support the Matawa First Nations people.

KKETS will be registering the students for the training programs. Some of the programs start as early as mid-October and will be delivered at various locations.

Confederation College will be organizing and delivering the training programs. The assessment of applicants’ interests and qualifications will be done in conjunction with KKETS. Participants will have the opportunity to make choices in determining their appropriate career path in the mineral and mining sector.

Noront Resources Ltd. is the industry partner committed to creating opportunities to enable the Matawa First Nations people to participate in all aspects of its mining operation on the Eagle’s Nest nickel, copper, platinum and palladium deposit.

The partners will be travelling to Matawa First Nations’ nine communities this fall to promote and discuss the training programs, which include:

Mining Essentials                                           Pre-Trades Carpentry
Environmental Monitoring                       Pre-Trades Electrical
Basic Line Cutting                                          Pre-Trades Plumber
Security Guard                                                Pre-Trades Welder
Remote Camp Cook                                       Pre-Trades Heavy Duty Equipment Mechanic
Remote Camp Support                                 Pre-Trades Construction Craft Worker
Underground Common Core
Underground Diamond Driller Helper
Heavy Equipment Operator

Approximately 260 trainees will be trained and 196 trainees will enter into employment through RoFATA. The length of training varies from 5 to 20 weeks.


“Our Government’s top priorities are creating jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity, across the country and right here in northern Ontario,” says the Honourable Greg Rickford, Minister of State and Minister Responsible for the Ring of Fire. “It’s important that all Canadians have the necessary skills and training they need to succeed. By working with organizations such as Kiikenomaga Kikenjigewen Employment and Training Services, we are ensuring that the members of our local Aboriginal communities can take full advantage of the opportunities being generated by the rapidly growing mining industry the Ring of Fire has to offer.”

“We are working hard to ensure that Canada stays on the right track for creating jobs,” says the Honourable Candice Bergen, Minister of State (Social Development). “Partnerships like this one are helping Aboriginal people take advantage of economic opportunities and build better futures for themselves, their families and their communities.”

“Training in our own communities is something we have needed for many years. It is difficult for people to leave their homes and families to get training, especially when you come from a remote community. This community-based approach to preparing for the future will turn out to be one of the most successful training initiatives. I am happy we are going to be doing this,” says Chief Celia Echum, Ginoogaming First Nation.

“It is important to have training right in our community. Our community members want to participate in the employment and business opportunities that will emerge because of development in the Ring of Fire. This partnership that KKETS has developed will ensure we can maximize training because it can happen right in our communities,” says Chief Corneilius Wabasse Webequie First Nation.

“KKETS has been moving forward to ensure Matawa First Nation members are trained for any employment opportunities that may result from any resource development in their area and to meet current and forecasted labour market demands in mining and trades occupations. The RoFATA funding opens doors for Matawa First Nation members to participate in the labour force, and be prepared and ready for when those jobs are available,” says Elsie MacDonald, President, KKETS Board of Directors.

“Our peoples of the land will benefit from this approach to training and skills development and will be better prepared for the new economy coming to their communities and territories. The more we build these important partnerships, the more success we will have. Congratulations to KKETS for establishing yet another partnership to help our people,” says David Paul Achneepineskum, CEO Matawa First Nations Management.

“The training we will be delivering to Matawa First Nations’ people will support the development of specific skills to increase employment and entrepreneurism prospects on a sustainable, long term basis throughout the communities,” says Jim Madder, Confederation College President. “We look forward to building on this partnership to support learning and employment and entrepreneurism across the northwest associated with the Ring of Fire.”

“It is important to Noront that we have access to a local workforce that is trained for the employment opportunities that we will require as we develop and operate our Eagle’s Nest Project in the Ring of Fire. This program is a step to achieve this very important goal,” states Paul Parisotto, Chairman and Interim Chief Executive Officer, Noront Resources Ltd.

SOURCE Confederation College

Image with caption: “Matawa First Nations, Kiikenomaga Kikenjigewen Employment and Training Services, Noront Resources Limited and Confederation College of Applied Arts and Technology signed a Memorandum of Understanding creating The Ring of Fire Aboriginal Training Alliance (RoFATA) to expand development of a highly skilled workforce for activity associated with the Ring of Fire. (CNW Group/Confederation College)”. Image available at:

For further information:
Morris Wapoose, Kiikenomaga Kikenjigewen Employment & Training Services, Program Manager
Tel: (807) 768-4470

Don Bernosky, Confederation College of Applied Arts & Technology, Vice President – Regional Workforce Development
Tel: (807) 627-6803

Leanne Hall, Noront Resources Ltd., Vice President Human Resources
Tel: (416) 367-1444 ext 110