Feds supply $6M to get First Nations ready for Ring of Fire (CBC News Thunder Bay – August 8, 2013)


260 people to be trained in trades like mining, welding and environmental monitoring

The federal government has announced almost $6 million in funding to train people from Matawa First Nations in the mining sector. The announcement was made at Confederation College in Thunder Bay Thursday morning.

“There’s no better time than the present, we want to get going on this, we know that this is a legacy project,” said Kenora MP Greg Rickford, who is also minister of state for FedNor, with responsibility for the Ring of Fire. “We want to make sure that all our ducks are in a row.”

The money will go to a group of stakeholders called the Ring of Fire Aboriginal Training Alliance, which includes Matawa First Nations, NorOnt Resources and Confederation College. Matawa CEO David Paul Achneepineskum said building partnerships like this will help First Nations succeed. But Aroland Chief Sonny Gagnon thinks the process should be more grass-roots.

“I’m happy on one hand that we’re moving along, but there’s got to be a better method of how to move along,” he said. “And that means going to the communities and asking what each community wants.”

The program will feature 15 courses including environmental monitoring, heavy equipment operation and several pre-trades courses such as carpentry, plumbing and welding.

It provides for 260 people to be trained and the alliance says about 200 will enter into employment.

Other job possibilities range from security guard to camp cook to electrician.

For an interviews with various stakeholder on this initiative, click here: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/thunder-bay/story/2013/08/08/tby-first-nations-ring-of-fire-training-announcement.html

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