THE DRIFT 2020: Employment program prepares Indigenous women for workforce – by Colleen Romaniuk (Northern Ontario Business – February 28, 2020)

Traditional employment programs focus a lot of time and resources on technical training and job search skills. While those things are integral to getting women into the workforce in non-traditional roles, sometimes it’s not enough.

Aboriginal Women in Mining (AWIM), a program run by the Temiskaming Native Women’s Support Group in Kirkland Lake, has developed a more holistic approach. Their curriculum, which teaches culture, confidence, and competence, has been eight years in the making.

Developed in 2011 by Ann Batisse, an Indigenous mentor and founder of the Native Women’s Support Group, the program trains Indigenous women to enter the workforce. AWIM teaches traditional knowledge and values and nurtures industry partnerships to encourage success.

Their original mandate was to offer 120 Aboriginal women mine-related training. Out of that number, they hoped that about 80 women would become employed full-time in the mining industry within two years of completing the program.

In each cohort, about 10 to 12 women are accepted. The program also services a wider community with extended support. If women need work clothes, personal protective equipment, childcare, or anything else to remove barriers to employment, AWIM can help.

For the rest of this article: