Williams Lake, B.C.: The Tŝilhqot’in National Government (TNG) is celebrating the graduation of 9 students from the TNG Residential Carpentry Foundations Program. The program was delivered by Nicola Valley Institute of Technology (NVIT) as an off campus program in Tl’esqox (Toosey). The program was made possible with the support of our partners: The Industry Trades Authority (ITA) and the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training through the Canadian Workforce Response Grant.
Throughout this 24 week program, local Indigenous students were taught how to use tools, large equipment and various lumber products in a hands-on learning environment. Cultural aspects were brought in to the program with speeches from leaders, drumming, and appreciation events. Many of the students will be able to work with the TNG Construction Management Company as apprentices moving forward.
Nits’ilʔin (Chief) Joe Alphonse, O.B.C, Tribal Chair, Tŝilhqot’in National Government
“This training program is stemming from our negotiation with Canada and from our title case. We don’t want to look at housing and infrastructure as just building structures – we want to use this process to improve the lives of our people through skills training and apprenticeships. We are working to utilize our own membership as much as we can. This is a field that requires training so we are making sure to bring the skills to our membership so that the benefit remains within the Nation for as long as we can. Our carpentry program last year had six graduates and almost all had jobs coming out of the program.”
Nits’ilʔin Otis Guichon, Sr., Tŝideldel First Nation, TNG Tribal Vice-Chair
“It’s amazing what the students have been able to learn over the past few months. They will be an asset where ever they start working. Workers are in such high demand these days that training like this is needed now more than ever. We hope to see these graduates building homes in our communities over the next few years.”
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