EDMONTON, ALBERTA, May 23, 2009—Two Edmonton-based organizations will develop programs to help Aboriginal people prepare for employment, thanks to support from the Government of Canada.
The Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Labour, made the announcement today on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development.
“The Government of Canada is proud to work with our partners to create more and better opportunities for Aboriginal Canadians,” said Minister Ambrose. “This investment of $4 million is an example of our government’s commitment to providing training and skills development opportunities for Aboriginal people in the Edmonton area.”
“It is with our sincerest gratitude that Human Resources and Skills Development Canada has partnered with the Métis Settlements General Council to administer its own funding to Métis Settlements for labour market programs through the Aboriginal Human Resources Development Strategy. This partnership allows an equitable and comprehensive agreement to be delivered by our people to our people,” said Mr. Gerald Cunningham, President of the Métis Settlements General Council.
The Government of Canada is supporting the Yellowhead Tribal Development Foundation and the Métis Settlements General Council through the Aboriginal Human Resources Development Strategy, which is designed to help Aboriginal people prepare for, obtain and maintain employment.
Through this strategy, Aboriginal organizations design and deliver employment programs and services that meet the needs of their communities. Services include employment counselling, training and skills upgrading and other labour market supports such as child care.
Since 1999, the Government of Canada has provided $344 million annually to 80 Aboriginal organizations across Canada.
“On behalf of the Yellowhead Tribal Development Foundation, we are very pleased to hear that Human Resources and Skills Development Canada has a vested interest in contributing to develop our five First Nation communities, Alexis, Alexander, O’Chiese, Sunchild and Enoch, along with our two small urban centres, Rocky Mountain House and Whitecourt,” said Chief Cameron Alexis, Yellowhead Tribal Development Foundation. “In order to strengthen and build a healthy and viable First Nation economy while contributing to Canada’s mainstream society, we must develop the tools needed to educate, prepare and guide our members to compete and become job marketable.”
The Government of Canada is investing in Aboriginal skills and training. Through Canada’s Economic Action Plan, the federal government is investing an additional $75 million over two years to establish the Aboriginal Skills and Training Strategic Investment Fund. This fund will lay the groundwork for a successor strategy to the Aboriginal Human Resources Development Strategy, and will support short-term, focused initiatives designed to help Aboriginal people get the skills required to find jobs.
Canada’s Economic Action Plan is also providing an additional $100 million for the Aboriginal Skills and Employment Partnership program, which is expected to support the creation of up to 6,000 jobs for Aboriginal Canadians.