Whitefeather Forest Training Program – ASEP
Planning for capacity development to prepare for opportunities in the Whitefeather Forest Initiative has been integral to the Initiative from the beginning. Plans for training to prepare for opportunities in the Whitefeather Forest Initiative started in earnest in 2004, with the development of the first Five Year Training Plan for the Initiative. This plan was subsequently updated in 2007.
In 2008 the Human Resource and Social Development Canada Aboriginal Skills and Employment Partnership Program agreed to fund a major training program to prepare individuals for jobs in or near to the Whitefeather Forest – the Whitefeather Forest Training Initiative. In September of 2008 the Whitefeather Forest Aboriginal Skills and Employment Partnerships Corporation was formed to manage the program.
The Training Initiative was launched at a Career Fair held in Pikangikum First Nation in January 2009. Confederation College provided assessment and training delivery services to the Initiative. Goldcorp also provided training delivery services. In February of 2009 staff was hired to run the program, and in March of 2009 program delivery commenced with intake and assessments. The Initiative formally ended in March 2012.
The program provided skills, education, and work opportunities for a significant number of trainees in Pikangikum First Nation. A total of 167 individuals entered the program and received various types of training and skills development support. Even those who did not complete the programs they entered will have achieved skills and be better aware of job opportunities in the context of the Whitefeather Forest Initiative as well as locally and regionally. A total of 48 individuals completed upgrading and/or training programs. This includes five of the students who have completed the requirements to receive a diploma in the Forest Ecosystem Management program and two who received certificates in the Office Administration Program.
In April 2012 there was a formal convocation ceremony for individuals who completed a college certificate or diploma program, namely the College Access and the Office Administration courses. This was the first ever convocation held by Confederation College at a First Nation. As well, there will be a convocation ceremony for individuals who complete the Forest Eco-System Management program.
We would like to extend our sincerest appreciation to the partners in the Training Initiative:
- Canadian Forest Service
- Confederation College
- Goldcorp, Red Lake Gold Mines
- Human Resources and Social Development Canada
- Northern Nishnawbe Education Council
- Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources
- Ontario Parks
- Ontario Ministry of Northern Development and Mines
- Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities
- Ontario Provincial Police
- Pikangikum First Nation
- Pikangikum Education Authority
- Pikangikum Welfare Office
- Pikangikum Health Authority
- Sioux Lookout Area Aboriginal Management Board
- Whitefeather Forest Management Corporation
- Whitefeather Forest Initiative Steering Group
- Our Teaching and Training Vision
- Indigenous Knowledge Curriculum Project
- Whitefeather Forest Training Program – ASEP
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