$3 million drives Tsimshian skills-training programs

by ahnationtalk on April 6, 2017564 Views

PRINCE RUPERT – More than 600 members of the Tsimshian First Nations are benefitting from courses ranging from driver’s training and essential skills upgrading to environmental monitoring, trades training and other job-related education programs delivered close to home.

A $3-million provincial contribution has been supporting the new training opportunities over the past year. It is part of a larger, three-year commitment made by the B.C. government in 2016 to support implementation of the Tsimshian Unified Plan – a holistic approach to employment, training and education as well as improvement of the socio-economic well-being of Tsimshian members.

The goal of the skills training portion is to ensure that the region’s future workforce reflects northwest B.C. population demographics and improves the quality of life for members of the six Tsimshian nations. The priorities of the plan for development of the Tsimshian workforce include:

  • Strengthening union partnerships
  • Attaining professionalization, work experience
  • Improving education outcomes
  • Removing personal barriers to employment
  • Building community capacity
  • Creating opportunities for regional training

The Tsimshian Unified Plan aligns with B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint and the goal of increasing Aboriginal workforce participation by adding 15,000 new Aboriginal workers by 2024.


John Rustad, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation –

“Removing personal barriers is critical to the success of these skills training programs. For example, many Tsimshian members do not presently have a driver’s license and training that removes this kind of barrier can open new doors to sustainable employment.”

Mayor John Helin,  Lax Kw’alaams Band –

“This funding supports the kind of skills training needed for a variety of job opportunities in the Northwest. It is helping Lax Kw’alaams members overcome employment barriers and improve their access to meaningful employment and careers.”

Chief Joseph Bevan, Kitselas First Nation –

“We are very pleased to see the B.C. government invest in training programs that will improve the quality of life for Kitselas members. It is training that will provide the kind of transferable skills that are needed for jobs both in our region and throughout B.C.”

Chief Harold Leighton, Metlakatla First Nation –

“Funds supporting the Tsimshian Unified Plan have allowed Metlakatla members to receive important training here in the traditional territory of the Coast Tsimshian that will better prepare them to fill the jobs that will be coming to the area in the years ahead. Most importantly, this funding has allowed our members to pursue not just jobs, but careers for life.”

Chief Don Roberts, Kitsumkalum Nation  –

“The training being provided is getting our young people ready for the new industry opportunities that are coming and will help meet the needs of our community by focusing on a wide range of education.”

Chief Councillor Arnold Clifton, Gitga’at Nation  –

“The programs that are being supported give us lots of leeway to build capacity and deliver important new training and higher learning to our members.”

Chief Clifford White, Gitxaala Nation  –

“We are extremely excited about the many skills training programs underway and the financial contributions made by the Provincial Government. Many great things are coming out of these programs. So far, we have graduated twelve Bridge Watchmen, twelve Professional Cooks level I, and eighteen Construction Craftworkers. We are very encouraged by the eagerness of all program participants and look forward to their brighter futures.”

Learn More:

Lax Kw’alaams Band: http://laxkwalaams.ca/

Metlakatla Nation: http://www.metlakatla.ca/

Kitsumkalum Nation: http://www.kitsumkalum.bc.ca/

Kitselas Nation: http://www.kitselas.com/

Gitga’at Nation: http://gitgaat.net/

Gitxaala Nation:  http://www.gitxaalanation.com/

B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint: www.workbc.ca/skills

The BC Jobs Plan: http://bcjobsplan.gov.bc.ca/

Contact:Edward Hill
Media Relations
Ministry of Aboriginal Relations
and Reconciliation
250 356-5831



Tsimshian Skills Training Programs

Six Tsimshian First Nations have worked with government to identify the greatest training needs and opportunities for their communities. Development of the programs has been community-led and community-driven. More than 600 Tsimshian members will have received training by March 31, 2017.

Lax Kw’alaams Band –

Participants trained: 115

Programs include:

  • Environmental monitoring training
  • Marine operator training
  • Chainsaw safety and faller certification
  • Partners in trade events
  • Driver’s license training program

Metlakatla First Nation –

Participants trained: 55

Programs include:

  • Health care assistant course
  • Large transport vehicle training course
  • Air breaks training course
  • Job fair
  • Driver’s license training program

Kitsumkalum First Nation –

Participants trained: 144

Programs include:

  • Transformations and choices personal development programs
  • Life skills and time management course
  • Beginner’s driver’s license training course
  • Class 1 driver’s license training course
  • Introduction to construction course
  • Advanced first aid
  • Occupational first aid level 1
  • Basic security training
  • Millwright training
  • Cultural field trips
  • First Nations financial fitness course
  • Bridge watchman course
  • Building service worker levels 1 & 2

Kitselas First Nation –

Participants trained: 116

Programs include:

  • Essential skills programs
  • English and math upgrading
  • Construction craft worker level 1
  • Environmental stewardship training
  • Occupational first aid level 1
  • Basic security training
  • Workplace hazardous materials information system (online)
  • Transportation of dangerous goods (online)
  • Construction safety training (online)
  • Pipeline construction safety training (online)
  • Job fair
  • First Nations financial fitness course
  • Driver’s license training program

Gitg’at First Nation –

Participants trained: 93

Programs include:

  • Environmental monitoring training
  • Professional firefighter training
  • Technology training
  • Tutoring services

Gitxaala First Nation –

Participants trained:90

Programs include:

  • Introduction to trades training
  • Essential skills upgrading and tutoring
  • Computer skills training
  • Driver’s license training program


Edward Hill
Media Relations
Ministry of Aboriginal Relations
and Reconciliation
250 356-5831

Connect with the Province of B.C. at: www.gov.bc.ca/connect


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