The federal government has announced $2.6 million to train Indigenous people in the Sudbury area in the environmental aspects of mining, mine closure and rehabilitation of closed mines.
Through the Developing Indigenous Environmental Keepers Program, Atikameksheng Anishnawbek – also known as Whitefish Lake First Nation – will provide environmental training to 50 Indigenous participants, including 15 youth and 35 women.
Participants will take part in activities focusing on the environmental aspects of mining, mine closure and rehabilitation of closed mines. As a result of this program, the participants, who are not enrolled in any post-secondary training or education, will be able to increase their employability.
"The Developing Indigenous Environmental Keepers Program will provide members of Atikameksheng Anishnawbek and surrounding communities with the opportunity to gain skills and training to support them on a path to furthering their studies or gaining meaningful employment in sustainable resource development,” said Christian Naponse, a community consultation assistant and community research technician, in a Nov. 14 news release.
“This will build capacity for local First Nations to meet the increasing demand for partnerships in resource development and environmental monitoring."
The funds are part of the Skills and Partnership Fund (SPF), which receives $50 million in funding annually to support partnerships between Indigenous organizations and training institutions, community organizations, local business and industry to enhance skills development for Indigenous people. These partnership-based projects help to address a broad range of socio-economic issues facing Indigenous people.