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Skills program to prep Indigenous workers for employment

Paid placement, holistic approach part of Anishnawbek Ehnkiijik

A new program serving Indigenous communities along the north shore of Lake Huron will help workers gain skills and experience to ready them for the workforce.

Offered through Niigaaniin Services, a social services program serving people living in Robinson-Huron Treaty territory, the Anishnawbek Ehnkiijik program will match participants with a paid placement, in a role that aligns with their goals, passions and natural gifts.

Participants will also receive four weeks of pre-employment training, which will be tailored to each participant’s needs, depending on their placement.

Training could include: 

  • Smart Serve,
  • First Aid/ CPR “C”,
  • WHMIS,
  • customer service training,
  • résumé and cover letter writing,
  • Mino Bimaadizidaa curriculum to support self-development and Anishinaabe culture,
  • Anishinaabemowin language education,
  • or other certification programs depending on the needs of the individual.

“All Niigaaniin’s programs are based on holistic principles that centre the Anishinaabe worldview and look at our people as part of a complex fabric of systems and relationships, a holistic part of our communities,” Niigaaniin said in a Nov. 3 news release.

“Niigaaniin Services recently published an innovative publication concerning Indigenous development through social services. The pre-employment pathway will be a leap forward towards helping our communities to thrive.”

Niigaaniin can also support participants with childcare and transportation during their placements, and one-on-one support for participants will continue following completion of the placement, the organization noted.

Niigaaniin Services is an initiative of Mamaweswen, the North Shore Tribal Council, which serves the First Nations of Atikameksheng Anishnawbek, Sagamok Anishnawbek, Serpent River, Mississauga, Thessalon, Garden River, and Batchewana.