Nov 6, 2019
Since its founding four decades ago, Gabriel Dumont Institute (GDI) has always prioritized building and nurturing partnerships that create opportunities for our Métis students and clients.
Corrections Services Canada (CSC) has been working on Indigenizing its workforce by implementing policies to recruit more Indigenous employees. On the other hand, GDI provides Métis with relevant knowledge and skills they need for gainful careers. Plus, GDI is a respected organization that has partnered with several federal departments including Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD), Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), and Service Canada, among others.
In the summer of 2018, GDI Executive Director Geordy McCaffrey and GDI Training and Employment Acting Director Audrey Hestand signed a memorandum of understanding with Nick Fabiano, Acting Assistant Commissioner for Human Resources Management, CSC, that was aimed at working together to enable Métis individuals gain employment with the CSC in Saskatchewan.
The MOU highlighted GDI commitment to providing “financial assistance to a maximum of 10 Métis qualified candidates with training allowances” for Correctional Training Program. The 12-week training is held in Kingston Ontario. GDI is complementing the $400 per week allowance provided by CSC to those participating in the CSC Correctional Training Program with a 26-week wage subsidy to support employment success for our Métis candidates. GDI Training and Employment offers additional $250 per week to Métis clients.
The original MOU has since been expanded to include health related opportunities in the CSC federal system.
In April 2019, a senior civil servant at CSC, Director General Nathalie Dufresne-Meek, sent a letter to Geordy stating that she looks “forward to continued collaboration in accomplishing our shared goal … and to hire Métis candidates.”
Last spring, Corey Spence became the first GDI client to complete the Correctional Training Program. Corey was offered employment with the CSC in Prince Albert soon after that. Currently, four GDI students and clients are waiting results of their application to the CSC. Another three Gabriel Dumont College Justice Studies program are completing their internships with the CSC.
On September 10, 2019, Bill Lehne, James Oloo, and students in the Gabriel Dumont College Justice Studies Program in Prince Albert joined dozen of others on a visit to the Saskatchewan Penitentiary (Sask Pen) during the Sask Pen open house.
Curtis Charney, the CSC Indigenous Recruitment Officer for the Prairie Region, invited us for the tour of the Sask Pen. He spoke about career opportunities that are available to Indigenous peoples at the CSC and across the federal public service.
On September 25, 2019, Curtis Charney, the CSC Indigenous Recruitment Officer for the Prairie Region, gave a presentation to Dumont Technical Institute Adult Basic Education Lever 4 students in Saskatoon. In the well-attended and lively presentation, Curtis noted that Grade 12 diploma (or equivalent) is the minimum educational requirement for careers with the CSC. He stated that the “CSC is doing more hiring today than ever before to fill the gap being left by retiring baby boomers.” The presentation was followed by a question-and-answer session.
GDI has hosted several informational recruitment sessions with the CSC across Saskatchewan. The next informational session is scheduled for Tuesday November 12 at GDI Prince Albert Centre. The main goal of the sessions is to provide opportunities for Métis clients who are interested in careers with the CSC.
Curtis, who is a citizen and former employee of the Métis Nation-Saskatchewan, was back at GDI on September 11, 2019 where he spoke with Practical Nursing and Continuing Care Assistant students. The presentation was also very well attended. Curtis stated that the CSC is currently recruiting for corrections officers, nurses, wardens, teachers, social workers, and counsellors. He said that the CSC operates under a philosophy that “given the right interventions, a majority of inmates can be successfully integrated into the society.”
For more information about the partnership with the CSC, please contact Bill Lehne, Employment Services Manager, GDI Training & Employment at email@example.com.
By James Oloo and Bill Lehne