Mar 8, 2016
Posted in: Uncategorized
By James Oloo
The 2016 Joint Dumont Technical Institute-Gabriel Dumont Institute Training and Employment All Staff Conference was held at Elk Ridge Resort in Waskesiu Saskatchewan from February 22 to 24. It was the first time in recent years that a joint meeting of staff from the two Gabriel Dumont Institute companies took place.
The conference kicked off with an opening prayer by Gabriel Dumont Institute Training and Employment Manager of Employment Services Max Morin, followed by a welcome message by Executive Director Geordy McCaffrey. Dumont Technical Institute Director Brett Vandale, and Gabriel Dumont Institute Training and Employment Director Lisa Wilson provided an overview of their respective companies.
The conference attendees also heard updates on other programs and services offered by the Institute. Saskatchewan Urban Native Teacher Education Program (SUNTEP) Saskatoon Program Coordinator Murray Hamilton provided information and update on four-year teacher education program. The Director of award-winning Gabriel Dumont Institute Publishing Department Karon Shmon provided an overview of the Publishing Department’s activities, including its recent publications. As well, Michael Relland presented on Gabriel Dumont College, while Marilyn Belhumeur joined the conference via Skype and provided an overview and update of the activities of the Gabriel Dumont Library.
Jim Edmondson and Greg McLeod provided an update on the Institute Emergency Disaster Plan, which is currently under development. Jim, the Human Resources Director, noted that, “Emergency situations occur more often than we think.” Greg pointed out that, “We want to ensure that everyone in our facilities is safe.”
A ‘Future Programming’ session led by Daniel Downs, Lisa Wilson, and Kristi Ross provided very useful information about the near term future of the Institute. Daniel’s presentation focused on the Dumont Technical Institute safety ticket programs. Gabriel Dumont Institute Training and Employment Director Lisa Wilson discussed the most recent information about the federal Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training Strategy (ASETS), while Kristi Ross talked about the Institute testing services.
Scholarship Update, provided by Scholarship Coordinator Amy Briley was very informative and elicited lively discussions. Amy noted that the Institute has provided scholarships to over 3,000 Métis students in Saskatchewan.
John Lagimodiere of Eagle Feather News gave a very informative Métis awareness presentation. James Mitchell, a Saskatoon-based consultant, facilitated a conflict resolution workshop which presented hands-on strategies for resolving conflicts at work. The topic seems to be important given that a December 2013 Communicator article by Jim Edmondson titled ‘Tips for Resolving Conflict in the Workplace’ (available at http://www.metismuseum.ca/resource.php/14436) received numerous comments.
A conflict resolution workshop facilitated by James Mitchell, a Saskatoon-based consultant, was very well received. The workshop presented hands-on strategies for resolving conflicts at work. The topic seems to be important given that a December 2013 Communicator article by Jim Edmondson titled ‘Tips for Resolving Conflict in the Workplace
There were also breakout sessions covering such topics as Adult Education Principles (led by Pat Duggleby), Capturing Non-Funded Clients and Criminal Record (led by Audrey Hestand and Jacquelene Halliday), and Gabriel Dumont Institute Training and Employment Service Standards Exercise.
Jim Edmondson, together with Brett Vandale, and Lisa Wilson presented service awards to Dumont Technical Institute, and Gabriel Dumont Institute Training and Employment employees. Emphasizing that the strength of the Institute is “our employees,” Jim noted that to date, 51 employees have reached the milestone of working at Institute for five years, 17 for 10 years, two for 20 years, and five for 25 years. Several other employees have, and continue to, serve Gabriel Dumont Institute diligently.
Entertainment was provided by Krystle Pederson, who also conducted jigging lessons, and the father-son duo Phil and Dallas Boyer, who performed their signature fiddle music. Outdoor activities were also available. These included skating, curling, snow shoeing, and cross-country skiing.
The conference was organized by a committee that included Dylan Pelletier, Talia Pfefferle, Chelsie Scragg, and Audrey Hestand. The committee did a commendable job and ensured that everything went smoothly. Feedback from the staff has been very positive.