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Leading Practices for Aboriginal Employment

Jul 19, 2017

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By Lisa Lenkart

Gabrielle Dumont Institute was well represented at the Aboriginal Employment Transitions Workshop on November 2, 2016 at Wanuskewin Heritage Park. The event, “A Best Practices Workshop Facilitated by the Saskatchewan Post-Secondary Technical Institute Council,” aimed to accomplish three key objectives: 1) to provide a forum to share leading and promising practices to increase Aboriginal Employment after graduation; 2) to understand why Aboriginal engagement makes good economic sense; and to enhance the ability of training institutions and employers to address Aboriginal learners’ needs and make Aboriginal engagement a priority.

The event was initiated by the Aboriginal Graduate Employment Project, whose aim is to develop a cross-sector understanding of promising practices, subsequent implementation of these practices and an ongoing commitment to shared learning to improve outcomes for Aboriginal graduates. Brett Vandale, Director of Dumont Technical Institute, has co-chaired this workshop initiative with Alastair McFadden, Leah Goodwin, and Christa Ross from the Ministry of the Economy. Dumont Technical Institute committee members took a lead role in coordinating the event, with Program Coordinator Chantelle Julé putting all of the key elements in place before going on maternity leave in July.

Emcee Geordy McCaffrey, Executive Director, Gabriel Dumont Institute, kept the attendees engaged throughout the day with thoughtful commentary on keynote addresses and themes arising from discussions.

Gabriel Dumont Institute Training and Employment Director Lisa Bird-Wilson gave an engaging presentation on effective delivery of career and employment services for Métis people in Saskatchewan.

Chantelle Julé and Joyce Racette, Representative Workforce Coordinator, Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region (RQHR), discussed the success of a partnership which has resulted in increasing employment and the representation of Métis people in the RQHR workforce. Giving examples, Chantelle and Joyce discussed some of the effective ways to engage employers and Aboriginal students with work placements and experiential learning.

Walter Smith, Manager, Pinehouse Business North and Daniel Downs, Program Coordinator, Dumont Technical Institute highlighted the success of their partnership during the panel discussion “Beginning with the End in Mind- Engaging Employers and Industry”.

GDI Training and Employment Apprenticeship Administrative Coordinator Chelsie Scragg presented on the GDI Aboriginal Apprenticeship Project.

Over 106 delegates were in attendance including representatives from the Ministry of Advanced Education, the Ministry of the Economy, Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure, Gabriel Dumont Institute Training & Employment, Dumont Technical Institute, the Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies, Saskatchewan Indian Training Assessment Group, ASETS agreement holders, Saskatchewan Polytechnic, University of Saskatchewan, North West College, Northlands College, Great Plains College, Carlton Trail Regional College, Parkland College, Cumberland College, Southeast College, and Lakeland College. Others included the Saskatchewan Apprenticeship and Trade Certification Commission, Pinehouse Business North, Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region, Points Athabasca File Hills Qu’Appelle, Potash Corp of Saskatchewan, and Lyco Eagle Construction.

Feedback forms collected from the attendees rated the conference positively. The venue, presentations, discussion sessions, food and keynote address by John Lagimodiere received very positive comments.

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