Greenstone Gold – Ontario Invests in Minodahmun’s RESET Program to Boost Indigenous Workforce

Greenstone Gold
Greenstone Gold

GERALDTON – MINING – Minodahmun Development LP (Minodahmun) is pleased to launch its Readiness and Essential Skills for Employment Training (RESET) Program to prepare First Nation citizens for employment in the mining and construction sectors. Aroland First Nation, Animbiigoo Zaagi’igan Anishinaabek, and Ginoogaming First Nation members will receive work readiness training to prepare for significant mining and construction developments in the municipality of Greenstone and the Ring of Fire. Funding for this program is provided by the Ontario government with support from Greenstone Gold Mines.

Minodahmun is a partnership owned by the three northwestern Ontario First Nations united to advance business, employment, and training opportunities related to the Greenstone Gold Mines Hardrock Project. The Hardrock Project is a planned $1.3 billion construction investment for a 15-year open-pit gold mine in Geraldton, Ontario. The HardrockProject, working closely with the three First Nations, has received critical federal and provincial government approvals and is one of the largest shovel ready mines in Canada. The mine is expected to create 1200 construction jobs and 550 operations jobs. The three First Nations signed a Long Term Relationship Agreement (LTRA) withGreenstone Gold Mines in November 2019. The LTRA provides the communities with priority employment and training opportunities, environmental oversight, business opportunities, and financial benefits.

The scale of mineral investment activity in the region, combined with the Ring of Fire developments immediately north of the Greenstone region, are generating significant new mineral resource and construction activity. An independent economic and planning assessment report, prepared for the three First Nations determined that the region is emerging as a new “mining hub” in northwestern Ontario, and identified work readiness training as a key next step. The three First Nations are determined to harness the economic activity that comes with this mining hub to diversify their economies and create sustainable businesses and job opportunities for future generations.

“The Hardrock Project, and the mining hub are creating a once in a lifetime opportunity for our people to access good jobs close to our First Nations. Our people will be able to live and work in their homelands rather than migrate to cities for employment,” said Animbiigoo Zaagi’igan Anishinaabek Chief Theresa Nelson.

“The RESET Program will help to get our people ready for employment and select the career path that is right for them through culturally appropriate and jobs focused training,” said Chief Dorothy Towedo of Aroland First Nation.

“For our First Nations to truly benefit from this rapidly developing mining hub, our people need to be building and working at the mine and all the other mining-related businesses coming to the region. This starts with providing quality training and education to our members and putting them in a position to seize job opportunities” said Ginoogaming First Nation Deputy Chief Maurice Waboose.

The project development area measures approximately 9 by 3 kilometres, bounded on three sides by Kenogamisis Lake. Mining operations will utterly transform this area. Image by Greenstone Gold Mines.
The project development area measures approximately 9 by 3 kilometres, bounded on three sides by Kenogamisis Lake. Mining operations will utterly transform this area. Image by Greenstone Gold Mines.

The funding from Ontario will be used for a community-based RESET Program that provides work readiness, career planning, construction trades, heavy equipment, and trucking training to community members. This is the first phase of a multi-year training program that is designed to prepare the local First Nations for opportunities related to the emerging mining hub and provide access to apprenticeship, college, and university programs.

“The goal of RESET it to remove barriers and put community members in a position to succeed in the local workforce. It does not make sense to bring workers from other parts of Canada when jobs are needed locally. The region is set to experience unprecedented growth and investment related to mineral development. It is crucial that governments and mining companies make an investment in helping to create a strong First Nation workforce in this new Ontario mining hub. This will keep benefits from mineral development in the north and help to address unemployment in First Nations,” said John Glover, CEO of Minodahmun.

The RESET Program is set to kick off in-class deliveries on September 28th, 2020 in Aroland First Nation, and November 9th, 2020 in Ginoogaming and Thunder Bay. Additional programs will begin in January 2021. Minodahmun has partnered Ontario, Confederation College and Greenstone Gold Mines on this initiative with the intention of creating quality, high paying local employment for community members.

Minodahmun (min-oh-dah-mun) means “clear path” in Anishinaabemowin. Our First Nations believe that meaningful participation and involvement in the protection and development of our lands is the minodahmun to prosperity for our Nations.