THUNDER BAY – Mining – A Ring of Fire Aboriginal Training Alliance signed today will put in place long-term strategic planning efforts. Matawa First Nations Management’s Kiikenomaga Kikenjigewen Employment and Training Services (KKETS), Noront Resources Ltd. (TSX.V:NOT) and Confederation College of Applied Arts and Technology formally signed a Memorandum of Understanding today at the Aboriginal Forum Reception at the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) Annual Convention and Mining Investment Show.
Ring of Fire Aboriginal Training Alliance
“The Ring of Fire Aboriginal Training Alliance is an innovative approach that provides a comprehensive long-term strategy to meet the education to employment needs of the mining industry,” said Jim Madder, President of Confederation College. “We are pleased to be a partner with Matawa First Nations through KKETS and Noront Resources Ltd.,” added Madder.
This agreement reinforces a commitment to work collaboratively to expand opportunities for the development of a highly skilled Aboriginal workforce for mining activity associated with the Eagles Nest project of Noront Resources Ltd. in the Ring of Fire.
KKETS program manager Morris Wapoose said he’s looking forward to getting more training programs underway.
“The Ring of Fire Training Alliance will strengthen KKETS’ capacity and enhance the programs and services we provide to our First Nations peoples of the land by advancing their skills and employability to get meaningful jobs in the growing resources sector. KKETS as the leading employment and training organization for the Matawa communities will be positioned to better match skills development and programming with the needs of employers in the mining sector, especially in the Ring of Fire.” said Mr. Wapoose.
“KKETS specializes in labour market development and our First Nations youth are the fastest-growing demographic and with that we can’t afford to have youth not contributing to Canada’s economy in a successful way. We can take our learners from where they are at, to where they want to be by providing them with the required education, skills and training that will assist them in achieving their education and employment goals for long term sustainability and prosperity.” added Matawa First Nations Management CEO, David Paul Achneepineskum.
Northwestern Ontario is on the cusp of significant socio-economic development that will have profound long-term benefits for Aboriginal communities. The development of mining infrastructure will provide employment for a hundred years spanning many sectors.
A key objective of the Alliance is to provide training to employment opportunities to support participants in the nine Matawa communities. This will be met by providing long-term, sustainable career pathways in the mineral and mining sectors or other resource related areas associated with the Ring of Fire.
Noront Resources Ltd. is the industry partner committed to creating opportunities that will enable the Matawa First Nations people to participate in all aspects of the mining operation on their Eagles Nest nickel, copper, platinum and palladium deposit.
“Noront Resources Ltd. is very proud to form this historic partnership of the Ring of Fire Training Alliance between the Matawa First Nations’, Kiikenomaga Kikenjigewen Employment and Training Services (KKETS) and Confederation College of Applied Arts and Technology. The Ring of Fire Aboriginal Training Alliance is the necessary first step in developing a local Aboriginal workforce that will enable the Matawa First Nations to participate fully in widespread economic development and meaningful, long term sustainable employment at our Eagles Nest mining operation, today and for tomorrow,” said Leanne Hall, Vice President Human Resources, Noront Resources Ltd.
Education and training can unlock the opportunity for Aboriginal citizens who are living on and around the Ring of Fire. Confederation College is the education partner and will provide access to programming and prepare students to reach the highest standards of education and training to meet the needs of the industry.
The Memorandum of Understanding will remain in place for a minimum period of five years.