Oshki Graduates Celebrate Success and Beginnings
THUNDER BAY – Hard work and dedication paid off for graduates of the Aboriginal Mining and Skilled Trades Program (AMSTEP) as ten students celebrated graduation on Thursday at the Goldcorp Musselwhite Mine. The celebration marked the end of the program and the start of the beginnings for students who invested a lot of effort in the Oshki-Pimache-O-Win Education and Training Institute program.
The Graduation Celebration was hosted by CBC Radio Elliot Doxtater-Wynn, who guided the day’s activities with panache.
The students heard words of encouragement from Cat Lake First Nation Chief Russell Wesley, and Kingfisher Lake First Nation Chief Jame Mamakwa.
Kevin Winter – Kingfisher Lake
Peter Oombash – Cat Lake
AMSTEP is a partnership between OSHKI and Goldcorp to bring Mining Essentials and skills training to Aboriginal youth in First Nations signatory communities under the Musselwhite Agreement. Ten participants from Cat Lake First Nation and Kingfisher Lake First Nation successfully completed an intensive 5-month, 800-hour skills training and work experience program at the Musselwhite Mine.
The ten graduates received certificates from OSHKI, and industry-recognized Mining Essentials certificates jointly issued by OSHKI and the Mining Industry Human Resources Council. The graduates also received training certificates from Cambrian College, Windigo Catering, and YES Employment Services.
“This is an innovative program for expanding opportunities for Aboriginal youth and creating local workforces that meet industry workforce needs,” OSHKI Executive Director Rosie Mosquito said.
“From their very first day on site, we expected a lot from the participants and their transformation has been incredible. I believe this program will be life changing for many,” said Bill Gascon, Mine General Manager of Goldcorp’s Musselwhite Mine.
Lorraine Tait was the keynote speaker for the celebration. Tait shared her work experience, starting at the kitchen at the mine, and deciding to move forward and is now a machine operator, and looking for further training to expand her career opportunities.
The AMSTEP program under Oshki is done in partnership with Ontario Colleges, and Goldcorp. Much of the training is onsite at the Goldcorp Musselwhite Mine. The hands one work experience, the demonstrated practices for safety, and good work ethic helped the students.
Rosie Mosquito the Oskhi Executive Director shared that while the programs are not easy, the students are making their way forward, learning, sharing and growing. Last November the Oshki team headed north to the Musselwhite Mine to offer some extra encouragement.
Oshki offers a wide range of programs for students looking to alternatives to traditional college programs. Many of the programs include online learning which students can complete in their home communities, that combines with classroom learning here in Thunder Bay.
Much of the AMSTEP program is done at the Goldcorp Musselwhite Mine.
For more information on Oshki Programs visit www.oshki.ca