Premier Doug Ford Visits with KKETS Students in Thunder Bay


Ontario Government Expands KKETS Training Programs for First Nations Communities

THUNDER BAY – NEWS – Premier Doug Ford was in Thunder Bay on Thursday and stopped by Matawa Learning Centre to meet with students and share some good news.

The Ontario government has announced the expansion of the Kiikenomaga Kikenjigewen Employment and Training Services (KKETS) programs. This expansion includes specialized in-class apprenticeship training for carpentry, providing a gateway for jobseekers within the Matawa First Nations communities to receive state-of-the-art training in a high-demand sector.

Empowering First Nations: A Vision Realized

Premier Doug Ford expressed his enthusiasm about this development, stating, “The expansion of the KKETS training programs will help connect more people in First Nations communities with good-paying, in-demand jobs in the skilled trades.” The initiative aligns with the government’s overarching plan to cultivate a skilled workforce, essential for constructing vital infrastructures like homes, schools, hospitals, and roads across the province.

The Premier was gifted an Orange Hoodie, a KKETS medalion and Chief Bruce Achpineskum on behalf of Martin Falls First Nation presented the Premier with a pair of gauntlet gloves.

The Premier was visibly moved by the presentations. He immediately took off his blazer to done the hoodie.

Removing Barriers, Building Futures

This training delivery agreement focuses on providing accessible training for nine Matawa First Nations communities, including five that are accessible only by air and winter roads. By removing transportation barriers, the government aims to ensure that First Nations communities can prepare for fulfilling careers in the skilled trades. It’s a pivotal step towards their active participation in building the monumental infrastructure projects underway in Northern Ontario.

Unveiling Opportunities: Matawa Communities Access In-Person Training

Minister of Northern Development and Minister of Indigenous Affairs, Greg Rickford, affirmed, “Members of Matawa First Nations communities will have in-person apprenticeship training opportunities that lead to rewarding careers right in their communities. This localized approach ensures that individuals in these communities have the support and resources needed to succeed in their training endeavours.”

The Minister was gifted an Eagle feather for his efforts in assisting Matawa and KKETS.

Leadership and Collaboration: A Path to Prosperity

David Piccini, Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development, highlighted the government’s commitment, emphasizing, “The approval of this training project will ensure more First Nations communities in Northern Ontario get a fair shot at jobs of tomorrow.” The initiative reflects a joint effort between the government and indigenous communities to create lasting positive impacts.

For detailed information on KKETS training programs, interested individuals can visit

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