Training program

Community-based skilled trades training program improves housing in Taykwa Tagamou Nation


Northern College, Keepers of the Circle and Taykwa Tagamou Nation have teamed up to offer a pre-employment skilled trades training program that has helped seniors complete basic home renovations.

In a press release Friday, the college said the program was designed to inspire native youth to pursue an apprenticeship in carpentry.

“For eight weeks, skilled trades experts from the Taykwa Tagamou Nation worked with carpentry students as part of a hands-on learning process teaching them the basics of building and repairing houses,” the report said. communicated.

“The students have carried out several infrastructure projects in the community.

The projects included the erection of three patios, two staircases, a ramp, siding at the back of a house, ramps and some interior work. They also built a gazebo for the community playground.

Participants will receive a Certificate in Construction Basics from Northern College, as well as certificates related to safety, including working at heights.

“Our students made an impact on the quality of life of three elderly people and the homes of other community members by carrying out projects on their homes,” said Cherilyn Archibald, employment and training coordinator with Taykwa Tagamou Nation, in the statement.

“My favorite part of this project was the teamwork when we built the bridges, everyone being together and helping each other,” said participant Kristina Echum Pitawanakwat.

“I would recommend anyone looking for a sense of accomplishment to join a project like this. It is an honor for me to help seniors and to see their gratitude for my work.

A small graduation ceremony took place in Cochrane, celebrating the completion of the program for eight students. They were joined by Elder Mary Martha Gelinas, who led a prayer and commented on the impact of this program on the community.

“It’s good to create programs that take place in First Nation communities, especially when the needs of the elderly are considered,” said Gelinas.

“They help improve our quality of life. They built a balustrade for the elder Pauline. She uses a walker, so mobility safety was an issue, but now she feels safe in her own home. “

“The program aims to provide participants with the self-confidence and skills they need to achieve new goals and opportunities in the construction industry,” said Dr. Audrey J. Penner, President and CEO from Northern College.

“Northern College values ​​its relationships with Indigenous communities, partnerships like this are an important step forward in ensuring that we are creating a workforce that serves those who need it most.

Kathy Lajeunesse, liaison partner with Keepers of the Circle, which has supported students in the Culture, Confidence and Competence component, said: “The partnership with the communities and the Northern College offers training in skilled trades in the regions. rural and remote areas of northern Ontario.