Michael McLeod, Member of Parliament for Northwest Territories announced $2,391,700 in federal funding towards a new project under the Skills Partnership Fund (SPF) today.

The new project encourages Indigenous organizations to form partnerships with governments, businesses and community organizations to provide skills training that contributes to long-term, meaningful employment for Indigenous people.

“Breaking down barriers to employment for Indigenous people will ensure that everyone has a real and fair chance at success,” said Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour.

The project will provide skills training and hands on work experience to 218 Indigenous peoples within the Chief Drygeese Territory, including 80 women and 80 youth.

Chief Drygeese asserted Territory includes the communities of Yellowknife, Dettah, and Ndilǫ.

“The Yellowknives Dene First Nation is grateful for the funding it has received to help enhance our Dechı̨ ta Nàowo program,” said Chief Edward Sangris of Dettah.

“This funding will give the opportunity for our members to thrive in their careers and goals. Dechı̨ ta Nàowo utilizes a unique curriculum and delivers training that ranges from Heavy Equipment Operating to Construction Basics and Early Childhood,” Sangris said.

In addition to classroom training, the project will provide work experience opportunities such as working in the skilled trades and working as environmental technicians.

“Dechı̨ ta Nàowo provides an opportunity for our members to explore different avenues of training, and educate themselves for future careers in their life,” said Chief Ernest Betsina of Ndilǫ.

Earlier this year, in the federal budget the government announced it would be investing $2 billion over five years and over $400 million per year ongoing to create a new Indigenous Skills and Employment Training Program to help address employment gaps between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.

“Indigenous Peoples are less likely to be employed than non-Indigenous Canadians and those who do work typically earn less,” the budget states.