The Yellowknives Dene First Nation (YKDFN) marked the opening of its new career centre to help members find employment.
Teresa Black, a YKDFN member and community employment liaison, said that the centre aims to help its members find employment and overcome barriers such as lack of transportation and training.
Black said that the centre will work with mining companies to fill positions with YKDFN members as part of their impact agreement. In addition to working with mining companies, the centre will also help members find employment in Yellowknife.
At the same time, she is also helping people to get trained, specifically Dechinta Naowoi, a organization that provides training for community members in areas such as construction, environmental monitoring, heavy equipment operation, and drone operation.
She said that the career centre also provides support on resume writing and updating, and also gives members a work space with access to a computer and phone.
When it comes to the Giant Mine remediation project, Black said she heard a lot of members were afraid to work there.
She mentioned a documentary called Guardians of the Land that highlights the impact of mining on the land and the local people.
By acknowledging the fact that a lot of people were hesitant to work at mines due to concers about contamination, Black emphasized that there are other job opportunities available.
“We want to start this centre to get our people more training so they can get those good positions jobs without just labor,” she said. “Our whole purpose right now is to get all First Nations working regardless if you’re YKDFN — we want to see all our First Nations getting gainful employment.”
The centre will be open each weekday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.