Ontario Helping Indigenous People in Thunder Bay Train as Carpenters

Government approves carpentry training for the nine Matawa First Nations to prepare for rewarding and well-paying careers in the skilled trades

Premier Doug Ford in Thunder Bay ON announcing The expansion of the KKETS training programs which will help connect more people in First Nations communities with good-paying, in-demand jobs in the skilled trades.

THUNDER BAY — The Ontario government is expanding Kiikenomaga Kikenjigewen Employment and Training Services (KKETS) training programs to include in-class apprenticeship training for carpentry. This program will provide jobseekers in Matawa First Nations communities an opportunity to get state-of-the-art training in an in-demand sector and pursue rewarding and well-paying careers close to home.

“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,” said Premier Doug Ford. “In Northern Ontario and right across the province, we’re developing the skilled workforce we need to deliver on our government’s plan to build the homes, schools, hospitals, roads, and other critical infrastructure our growing province needs.”

The historic training delivery agreement will provide accessible training for the nine Matawa First Nations communities, including five that are only accessible by air and winter road. Removing transportation barriers is part of the government’s plan to ensure First Nations communities have the opportunity to prepare for rewarding careers in the skilled trades and participate in building the historic infrastructure projects underway in Northern Ontario.

“As part of our government’s commitment to ensure First Nations communities have wrap-around supports, today’s announcement means members of Matawa First Nations communities will have in-person apprenticeship training opportunities that lead to rewarding careers right in their communities,” said Greg Rickford, Minister of Northern Development and Minister of Indigenous Affairs. “We continue to partner with Indigenous communities in the Northwest as we unlock multi-generation opportunities for local prosperity.”

KKETS began in-class training this Fall. The First Nations communities that will have access to the training include Aroland First Nation, Constance Lake First Nation, Long Lake #58 First Nation, Ginoogaming First Nation, Eabametoong First Nation, Marten Falls First Nation, Neskantaga First Nation, Nibinamik First Nation, and Webequie First Nation.

“Under the leadership of Premier Ford, our government is on a mission to create good jobs and bring opportunity to every corner of our province,” said David Piccini, Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development. “Careers in carpentry are well-paying, with pensions and benefits, and offer a path to a better life. The approval of this training project will ensure more First Nations communities in Northern Ontario get a fair shot at jobs of tomorrow.”

KKETS’ in-class apprenticeship training for carpentry is supported through labour market transfer agreements between the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario. For more information on KKETS training programs, please visit www.kkets.ca.


“On behalf of the KKETS board of directors, staff and the community leadership, we are thankful for Premier Doug Ford’s, and Minister Greg Rickford’s leadership, dedication, and support while we work together to improve the quality of life, create opportunities, and build capacity within Matawa First Nation communities.”

– Dave Neegan
Executive Director of KKETS

“Two-and-a-half years ago, the Board of Directors met in Thunder Bay to discuss and provide their input for the direction of KKETS. Unanimously, the members of the Board gave the directive that housing, and gaining more red seal trades members is the priority for KKETS moving forward. We are please to share that with the assistance from the Province of Ontario, KKETS has begun to address the housing needs in the Matawa communities through capacity building.”

– Ron Wesley
President of KKETS Board and representing Constance Lake First Nation

“We look forward to working together with KKETS to resolve our housing crisis by building capacity for our community members and acquiring more red seal carpenters and other trades in our community. Providing our First Nation community members with the tools, and training to build and maintain our homes would be leading our own way to prosperity, and sustainable growth. The financial and technical support from the province of Ontario is greatly needed to improve the quality of life for our membership in Marten Falls.”

– Chief Bruce Achneepineskum
Marten Falls First Nation

SOURCE Province of Ontario

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