The federal government announced $2.3 million over four years for Dechita Naowo — an organization in Ndilo, N.W.T., that offers free training in areas like environmental monitoring, construction and administration.
The territory’s MP Michael McLeod made the announcement in Ndilo on behalf of Patty Hajdu, Canada’s minister of employment, workforce development and labour.
“The government’s recognized that we need to provide better supports for Indigenous people across the country,” said McLeod.
He referred to the high unemployment among Indigenous people in Canada’s North. McLeod said investing in this program will help prepare people for job opportunities that they would otherwise not be qualified for.
The federal government is using money from the Skills Partnership Fund, which is used to support Indigenous organizations providing training opportunities for Indigenous people.
Margaret Erasmus, program manager for Dechita Naowo, said the organization allows people to develop skills and to obtain a higher level paying job, and “a better quality of life in the long run.”
The funding received from the federal government will help the organization provide those services for students.
The program will still need other funding partners, but Erasmus said this announcement makes a huge difference.
The funding from the federal government will support 218 Indigenous peoples, including 80 women and 80 youth.
“It’s very important to train our youth because they have their whole life ahead of them and this gives them the opportunity to succeed in life,” said Erasmus.