Historical mining partnership established
Tim Brody - Editor
Four area First Nation communities - Cat Lake, Slate Falls, KI / Big Trout Lake and Lac Seul First Nation entered into a historic partnership with nine regional mining companies on May 26 to establish the Sioux Lookout Mining Centre of Excellence.
The aim of the partnership is to provide financial support, training opportunities and jobs.
The programming is set to be located and delivered in Northwestern Ontario in-community and at regional partner mining operation locations.
Partner companies include the Sioux Lookout Friendship Accord Economic Development Corporation (SLFADEC), Superior Strategies, The Sioux Lookout Area Aboriginal Management Board, The Municipality of Sioux Lookout, Northern College, The Haileybury School of Mines, Treasury Metals, Auteco, First Mining, Evolution Mining, Major Drilling, Boart Longyear, Domtar, PureGold, and Newmont.
“Together, we are more. This Accord demonstrates the way in which we can join forces to become a stronger, more responsive educator of our own people in a workforce that awaits them. Delivering skills-based training in-community in this way will further support learners and contribute to their success,” stated Jacob Dockstator, Executive Director of the Sioux Lookout Friendship Accord Economic Development Corporation (SLFAEDC).
The partnership with Northern College’s Haileybury School of Mines will “enable the SLFAEDC to tap into a long-established global network of leaders and expertise in the most up-to-date mining and related technologies,” a joint press release informed.
“Collaboration brings success to addressing labour market needs – this we know,” stated Audrey J. Penner, President and CEO of Northern College, about the Accord. “The goal of the partnership is to increase First Nation participation, opportunities, and inclusiveness in regional area mining projects, which strengthens everyone,” she added. “Our longstanding programming brings innovation, built in close collaboration with global mining operations throughout the years, to this region of the province, which is exciting to see.”
“This is a long-time in the making and there is more to come,” stated Chief Clifford Bull of Lac Seul First Nation. “We are looking at a vibrant future in the resource sector and we want our youth to have full advantage of these opportunities without leaving their family or community. This collaboration with Northern College ensures continuity of mine-related training delivered and available across the region to build a future labour pool.”
“Sioux Lookout is known as the Hub of the North because of the strategic location of the Accord’s base community,” said Sioux Lookout Mayor Doug Lawrance. He added, “Our primary industry is providing health services, education and training, and e-commerce to 33 First Nation communities in the North who use Sioux Lookout as a Hub. The Sioux Lookout Mining Centre of Excellence is indicative of the Municipality’s positive and growing relationship with neighbouring First Nations and we welcome today’s announcement.”