Richard Feehan, Minister of Indigenous Relations said “Alberta is working to make life better for Indigenous peoples by ensuring they have every opportunity to participate in all aspects of the labour force and economy. Indigenous people are vital to maintaining a strong and stable workforce and this program will help address some of the barriers faced by Indigenous people in fully participating in Alberta’s economy.”

A grant of $500,000 will go toward the Trade Winds to Success Training Society’s 16-week pre-apprenticeship program. It offers classroom and hands-on instruction to students pursuing careers as carpenters, electricians, ironworkers, millwrights, plumbers, steam/pipefitters, welders or insulators.

The training program also incorporates Indigenous cultural practices, such as Elder mentorship and a daily smudge ceremony. As well, instructors have a better understanding of the unique issues that Indigenous students can face and are able to help them overcome challenges and barriers to success.