Matawa First Nations to start training for Ring of Fire development

9th August 2013

By: Henry Lazenby

Creamer Media Deputy Editor: North America


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TORONTO ( – The Ring of Fire Aboriginal Training Alliance (RoFATA) would receive more than $5.9-million from the Canadian government’s Skills and Partnership Fund to provide training for employment in the mining sector for the people of Matawa First Nations, in preparation for the development of the Ring of Fire mineral complex in Ontario’s Far North.

The Ring of Fire is a 5 000 km2 mineral-rich area in the James Bay Lowlands, situated within the traditional lands of two of the Matawa First Nations.

Nine specialised training and six pretrade courses would be made available to Matawa First Nations members, with many courses to be presented in their First Nation communities and others locally in Thunder Bay. About 260 trainees would be trained on courses lasting between 5 and 20 weeks and 196 trainees would enter into employment through RoFATA.

The Matawa First Nations, Kiikenomaga Kikenjigewen Employment and Training Services (KKETS), Noront Resources and the Confederation College of Applied Arts and Technology this week signed a memorandum of understanding creating the RoFATA partnership.

The partnership’s critical objective is to provide training-to-employment opportunities to support the Matawa First Nations people.

KKETS would register the students for the training programmes, some of which would start as soon as mid-October.

Confederation College would organise and deliver the training programmes and the applicants' interests and qualifications assessments would be done in conjunction with KKETS. Participants would have the opportunity to make choices in determining their appropriate career path in the mineral and mining sector.

Noront Resources is the industry partner and committed to creating opportunities to enable the Matawa First Nations people to participate in all aspects of its mining operation on the Eagle's Nest nickel/copper/platinum/palladium deposit.

"It is important to Noront that we have access to a local workforce that is trained for the employment opportunities that we will require as we develop and operate our Eagle's Nest project. This programme is a step to achieve this very important goal," Noront Resources interim CEO Paul Parisotto said.

The partners would be travelling to the nine Matawa First Nations communities during the fall to promote and discuss the training programmes, which included skills, ranging from carpentry, plumbing and welding, to mining essentials, heavy equipment operations and underground diamond driller helpers.

"It's important that all Canadians have the necessary skills and training they need to succeed. By working with organisations such as KKETS, we are ensuring that the members of our local Aboriginal communities can take full advantage of the opportunities being generated by the rapidly growing mining industry the Ring of Fire has to offer," Minister of State and Minister Responsible for the Ring of Fire Greg Rickford said.

"Our peoples of the land will benefit from this approach to training and skills development and will be better prepared for the new economy coming to their communities and territories. The more we build these important partnerships, the more success we will have,” Matawa First Nations Management CEO David Paul Achneepineskum added.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter


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