As part of a $5-million investment from Alberta’s government, up to $3.25 million will be used to increase the programs and seats for Indigenous learners at First Nations colleges and public post-secondary institutions.
To ensure Indigenous learners have the skills they need to succeed in today’s growing economy, up to $1 million will go to workforce development initiatives. The department will engage with stakeholders to gain their perspectives on how this funding can best be used to support learners.
“Every Albertan deserves the opportunity to pursue higher education. We must take steps to reduce the financial and non-financial barriers standing in the way. This investment will help remove some of those barriers for Indigenous learners.”
“Removing barriers to economic opportunity and financial independence is a truly meaningful step toward reconcili-action. This funding will help Indigenous Peoples in Alberta gain the skills that employers are looking for so they can succeed in the job market of today and tomorrow, becoming true partners in prosperity.”
To support the province’s need for skilled tradespeople, a grant of $750,000 over three years will support Trade Winds to Success Training Society, an Indigenous-led non-profit that works with partners and industry to provide shop experience and apprenticeship training. The funding will create space for 100 students over three years.
Trade Winds to Success provides foundational and pre-apprenticeship training and support to Indigenous students through a network of Indigenous partners, unions and employers. In partnership with seven union organizations, Trade Winds to Success provides training in nine trades in Edmonton and Calgary.
“Since 2005, Trade Winds to Success has provided more than 4,000 Indigenous clients with support and pre-apprenticeship trades training. 240 students start training each year in Edmonton and Calgary, contributing to the skilled labour pool in Alberta. This funding from Advanced Education will help us provide training opportunities for more Indigenous people, addressing the construction labour shortage in the province.”
“As the First Nations Adult Higher Education Consortium chair and president of Old Sun Community College, I am very pleased that the Government of Alberta’s Ministry of Advanced Education has committed to supporting the five FNAHEC post-secondary institutions in Alberta with additional funding to continue our important work with the First Nations in Alberta.
“Empowering a Nation through Education is the vision of Old Sun Community College. Old Sun Community College has an important responsibility to enhance the sovereignty and nationhood of Siksika. This new funding and added resourcing will facilitate the lifelong learning of the Blackfoot and Siksika culture, language, history and knowledge to our future generations. On behalf of FNAHEC and Old Sun Community College, we look forward to continuing our work with the Government of Alberta’s Ministry of Advanced Education and maintaining this strong working relationship in the years to come.”
Over the coming weeks, the government will engage with the First Nations colleges and public post-secondary institutions to determine the best way to distribute funds and ensure learners are empowered to succeed in their chosen career.
Through Budget 2022, Alberta’s government is investing more than $600 million over three years in Alberta at Work – a suite of strategic investments to help Albertans develop new skills and grow their careers.
Alberta at Work supports access to training and career development opportunities, helps out-of-work Albertans re-enter the workforce and increases awareness of the benefits of living, working and investing in Alberta.