Feb. 5, 2009
FREDERICTON (CNB) - The provincial government and the Pabineau First Nation have invested a total of more than $41,000 to establish an essential skills program. Post-Secondary Education, Training, and Labour Minister Donald Arseneault made the announcement today.
"We are very pleased to announce this program to create new learning opportunities where they are needed in New Brunswick's First Nations communities," said Arseneault. "This exciting opportunity for community engagement contributes to the province's self-sufficiency agenda by providing new learning services for the growth of our communities."
The department's contribution of more than $22,000 is part of the federal/provincial Labour Market Development Agreement. The Pabineau First Nation is contributing more than $19,000. It will now have a literacy classroom and two full-time employees to develop the essential skills program to cater to the educational needs of the community.
The goal of the program is to develop workshops and training sessions for First Nations individuals of all ages. It will encourage the development of workplace competencies, such as problem-solving, communication skills, and interpersonal and teamwork skills.
"Education is the key to opening up the world for our future generations, and our future relies on the skills and abilities of our people," said Barbara Calderone, councillor and staff manager at the Pabineau First Nation. "Forming collaborative partnerships, such as this one, is a step toward narrowing the gap between First Nations populations and non-First Nations populations."
One of the unique characteristics of the program is the introduction of classes in the Mi'kmaq language and other cultural skills. The program was organized last fall at the Pabineau First Nation.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Sheri Strickland, communications, Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour, 506-453-8617; Barbara Calderone, Pabineau First Nation, 506-548-9211.