Partnering with the Ottawa-based Windmill Development Group, the Zibi project involved the remediation of more than 100,000 tonnes of contaminated soil on the islands around Chaudière Falls on the Ottawa River. The remediation formed part of the city’s brownfields rehabilitation grant and development charge reduction programs, which offer incentives to encourage redevelopment of post-industrial and heritage properties.
The project involved the Algonquin-Anishinabe community to create training and development opportunities among its members within the construction industry.
Decontie Milestone Inc. (DMI), a joint venture formed by Decontie Construction Inc. and Milestone Environmental Inc., was contracted as the Algonquin liaison general contractor for this world-class redevelopment project.
The long-term vision was to recruit and retain local Algonquin workers and pave the way for increased access to the construction industry, extending well beyond the boundaries of the Kitigan Zibi reserve.
In 2016, Milestone Environmental Inc. and Decontie Construction Inc. joined forces to establish Decontie Milestone Inc. This collaborative venture has emerged as a prominent Indigenous environmental contracting and construction company, with Decontie Construction Inc. holding the majority ownership distinction as the first Algonquin-Anishinabe-owned general contractor to receive licensing from the Régis du bâtiment du Québec (RBC). Our partnership was forged to leverage our collective expertise and create valuable training and employment opportunities for the Anishinabe (Algonquin) community of Kitigan Zibi.
This project broke down systemic barriers in creating employment, capacity building and cultural representation for the Algonquin Anishinabe workforce to work off reserve. It produced 20 new jobs with training and certification to build capacity for future employment within the construction industry. Positions included carpenters, labourers, truck drivers, shovel operators and security personnel. The project also set the stage for funding for a Pathway to Strengthening the Algonquin Anishinàbe Workforce (PSAAW) project, which will establish resources to help employers and general contractors research, recruit, retain, train, and integrate more Algonquin Anishinàbe/Indigenous tradespeople into the construction industry—providing future impacts to the community.