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Indigenous Environmental Contracting Company Awarded Grant to Strengthen Algonquin-Anishinabe Workforce

Indigenous Environmental Contracting Company Awarded Grant to Strengthen Algonquin-Anishinabe Workforce

Three-year project launched to develop programs and tools that empower workers and allow employers to recruit, retain, train and integrate more Indigenous tradespeople in the construction industry.

Kitigan Zibi, QC (Feb. 19, 2021) –  Decontie Milestone Inc., an Algonquin Anishinabe-owned construction company based in Quebec, has been announced as a recipient of a Sectorial Initiative Program (SIP) grant through Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) for a three- year project called Pathway to Strengthening the Algonquin Anishinabe Workforce (PSAAW).

The Algonquin Anishinabe Nation has a long and shared history of working in the construction industry. Despite their experience and skills, many continue to encounter barriers that have led to socio-economic gaps and limited job opportunities. The PSAAW project will help bridge that gap and develop tools which empower indigenous tradespeople to build their careers in the construction and environmental remediation industries and help them improve the realities and conditions of their families and communities.

A partnership of Decontie Construction Inc. and Milestone Environmental Contracting Inc. (MECI), Decontie Milestone has deep knowledge of the regulations and standards set out by the Régie du bâtiment du Québec (RBQ), the Commission de la construction du Québec (CCQ) and the Ontario Ministry of Labor. They also understand the systemic barriers, certification processes, construction management standards and often outdated attitudes in the construction industry that can sometimes create barriers to inclusivity and equity. This makes Decontie Milestone uniquely qualified to carry out the PSAAW project.

“We work very hard building partnerships to fill the gaps that hold us back. PSAAW will allow the Algonquin Anishinabe workforce to advance in the trades and track their certification and training.” said Wanda Thusky of Decontie Construction. “It’s a great change” added Barry Grover of MECI, “and I’m thrilled we can be a small part of it.”

PSAAW Project Details

Over the three-year pilot, the PSAAW project will:

  • Gather industry-driven Labor Market Information (LMI) on Indigenous representation and integration in the construction and environmental remediation labour markets.
  • Establish resources and important networks to help employers and general contractors research, recruit, retain, train and integrate more Algonquin Anishinabe/Indigenous tradespeople.
  • Create a Case Management Model (CMM) to facilitate the certification of Algonquin Anishinabe/Indigenous workers in the construction sector. The software will be utilized as a tool by designated band employees to advance their members in the construction industry.
  • Raise awareness amongst Algonquin Anishinabe/Indigenous communities of opportunities in construction and trades as well as employers and general contractors on the opportunities and benefits of employing more Algonquin Anishinabe/Indigenous tradespeople.

The PSAAW CMM will be utilized as a tool by the Algonquin Nation Communities to manage their labor market Information as a means of recruitment, assessment, training, integration and retention of their construction workforce. This CMM will produce community and client profiles, an inventory of construction contractors and suppliers, financial support programs, educational institutions and a step-by-step guide to assist the successful integration of Algonquin-Anishinabe workers into the construction and environmental remediation industries.

This advancement and integration will be achieved through genuine partnership, commitment and engagement between Indigenous Nations communities and non-Indigenous peoples. This CMM will help eliminate the administrative and systemic barriers Algonquin Anishinabe workers often encounter in the planning and implementation phases of construction projects. Our communities, leaders, and front-line workers will be equipped and prepared to promote construction projects’ inclusiveness within our territories. Implementing CMM software will assist Indigenous communities by:

  • Helping identify and organize the different levels of LMI of construction within a particular community or territory.
  • Assist communities to assess the size and qualifications of the current construction workforce on and off reserve.
  • Assist communities in assessing and recording the different educational/trade schools and their support services.
  • Track the number of people utilizing social support and assistance programs.
  • Identify potential workers interested in getting into the industry, with certification or not.
  • Develop performance indicators and measurement strategies.
  • Deploy active recruitment programs and align appropriate training and on-the-job employment requirements.
  • Assist with apprenticeship/mentorship placements and obtain the required work hours.
  • Assist communities to plan future construction projects in their territories.
  • Share relevant information between communities and the construction industry on their workforces.

To watch the video and learn more about Milestone Decontie and the PSAAW project click here:

Gavin Domitter
Decontie Milestone Inc.

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