In an effort to include native populations in mining project and to endure that they share the benefits of such projects Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper trumpeted a federal grant to teach essential mining skills to 400 aboriginal workers in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut, the Globe and Mail reported.
The prime minister’s annual summer tour of northern Canada coincides with a controversy in neighboring Yukon over a new territorial government effort to import foreign workers for industries such as mining.
The 25-month program will be funded by $5.8-million and will be delivered with the Northwest Territories Mine Training Society for participants in the NWT and the Kitikmeot region of Nunavut.
“The North’s rapidly growing extractive industry is driving prosperity and creating demand for local skilled workers,” said Harper. “The support being provided today will help Aboriginal participants in the North gain the training they need to access the jobs and prosperity being generated by the industry’s growth.”
The training is taking place in 11 communities and on three mine sites across the Territories and the Kitikmeot region of Nunavut, including Hay River. Following the training, six local employer partners, including three area mines, will place graduates into jobs.
Harper announced the funds during a stop in Hay River, NWT, on the third day of his 2013 summer tour of northern Canada.
Harper began his eighth annual northern tour of Canada with a six-day trip that starting in Yukon before crossing the Arctic Circle to promote mining and other resource extraction in this country’s most sparsely populated region.
Harper’s other stops include Hay River, NWT, Gjoa Haven and Rankin Inlet in Nunavut as well as Raglan Mine, the location of a massive nickel mining complex in northern Quebec.
Training will also be delivered at three mine sites in the Territories: Diavik Diamond Mine, Snap Lake Mine and Ekati Diamond Mine.