Groundbreaking partnership builds capacity for First Nation communities

Posted on January 25, 2023

A new partnership between First Nations Capital and Infrastructure Agency of Saskatchewan (FNCIAS) and Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies (SIIT) will bring more jobs, build capacity and improve infrastructure management with First Nation communities in Saskatchewan.

Together, FNCIAS and SIIT are developing a training program tailor-made for public works leadership alongside member First Nations in the form of programming and training of their members as public works managers. The program is the first of its kind in the province and brought industry experts together with academia for curriculum and program development with the end goal of students being job-ready when they finish.

“This is an opportunity for generations now and future generations to enter potential public works management roles and a instead of short term jobs, they are working towards long-term careers at home, said Drew Pearson, CEO of First Nations Capital and Infrastructure Agency of Saskatchewan. 

As part of SIIT’s commitment to continuous improvement to meet the training needs of Saskatchewan’s Indigenous communities, SIIT identified the cultivation of capacity in the area of Public Works by designing a new curriculum and program to meet this demand. FNCIAS committed funds to support the adaptation of the public works and address needs at the community level while investing in the exploration of ongoing training and development opportunities for FNCIAS staff, member First Nations and Tribal Councils.  

“SIIT is a well-established FSIN educational institution with a history of delivering strong programming that is innovative and demand-driven to workforce development in First Nation communities,” said Pearson. The strategic partnership between our two institutions will support and develop candidates, and the Public Works Manager program aligns with our organizational values of collaboration and innovation while ensuring we are creating community prosperity.”FNCIAS was created to address the critical issues surrounding community housing and infrastructure programs through collaboration with First Nations, Tribal Councils, and Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) and to facilitate the transfer of control, delivery and management of First Nations housing, capital and infrastructure funding and services in Saskatchewan.   

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