THUNDER BAY, ONT. — The newly renovated First Nations trade school at Dennis Franklin Cromarty High School in Thunder Bay, Ont. will provide students with hands-on training and prepare them for jobs in the skilled trades, a release from the province indicates.
The Ontario government provided $500,000 in funding to the Northern Nishnawbe Education Council (NNEC) to renovate three classrooms geared towards the trades, supporting skills training for indigenous students.
The school services students in Grades 9 to 12 from 24 First Nation communities in Ontario that do not have a high school available in the community.
According to the release, renovations include a new state-of-the-art manufacturing technology shop that will give students the tools they need to gain experience in welding; improved ventilation, lighting and electrical systems for the school’s transportation technology shop; and a new kitchen for the hospitality and tourism classroom to support expanded course offerings in food and nutrition.
"The First Nations trade school will give our students opportunities to return home and start their own businesses in small engine repair, welding, electricity, plumbing, hospitality and health and beauty," said Norma Kejick, executive director, NNEC, in a statement. "The possibilities are endless for the opportunities and the skills students will learn from the trade school. Not everyone is destined to go to college or university and we need to provide opportunities for all our students to succeed in life."
Ontario’s Aboriginal Community Capital Grants Program (ACCGP) provides funding for First Nation communities and indigenous organizations to build or renovate needed community infrastructure such as community centres, day care facilities or small business centres.
From 2003 to 2016, through the ACCGP, Ontario has provided more than $38 million to indigenous communities supporting 134 major and minor capital grants and related feasibility studies.