Trades school slated for Manitoulin Island by summer of 2018

Kenjgewin Teg announces a $1.77M capital expansion for skills, innovation and research centre

M’CHIGEENG—Kenjgewin Teg Educational Institute (KTEI) has received $1.77 million from Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada to build an Anishinabek Skills, Innovation and Research Centre.

“It is great to see everyone here today,” said KTEI Executive Director Stephanie Roy at the funding announcement last Friday, thanking Josh Eshkawkogan for the pipe ceremony earlier in the day and the opening prayer.

“These infrastructure investments will create good, well-paying jobs that can help the middle class grow and prosper today, while also delivering sustained economic growth for years to come,” said Nickel Belt MP Marc Serré, who made the announcement on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development. “Minister Bains sends his regrets, but I am proud to be making this announcement on behalf of the federal government.”

The funding will support the Anishinabek Skills, Innovation and Research Centre which will support the learning and cultural needs of aboriginal students in Northern Ontario. As an Ontario aboriginal institute, the proposed project would increase the functionality and capacity of specialized training facilities to meet the growing needs of the small business industry, as well as the resources and tourism needs in the region.

The federal government will be contributing $1.8 million towards the new facility, while KTEI will contribute an additional $222,000, bringing the total investment up to $2 million.

“This announcement is very exciting for our First Nation communities,” said M’Chigeeng Chief Linda Debassige. “Thank you to the federal government for coming through on a reconciliation promise. This centre will help our youth and empower us as First Nations communities.”

KTEI Director of Business and Training Beverley Roy-Carter noted how pleased she was to be a part of the visionary group for the project.

“KTEI is concurrently developing and creating a trades and apprenticeship strategy as part of the readiness and preparation as students begin to consider the skilled trades,” she said. “This new trades and apprenticeships strategy will not only involve our current valued partners in education and training, but will also actively engage both existing and new networks within our Northern region. The new strategy will have one broad end goal in mind: to deliver quality training strategically linked with the support of public, private and industry partners, leading to a desired quality of life that all families want and deserve on Mnidoo Mnising—to live a life of what we call ‘mino bmadziwin.’ Miigwech and we look forward to seeing everyone again in the summer of 2018 at the grand opening of the Anishinabek Skills, Research and Innovation Centre.”

Ms. Roy explained to The Expositor following the announcement that the new centre will be 6,000 square feet and located behind the current KTEI building in M’Chigeeng.

“It will be focused on skilled trades, innovation and research,” said Ms. Roy. “We are looking at trades such as welding, electrical, auto, carpentry and plumbing—but not all at once—we will look at what the needs are first. It has been a vision of KTEI to offer skill-specific training and we are pleased to be taking this step forward. We are anticipating a 40 percent student increase over the next three years.”

The training centre will be open to both First Nation and non-First Nation individuals interested in education in trades, innovation and research.

For more information about this project or KTEI, visit www.ktei.net.