On-Site Magazine

Canada’s Building Trades Unions resolve to work with indigenous communities in new initiative

By Corinne Lynds   

Skills Development CBTU First Nations Indigenous

OTTAWA – Canada’s Building Trades Unions (CBTU) resolved today to provide career opportunities in the skilled construction trades for underrepresented segments of the population including First Nations, Metis, and Inuit (FNMI) Peoples. Furthermore, CBTU committed to meaningful consultation, building respectful relationships with Indigenous communities and will continue to advocate for cultural understanding and to support an environment of inclusivity and respect.

The resolution brought to the floor of the annual conference on Tuesday, presented by Darrell LaBoucan, the Director of Canadian Affairs for the International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental, and Reinforcing Iron Workers, adopts the principles of #92 of the Truth and Reconciliation Call to Action.

This is the first step in an initiative designed to recruit and retain underrepresented populations into the workforce. Building on the momentum gained from our work with women in the trades, CBTU will expand its advocacy to Indigenous Peoples, the Next Generation of building trades workers & New Canadians.

“This initiative is important to the future of the building and construction trades as well as to the workforce of Canada,” Lindsay Amundsen said. “We need to recruit and retain a workforce that reflects the country we live in. We are really proud of the work we have done with women in the trades and look forward to creating an even more inclusive work environment, where everyone is respected.” 


Program highlights from BuildTogether.ca:

Indigenous People: The Government of Canada has focused on infrastructure spending to build better communities across this country. There is no better way to further these goals than by engaging Indigenous people as the builders of Canada they have always been.

Next Generation: Many young people are graduating with university degrees loaded with debt and unable to find employment. We want to make sure young people know about the vast opportunities for a well-paying, secure and fulfilling career in the skilled construction trades.

New Canadians: In addition, every year, more than 250,000 new permanent residents are admitted to our country. These newcomers make up an important part of Canada’s economy and have an abundance of potential to contribute to Canada’s future growth in the construction industry.

Women: Build Together’s original program challenged the existing myths of careers in the trades, and continues to allow for a robust conversation on how to engage women in the sector. A number of our provincial councils have created platforms where tradeswomen and industry can network and support the cause.


SOURCE Building & Construction Trades Department, AFL-CIO


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