On-Site Magazine

Ontario invests in job training for Thunder Bay First Nations

By Jillian Morgan   

Skills Development

Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation David Zimmer with Fort William Chief Peter Collins, Supercom representatives and students.

Ontario will invest $240,000 in job training for Indigenous people near Thunder Bay, Ont.

In partnership with SuperCom Industries (Supercom), a First Nation-owned business, the investment will support training for up to 244 people.

The project aims to prepare for construction employment opportunities with the East-West Tie Transmission Project (EWT).

Investment for the training is made through Ontario’s Indigenous Economic Development Fund.


“Through the government’s Economic Development Fund, Supercom was able to hire six training advisors and one training coordinator to recruit and retain individuals from across the region,” said Matthew Dupuis, board member at Supercom.

EWT is a 450-kilometer, 230-kilovolt transmission line that connects Wawa Transmission Station in the Municipality of Wawa, Ont., with Lakehead Transfer Station in the Municipality of Shuniah, Ont., near Thunder Bay.

It aims to improve the reliability of electricity in Northwestern Ontario.

Participants are from the six First Nations that will be affected by the project: Michipicoten, Pic Mobert, Biigtigong Nishnaabeg, Pays Plat, Red Rock and Fort William.

“Through the work of the training advisors, training coordinator and the government, Supercom will be able to create a highly-skilled workforce that will have transferrable skills for the rest of their career,” said Dupuis.

Successful participants will acquire trade skills that are transferable to other full-time employment opportunities, including maintenance of the transmission line once the project is complete, according to the province.

“This investment will help expand job opportunities for numerous First Nations communities in Ontario,” said David Zimmer, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation. “This is an important step in Ontario’s journey to reconciliation and will create a better future for everyone in this province.”

Other Thunder Bay area projects to receive economic development funding include a construction training program at Anishinabek Employment and Training Services.

Bingwi Neyaashi Anishinaabek First Nation will receive $57,746 to ensure it has a qualified manager to run sawmill operations, as well as $50,000 to complete a feasibility study to build a government office/multi-use centre.



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