Nanwakolas to engage in $110,500 labour study

The Nanwakolas Council Society will engage in a five-year training and employment strategy thanks to a recent influx of money from the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation.

The Council is comprised of seven First Nations of middle and northern Vancouver Island and adjacent areas of the south central coast, including the We Wai Kum, Tlowitis and Kwiakah First Nations here in the Campbell River area.

The $110,500 in funding to complete the strategy comes from the province’s WorkBC Community and Employer Partnerships fund, which budgets $1-million for these types of projects each year.

“Nanwakolas Council First Nations are pleased to bring this Labour Market Partnership project to the region, thanks to the provincial funding,” says Dallas Smith, president of the Nanwakolas Council Society, adding this study should increase First Nations’ ability to react to changes in the regions’ labour needs.

“There are significant workforce dynamics affecting the productivity of major industries of our region. With a collaborative and strategic approach to First Nations workforce development, our First Nations members will be better positioned to capitalize on available and emerging employment and career opportunities in all business and industry operations of our territories.”

The strategy will include an inventory of local layout force skills and gaps of First Nations members, area employers’ labour market needs and a detailed action plan that will help address those needs.

The study will be done in cooperation with local industry, employers, educational institutions, as well as First Nations and their members to identify skills and education gaps – as well as opportunities.

A final report on the findings will be produced by the end of May 2016 when the project is complete.

At least four community presentations will be scheduled to share the employment and training strategy with First Nations and stockholders in various communities.

“First Nations are a vital part of B.C.’s strong, diverse and growing economy,” says Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation John Rustad.

“This labour market study will identify ways to increase the jobs skills of Nanwakolas Council Society First Nations members by pinpointing the kind of skills training needed for employment success and improved quality of life.”

For more information on the Nanwakolas Council Society, visit

For more on the Community and Employer Partnerships, visit


Campbell River Mirror