September 26, 2021

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The GTA’s Urban Indigenous People Critical to an Inclusive Economic Recovery

The GTA’s Urban Indigenous People Critical to an Inclusive Economic Recovery

Toronto, ON – Miziwe Biik Aboriginal Employment and Training (Miziwe Biik) has released a new report illustrating how governments can partner with the GTA’s Indigenous community to create new employment and training opportunities that will fuel inclusive economic growth post COVID-19.

The report called A Plan for Full and Equal Participation in the GTA’s Economic Recovery and Growthrecommends that the Governments of Ontario and Canada take action to build on the full potential of the GTA’s Indigenous community and connect Indigenous youth with skilled trades and other in-demand jobs to facilitate economic growth.

For over thirty years Miziwe Biik has supported the economic outcomes of Indigenous people by providing training and employment programming and supports in a culturally enriched environment to connect Indigenous clients to good paying local job opportunities.

“To address their commitment to reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, we are calling on the Government of Ontario and Canada to partner with us to strengthen the training and employment programs and infrastructure available to the GTA’s Indigenous people,” said Nancy Martin, Executive Director of Miziwe Biik. “Accrediting Miziwe Biik as the first Indigenous Institute in the GTA will provide the critical infrastructure needed for the GTA’s Indigenous community to participate in Canada’s economic recovery.”

Among the recommendations in the report is the immediate opportunity to connect Indigenous youth with opportunities in skilled trades and other in-demand jobs in health care and technology to help address regional skills gap, while fueling the above average economic growth needed to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

To do so, the Ontario government should recognize Miziwe Biik as Ontario’s first off-reserve affiliated Indigenous Training Institute. Establishing an Indigenous Institute in the GTA will provide the GTA’s Indigenous community with its own accredited Institute that can grant diplomas, certificates, and degrees in a culturally enriched setting.

For its part, the Government of Canada should contribute capital funding to Miziwe Biik’s new training centre in the West Don Lands which will break ground on June 21, 2021.  The new facility will double Miziwe Biik’s physical footprint and services, and is being made possible from Miziwe Biik’s own capital and capital contributions from Anishnawbe Health, the City of Toronto, the Government of Ontario and the Toronto Foundation. Miziwe Biik would welcome support from the Government of Canada to complement funding provided by other partners.

“The GTA’s Indigenous community holds tremendous potential,” said Martin. “An inclusive economic recovery means empowering the GTA’s Indigenous community with expanded and enhanced skills training and market recognized credentials that are needed to secure good-paying job in the areas where new workers are needed.”

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MUSKRAT Magazine

MUSKRAT is an on-line Indigenous arts, culture magazine that honours the connection between humans and our traditional ecological knowledge by exhibiting original works and critical commentary. MUSKRAT embraces both rural and urban settings and uses media arts, the Internet, and wireless technology to investigate and disseminate traditional knowledges in ways that inspire their reclamation.

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