Trades offer opportunities for Huu-ay-ahts

Spring has been a busy time for the Education Department at Huu-ay-aht First Nations as we begin ramping up efforts to develop partnerships and programs to support Huu-ay-aht citizens’ education, training, and future employment.

On May 25th, 27th, 28th and June 1, Huu-ay-aht hosted our Education and Training Roadshow in Anacla, Port Alberni, Nanaimo and Vancouver.

The Huu-ay-aht Education Department would like to thank those who attended the Education Roadshow and also share information with those who could not attend. The purpose of the Roadshow was to look for candidates to fill seats for trades programs.

For 2015-2016, Huu-ay-aht has funding for living allowance, tuition, and support for students. This arrangement is unique as before the living allowance was not funded for trades programs. Huu-ay-aht sees the need for trades jobs that are in demand now and even more so in the next five to ten years as the Nation explores potential projects such as the Trans-Shipment Container Hub and LNG facility at Sarita Bay.

Regardless of whether the two major projects that Huu-ay-aht are exploring go ahead or not, with our growing community and the aging population of baby boomers there is going to be a huge demand for jobs in trades, healthcare, and service industries. Huu-ay-aht would like to be prepared so that Huu-ay-aht citizens benefit from future employment opportunities. At the same time as recruiting for trades, we are looking to see what your interests are, where your education is, where you would like to be, and support you in whatever direction you would choose.

Our efforts to connect with Huu-ay-aht citizens were accompanied by outreach to education and training stakeholders in the Alberni Valley. On May 26th, the Education Department co-hosted an Education Forum with the City of Port Alberni, which was held at the North Island College Port Alberni campus. The forum highlighted growing and emerging industries in the Alberni Valley and addressed ways of fostering education and training opportunities to support local employment in these industries.  While this day allowed us to begin to build partnerships and generate action strategies for employment readiness in the region, this work will continue to be carried out over the coming months and years with the newly formed Alberni Valley Learning Council which includes representatives from the City of Port Alberni, local employment support agencies, educational institutions, and industry.

At both the Education Roadshow for Huu-ay-aht citizens and the Education Forum for local stakeholders in education, we shared the Huu-ay-aht Strategic Plan, which highlights where Huu-ay-aht wants to be in 20 years, as defined by our mission, vision, and the following five posts: Our People will be free from the negative effects of colonization; Our Children will grow up safe, healthy, connected to the community and exemplify Huu-ay-aht values; Our Home will be a safe, healthy and appealing place where half of our people choose to live; Our Land will continue to provide sustainable wealth that respects the Huu-ay-aht values of conservation; Our Economy will be operated sustainably and will be the major employer in the region and the major source of revenue for the Nation. We felt that it was important to share Huu-ay-aht’s vision for the future with both the stakeholders in the Alberni Valley and Huu-ay-aht citizens, so that we can all pull together and work together as one. To achieve these strategic goals in 20 years, we are going to need the support of Huu-ay-aht government, our citizens, neighboring First Nations and stakeholders of the Alberni Valley.

In the coming weeks, the Education Department will be calling out to Huu-ay-aht citizens to recruit for trades programs and post-secondary. If you have any questions in regards to post-secondary or trades programs please do not hesitate to contact Brent Ronning, Post-secondary Education Coordinator, at or 778-421-1022.  For more information about steps you can take to advance your education and pursue a career of interest, click here