OTTAWA, ON, Nov. 7, 2019 — The National Chief of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples stressed the importance of partnerships between indigenous communities and career colleges in tearing down barriers to education and the workforce.
“I call on everyone here to remember us, the forgotten people who have been left out of our national conversation so far, and invite them into your schools, but also in your workplace, your board of directors and your political coalitions,” said National Chief Robert Bertrand to an audience of career college owners at the National Association of Career Colleges’ annual conference in Ottawa.
Bertrand’s speech concentrated on the need for renewed commitment by all stakeholders to build bridges to collaborate, find common interests and build coalitions. “These are areas where CAP and NACC have a great deal of experience. We will build on this strength, bringing underrepresented groups to the table and offering progressive policy ideas that meet complex and challenging problems,” said Bertrand.
Canada’s indigenous peoples are the youngest, fastest-growing population, Bertrand pointed out. “Canada’s career colleges have the training centres and programs to help them succeed, and our business community has the shortage that needs to be filled. It’s time to work together to turn these needs into one solution.”
There are more than 400 colleges that hold a membership with NACC, serving countless communities across the country. Career colleges are unique in providing expedient training, small class sizes and flexible learning environments that are attuned to a student’s individual needs.
“The members of NACC are on the ground, in the communities where our constituents live. By eliminating barriers, your members support integration into the workforce, closing gaps in employment, income and standard of living,” Bertrand said. “The flexibility shown by the membership of NACC at meeting the needs of the community is laudable.”
The head of NACC reiterated the shared goals of the two organizations. “We both have common interests, and we both have common goals with regards to getting Canada the strongest workforce with skill sets necessary to meet the challenges of the future.”