Northwestern Ontario and the First Nations communities in the region are also expected to benefit significantly in terms of jobs and economic growth as a result of the construction of the Wataynikaneyap Transmission Project. One of the primary areas for local First Nations to benefit is through meaningful and lasting employment and capacity building within the communities. Discussions with community members indicated that the construction of the project is expected to play an important role in providing opportunities for young people to deepen and enhance their skills. The table below provides a list of relevant job classifications associated with the construction and development of the Wataynikaneyap Power Project. Many of these would be considered high-skilled jobs.
Table – List of Potential Job Classification
associated with the Development and Operations of the Wataynikaneyap Power
Wataynikaneyap’s goal is to maximize Indigenous employment on the
Project through relevant, partnership-based training, and to create long-term,
transferable skills that will provide positive socio-economic outcomes for the
region as a whole.
Wataynikaneyap is to follow the guiding principles moved by a Chiefs Resolution. Click
to learn more of the guiding principles.
Peak employment is expected during the construction stage.
Opiikapawiin Services LP
Wataynikaneyap has contracted with Opiikapawiin (100% owned by the 24 First Nation Partnership) to deliver the following services to meet the projects
objectives by the Chiefs:
• Indigenous community engagement
• Stakeholder engagement
• Developing a land sharing framework
• Community readiness & capacity building
• Education, training, skills development, and employment
• Indigenous business readiness & contracting
• Local distribution (LDC) readiness planning
Further detail on 3 of these activities is provided in the section below.
The Community Liaison project is designed to gather input from partnership communities to develop a strategy or strategies on how First Nations communities can capture benefits in training, education, economic and business opportunities that are created from the Wataynikaneyap Transmission Project.
Community Liaison workers have and continue to be trained and set to work within their
communities sharing and gathering information through meetings, interviews, surveys and workshops.
There have been numerous workshops, conferences and information sessions to date, community members can contact their Community Liaison to access the reports about the sessions.
- Carla Slobozian - Lac Seul First Nation
- Nelson Nothing - Bearskin Lake First Nation
- David Jeremiah - North Caribou Lake First Nation
- Vacant - Cat Lake First Nation
- Brenda Bunting - Slate Falls Nation
- Trudy Mekanak - Kasabonika Lake First Nation
- Ellen Tait- Sachigo Lake First Nation
- Micah Winter - Kingfisher Lake First Nation
- Roy Frogg - Wapekeka First Nation
- Blake Hudson- Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (KI)
- Vacant - Wawakapewin First Nation
- Tommy Sainnawap - Wunnumin Lake First Nation
- Shawna Parenteau - Wabigoon Lake Ojibway Nation
- David Kakepetum- Keewaywin First Nation
- Jerome Lawson- McDowell Lake First Nation
- Barry Meekis - Deer Lake First Nation
- Thomas Tookata - North Spirit Lake First Nation
- Phil Strang Jr. - Poplar Hill First Nation
- Una Gott - Sandy Lake First Nation
- Vacant - Muskrat Dam First Nation
- Lola Quill - Pikangikum First Nation
- Jordan Maunula - Lac des Mille Lacs First Nation
- Vacant - Mishkeegogamang
- Vacant - Ojibway Nation of Saugeen
Training And Skills Readiness
In preparation for the training program, the First Nations team completed a Readiness Plan that included a training gaps analysis and an assessment of First Nations through
the Remote Electricity Readiness Program ("RERP"), which is on-going. A socioeconomic impact assessment was completed for the Wataynikaneyap Power Transmission project that indicated during the construction period, the project would create roughly 261 direct jobs in Northwestern Ontario. Wataynikaneyap has also identified indirect jobs from spin-off activities and support services.
A comprehensive training program was developed with input from the Readiness Plan and the support of a training committee with measurable goals. The training project is funded fifty percent by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) and fifty percent by Wataynikaneyap Power with the target of supporting capacity building for approximately 200 participants between 2017 and 2020. Experienced training partners include Infrastructure Health and Safety Association (IHSA) and Oshki-Pimache-O-Education and Training Institute (“OSHKI”).
The training goal is to prepare community members with the necessary skills to meet
the requirements of anticipated employment opportunities.
Business readiness planning activities will help communities to identify, prioritize, and capture business and economic opportunities related to the Project. A Business Readiness Project is currently being conducted to identify potential business opportunities. Communities are identifying their current business and entrepreneurship capacity and assets. The needs analysis will define the projected business and contracted needs of the transmission line. A gap analysis will list the areas where community business need to build capacity to meet the needs of the Project. The Business Readiness Plan will describe the actions required for community businesses to be prepared to bid on contracts and take advantage of business opportunities.