New program provides essential skills, water treatment training to Indigenous people

The kanātan nipīy (the water is clean/clean water) program is a collaborative initiative of the City of Saskatoon, Gabriel Dumont Institute, Radius Community Centre, Saskatchewan Polytechnic and Saskatoon Tribal Council

January 29, 2021 – The City of Saskatoon, Gabriel Dumont Institute, Radius Community Centre, Saskatchewan Polytechnic and Saskatoon Tribal Council are coordinating the kanātan nipīy (the water is clean/clean water) program. The training is an opportunity for Indigenous people to gain essential skills and access employment opportunities in water treatment and distribution facilities —such as with the City of Saskatoon’s Water and Waste Operations. 

The program offers two streams, one for Indigenous youth between 18-29 years of age and another for Indigenous people of any age. The stream for Indigenous youth will begin in early March with essential skills training taught by the Radius Community Centre. Saskatchewan Polytechnic will provide training in water treatment and distribution to both streams starting in late March/early April. 

"This kanātan nipīy program is an important pathway to knowledge and employment and I am very pleased that the City of Saskatoon is part of it," says Mayor Charlie Clark. "Our futures are bound together, in our city and in Indigenous communities across Saskatchewan. I would like to thank all of the partners who are part of this program and are strengthening our future together."

"Partnerships like this, that bring all stakeholders to the table, remove barriers and ensure the greatest success possible for everyone involved," says Geordy McCaffrey, Executive Director, Gabriel Dumont Institute. "GDI is proud to be a part of this initiative that will lead to sustainable employment for our Métis clients."

"For 50 years Radius Community Centre has been helping people work towards their career goals," says Dorothy Hyde, Executive Director, Radius Community Centre. "We are honoured to be a part of this community team supporting Indigenous employment and know that working together helps to build a brighter future for individuals, families, business and community." 

"Indigenous students are an important part of Saskatoon’s community. Providing essential skills training is one way to help the Indigenous learners participating in the program to succeed in their water treatment training and as members of today’s workforce," says Dr. Larry Rosia, President and CEO, Saskatchewan Polytechnic. "We are excited to partner with the City of Saskatoon, Gabriel Dumont Institute, Radius Community Centre, and Saskatoon Tribal Council on this innovative program."

"This training will enhance and improve the quality life for all people that require clean potable water," says Saskatoon Tribal Council Chief Mark Arcand. "As First Nations people, we are all protectors of water. STC has developed many training and employment partnerships. By working together with our partners, we provide opportunities for our people to become gainfully employed."

Applicants must have their Grade 12 or GED and a Class 5 driver’s license. Interested applicants can send their transcript, driver abstract, resume, and three references to kanatannipiy.project@gmail.com by February 12, 2021. 

The kanātan nipīy (the water is clean/clean water) project costs $1,642 per student. Funding for training costs and living allowances may be available to some applicants through the Gabriel Dumont Institute and Saskatoon Tribal Council. Funding options will be discussed during the application process.