Raymond Shebagabow feels hope he’ll be able to provide for his family after enrolling in Oshki-Wenjack’s forestry training program.
The Long Lake 58 First Nation man began the Anishinawbe Forestry Operator Training and Apprenticeship program in July and will graduate from the program with a job waiting for him by the end of the year.
“It brings a lot of hope,” said Shebagabow. “That’s why I took (the program). It’s a great opportunity. I see a future to support my family.”
The program, which is funded by the provincial government, is a three-tiered approach that includes land-based forestry basics, essential skills training and students choosing a specialty from three areas: Forest management, harvesting or sawmill operations.
Shebagabow said he’s found the program to be helpful in opening his eyes to all that forestry entails.
“It gave me a lot of opportunities to see it more, to recognize it more,” he said. “If it wasn’t for this program, I would have never known how it was running.”
Oshki-Wenjack, an Indigenous post-secondary education and training institute, is working with industry partners like Buchanan Sawmills to ensure the students are training for the positions companies like Buchanan need to fill.
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