By Jensen, Randy on November 6, 2020.
The International Union of Operating Engineers Local 955 has announced a training initiative partnership with the Piikani Nation on the traditional lands of the nation.
The union is working with industry partners to provide heavy equipment operator training on a variety of earth-moving pieces of equipment to train members of the Piikani Nation and provide lifelong employment skills, the Alberta Federation of Labour said in a news release.
Not only will members of the Piikani Nation receive training at no cost to them in their own community, their training include more than just moving dirt. Everyone involved in the training program will contribute to the larger-scale project of building a 360-metre-long egress road adjacent to the Piikani Nation Rodeo grounds.
The construction of the road will have Piikani people directly involved in the infrastructure development of a road that will allow for safer travel during traditional ceremonies and celebrations, as well as better traffic flow, something the nation has been considering for some time.
The project will be overseen and instructed by members and partners of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 955.
The goal of the partnership is that long after this project is over there will be a permanent reminder of what is possible when groups work together.
The release added there has never been a more ideal time for this training than now, with the metallurgic coal sector in the area ramping up for construction and eventual operation. Having members of the Piikani Nation trained and prepared to get the jobs on their traditional lands was an honour as they have been a part of the consultation process on these projects from the start.