In or­der to en­sure that the Mé­tis com­mu­ni­ty isn’t le be­hind and al­so be­ne­fits from the op­por­tu­ni­ties pro­vi­ded by ma­jor construc­tion pro­jects, such as the Bi­pole III trans­mis­sion line pro­ject or the En­bridge line 3 re­pla­ce­ment pro­gram, in 2014 the MMF ac­qui­red an eco­no­mic unit, na­me­ly: Mé­tis N4 Construc­tion Inc.

Since then, se­ve­ral hun­dred Mé­tis have be­ne­fi­ted from op­por­tu­ni­ties thanks to Mé­tis N4 Construc­tion’s part­ner­ships with ma­jor pro­ject contrac­tors.

“It was part of MMF President Da­vid Chartrand’s vi­sion,” said Jack Park, Mé­tis N4 Construc­tion president and Mi­nis­ter of Ener­gy and In­fra­struc­ture in the Mé­tis go­vern­ment. “Too o en, the Mé­tis aren’t consi­de­red as po­ten­tial contri­bu­tors to ma­jor pro­jects. The time had come for us to take our right­ful place and take ad­van­tage of em­ploy­ment and eco­no­mic de­ve­lop­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties.”

In part­ner­ship with in­dus­try lea­ders such as Ma­ni­to­ba Hy­dro, Mé­tis N4 Construc­tion is de­ve­lo­ping trai­ning and edu­ca­tion op­por­tu­ni­ties around ma­jor pro­jects, while pro­vi­ding sus­tai­nable re­sources to sup­port the ap­proxi­ma­te­ly 100,000 Mé­tis in Ma­ni­to­ba.

Two camps are cur­rent­ly in ope­ra­tion in Win­ni­pe­go­sis and Tre­herne. A third camp was in ope­ra­tion in Daw­son Bay but was clo­sed down this year.

“In our view, the camps that house our Mé­tis ci­ti­zens who work on these pro­jects aren’t mere shel­ters,” said Da­vid Chartrand. “We go beyond that, by de­ve­lo­ping trai­ning op­por­tu­ni­ties in cu­li­na­ry arts, main­te­nance and other areas.”

In Daw­son Bay, for example, “we al­so trai­ned people in chain­saw log­ging. These are sus­tai­nable skills that can be put to good use in the com­mu­ni­ty,” said Jack Park.

The first phase of Bi­pole III in De­cem­ber 2015 made it pos­sible to train Mé­tis Moe Yu­sim as an en­vi­ron­men­tal of­fi­cer. It was an ideal trai­ning si­tua­tion thanks to di­rect ac­cess to prac­ti­cal ex­pe­rience.

Two other young Mé­tis were trai­ned in the as­sess­ment and re­por­ting of ha­zar­dous si­tua­tions as well as in GPS map­ping, a pro­gram ra­re­ly made avai­lable in small com­mu­ni­ties such as Win­ni­pe­go­sis, Daw­son Bay and Tre­herne.

“These are all great suc­cesses,” said Mi­nis­ter Park. “The en­thu­siasm is pal­pable. The en­tre­pre­neurs them­selves poin­ted out that my teams, which are in fact lar­ge­ly made up of wo­men, were phe­no­me­nal!”

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