Recent History – 1998
By Daily News Staff, Dec. 11, 1998
Off-reserve Natives and Metis looking for jobs constructing the Alliance pipeline are being asked to bring their resumes to a meeting set for the Nawican Friendship Centre on Saturday at 2 p.m. Meeting organizer Fred House said they’re forming a northeast aboriginal work force and are looking those with skills in such areas as heavy equipment operation, welding and truck driving.
House said the Western Cree Tribal Council has just signed an agreement to clear 100 km. for the pipeline near Sturgeon Lake, and he wants to realize a similar deal here.
“What we plan on doing is going for a chunk of the right-of-way clearing in a portion of B.C. and probably a part of Alberta”, he said. “We’re prepared to throw some bids together and get the agreement signed with Alliance Pipeline and get our people to work.” Along with off-reserve Natives and Metis, the effort is also open to those who gained aboriginal status under Bill C-31.
Since 1996 over 300 people have been trained in various skills, House said. “So there are a lot of people with their skills and trades and their tickets ready to go to work, but there’s nobody to represent them.”
They’re hoping to land contracts for right-of-way clearing, pre-logging and disposal, as well as constructing oil lease buildings and roads. Long-term positions, like plant operators and pipeline inspectors, bookkeepers and camp cooks are also being lobbied for.
“We want to ensure at this meeting that a lot of women will show up as well, so we could also assist them in obtaining employment,” he said.