Trucking-creeWhether you are just finishing up high school and wondering what your next step should be, trying to plan out a lifelong career or trying to find a way to change career fields altogether, vocational courses can be the ticket to an entirely new life.

Selected and refocused by the Cree School Board, the vocational courses and programs made available in Eeyou Istchee follow provincial guidelines, but are offered in a homegrown setting.

These vocational programs target actual employment needs in Eeyou Istchee so that jobs will be available for graduates.

There are a wide variety of programs being offered for those trying to select a trade that will best suit them and result in a lifelong career. Whether it’s working with your hands, with wood, explosives, operating machinery or repairing it, running a business or working in management, these programs are targeted to available skilled jobs.

Those more comfortable working in an office, assisting administration, maintaining local buildings, building new homes or as a landscaper will find programs relating to these fields.

For those whose passions relate more to working with the public in business, the hotel industry, childcare or building healthy communities there are also suitable programs.

The following is a list of programs that will be offered in each community and programs that are in development that do not as yet have start dates but will very soon.


Starting a Business (TBA)

Carpentry, February 13, 2015


Construction Business Management (TBA)


School Bus Driving (TBA)

Northern Heavy Equipment Operations, May 22, 2015

Drilling & Blasting, March 15, 2015

Heavy Equipment Mechanics, April 8, 2015

Machine Operations, Mineral and Metal Processing, April 9, 2015

Accounting, April 8, 2015

Starting a Business, April 8, 2015


Secretarial Studies, January 15, 2015


Northern Building Maintenance, March 12, 2015


Northern Heavy Equipment Operations, May 22, 2015

Accounting, April 2, 2015

Landscaping, May 22, 2015

Carpentry (TBA)

Waswanipi’s Sabtuan Regional Vocational Training Centre (SRVTC) 

School Daycare Educator, October 15, 2014

Recreation Leadership, February 6, 2015

Truck Driving Class 1 (TBA)

Electricity (TBA)

Hotel Reception (TBA)

Surveying and Topography (TBA)


Ore Extraction (TBA)


The Courses


NBM-cree-coursesStarting a Business

If you have ever dreamed of being your own boss, doing your own books, having your own staff and creating your own start-up, this program is for you.

Covering the basics of how to make a business plan and how to manage projects, at only 330 hours, this course is geared at getting you on the right track to realizing your entrepreneurial dreams.



Carpentry is a versatile career that will offer decades of employment in building housing, infrastructure improvements and the projects created by the mining boom. This course will teach students about constructing, erecting, maintaining and repairing wood structures, wood substitutes and other materials.

Running at 1350 hours, it covers project management, how to read and produce drawings, specifications and sketches, learning how to build, install, insulate, set and finish every section of a building, building insulation, soundproofing and ventilation, working in a team, assessing client costs and necessary safety precautions.

Graduates will also learn how to work with: concrete forms, wood frames and steel bulkheads, projects that involve making joints, assembly work, erecting and repairing wood and metal parts, applying interior and exterior finishes and landscaping projects, available in various communities.


Construction Business Management 

If you have already worked in the construction industry and feel as though your place is running your own business as a contractor, this is the perfect course.

Combining entrepreneurial and administrative learning with specifics about the construction industry, this course covers: project management, basic accounting skills, basic human resources skills, how to read drawings and specifications, creating a business development plan, managing health and safety regulations and how to follow Quebec’s building code.

Running at 450 hours, it also covers project costing, how to prepare proposals, negotiate contracts, plan outlines for worksites, material purchasing and managing the quality of the work.


School Bus Driving

Created in partnership with the CTF Charlbourg, this course is about learning the rules and regulations necessary to obtain a Class 2 driver’s license and how to drive a bus. It includes information on provincial standards and requires students to fully comprehend the five sectors of the industry: urban transport, school transport, intercity transportation, chartered transportation and para-transit. This program runs a total of 330 hours.


Northern Heavy Equipment Operations

This course offers instruction in operating large machinery on a construction site, from diggers to bulldozers to steamrollers.

This 900-hour course teaches the basic principles of infrastructure construction, how to master the equipment operation, how to maintain equipment and to follow safety regulations.


Drilling and Blasting 

This 900-hour course will teach students how to master equipment relating to this trade, learn the necessary safety precautions and how to understand the workings of a construction site.


NBM-cree-courses-2Heavy Equipment Mechanics 

Invaluable to the construction industry, this course will teach you how to maintain the heavy equipment the industry uses.

Students in this 1800-hour course will learn how to inspect, repair, maintain and adjust equipment, how to perform tests and solve problems as well as all about safety regulations specific to this field.

Also, this program covers maintenance for hydraulic clutches, ordinary and semi-automatic transmissions, hydraulic brakes, steering gear boxes, clutches of direction, the suspensions and the driving shafts of the tractors, heavy trucks and other machines on building sites as well as diesel engines.

The goal in this field is to seek out the cause of equipment breakdowns, fix them and prevent them.


Machine Operations, Mineral and Metal Processing

For those interested in working with machinery related to mineral and metal processing, this 900-hour course can lead to a versatile career as it covers how to use a wide variety of machinery.

This 900-hour course covers how to master and maintain equipment operation, to interpret information relating to ore processing and methods, to prepare control tests, to use related computer software as well as respect for safety regulations.



Accounting can be a surprisingly creative field for those with a knack for it.

Those who are looking to improve their existing accounting skills or those who have never worked in the field often take this 1350-hour course.

The course covers how to master manual and digital accounting tasks, how to maintain and manage bookkeeping and bilingual communication.


Secretarial Studies 

This 1485-hour course is for the person who loves to assist others in a professional working environment.

It will teach you to be efficient and effective in a workplace environment, to produce, update and proofread business texts, to use word processing, database and spreadsheet software, use telecommunication tools, offer basic understanding of labour laws and how they apply as well as bilingual text writing.



New to the Cree communities, this 1035-hour program teaches landscaping operations so that graduates can be employed by landscapers, municipalities, government departments and nurseries. Some also choose to open their own landscaping businesses.

Those in this program will learn the basics of pesticides, trade practices and safety, tool, equipment and machinery use, measurements and estimations, how to read plans, specifications and technical documentation, plant differentiation, workplace communication, mortared stone and concrete working, wooden structures and all sorts of other specifics relating to how to build, beautify and maintain landscapes.


Northern Building Maintenance

To maintain a building in the north, this 1320-hour course teaches a wide variety of skills to ensure that a building is safe and running efficiently.

It will train students to repair and maintain equipment and plumbing and heating system, project management, to read and interpret building specifications, to work on internal and external building components, apply health and safety rules at construction sites and to work efficiently and effectively in a workplace environment.


School Daycare Educator 

For individuals who love to work with young children, this 390-hour course focuses on how to organize, prepare and conduct a variety of activities within a daycare centre that are geared at early childhood learning and skill development, understand child development cycles and how to resolve problematic situations.


Recreation Leadership 

Becoming a recreation leadership professional requires a great deal of skill for a northern climate.

Geared at teaching students how to organize group recreational activities in a northern setting, this course runs 1290 hours and is brand new to the Cree communities.


Truck Driving Class 1

For those that love the idea of a career on the road, this 615-hour course teaches students to plan a trip, drive on rural and highway roads in a truck, perform basic driving techniques, the basics of vehicle maintenance, fuel-efficient driving, time management, laws and regulations, how to load and unload trucks and how to resolve problems in the field.



Running at 1800 hours, this course will teach would-be electricians how to install, repair, modify and maintain circuits, electrical and electronic systems, and communication networks, how to interpret drawings, specifications, technical manuals and maintenance procedures, and how to verify the voltage, current and power of electrical circuits.


Hotel Reception 

Tourism is a growing industry in the north, and the need for professional staff is growing.

Running at 735 hours, this program teaches how to maintain guest register books, answer client enquiries regarding hotel services and use computerized or manual systems.


Surveying and Topography

Also new to the Cree communities, this program relates to a field with many opportunities.

This 1800-hour course will teach students how to master typical surveying instruments to gather topographic data, to specify and mathematically transform technical data, graphically portray surveys on a drafting table or computer, to stake out a lot and lay out a building and safety guidelines.


Ore Extraction 

For those looking for a career at the heart of the mining industry, this program is all about geology and what to do with it.

Running 930 hours, this program teaches students how to master the equipment operation, basics of geology principles, the basics on explosives principles, equipment maintenance, to draw and read drill patterns and blasting patterns, to prepare blast rounds and development headings and related safety regulations.


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