Cree Human Resources Development held a dinner to announce the launching of their official website March 17. The event was well attended with about 100 people present.
The website was set up to make it easier for people to access the jobs that are available in each community.
“It’s a project that came up about a year ago,” according to Kathy Shecapio, the coordinator of professional and technical services and government relations. “We had to do a lot of communications to increase public awareness of the programs and services available. We needed a promotional tool for employers to discuss the economics of hiring Cree labour,” she said.
For example, the website allows people from Chisasibi to search for a job in Mistissini, without having to travel there.
Some of the things you can find on the website include: Territorial programs – this section is for hydroelectricity, mining, forestry, tourism, construction, telecommunications and transport sectors. Territorial programs have four initiatives which are:
-Employment and training program
-In-house pre-placement training program
-Employment integration program
There also sections for special programs for people with disabilities, youth programs, childcare and community-based programs.
People in each community felt there was a strong need for this type of site. Because of that, the CHRD put a priority on getting it online as soon as they could. The staff were also in support of the website because it helped to provide easier access to the CHRD to their clients.
Along with the website, CHRD also launched the first edition of its newsletter. In it, one can read about different projects approved by the CHRD for funding, as well as the many initiatives available to everyone in Eeyou Istchee. The newsletter will be printed once a month.
One of the more interesting stories was on Telebec and how they’ve finally started to hire Cree people to work in the communities. One of the guests, or success stories was David Coonishish, who works for Telebec. He impressed the audience by exploring uncharted territory and showing his great sense of humor at the same time.
Since people, especially elders, are used to seeing only non-natives work the territory for Telebec, Coonishish had a story that made everyone chuckle. “When I first started for Telebec I got a call to go to an elder’s home. When I got there, the elder looked at the Telebec truck, and then looked back at me, looked back at the Telebec truck and then looked back at me. She did this for a couple times until she asked me, ‘Are you Telebec?’ I replied, ‘No, I’m David!’”
The CHRD is hoping this website will be a success and get many “hits” or visits. “If we’re able to increase public awareness to clients or employers or band councils as to what the programs are and what they do, then that makes it easier for us to fulfill our mandate to increase Cree employment levels,” said Shecapio.
For more information,
visit CHRD’s website at chrd.ca,
or call 418-923-2525.