To: our Valued First Nations, Urban Aboriginal organizations, Industry Partners and citizens;
We too, are observing the recent developments of the COVID-19 situation and assure you the health and safety of our employees and our citizens who access our services is of paramount importance. It is our number one priority. The rapid growth of the crisis changes everything and will affect all aspects of service delivery to the public. We realize the uncertainty of how the impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), or the extent of it’s reach will impact our community in the next few months and we will observe all directives issued by the BC government health agencies.
In order to exercise the caution necessary to keep our people safe we have implemented the following measures:
Effective immediately our office at 198 Kingston Street in Prince George will be closed FOR A PERIOD OF 14 DAYS to the public and may open thereafter with essential services only until further notice
Continuing To Serve You:
Office closure: Our main office is closed for 14 days or until further notice. We are here and available to help with services or information as you need. Following the 14 days PGNAETA will continue to remain “open” in terms of answering phones, emails, etc. and providing information on applying for Employment Insurance. Please don’t hesitate to reach out.
First Nations Service Agreements: Each nation will implement their own directive and policy governing their employment services or the projects they coordinate, to their community members.
Urban Aboriginal Service Agreements and Training Projects: Each urban organization will implement their own directive and policy governing their employment services to their clientele.
Upcoming events: As of today all events planned for this spring have been postponed. This will include the Spirit of Unity, the Industry and Trades event, the Early Learning Child Care cultural curriculum event and the launch of the Emotional Integrity webinars.
Training Projects purchased through other training agencies: projects hosted by Post Secondary institutes, urban aboriginal organizations and industry private trainers will follow the directive and policy of the training institute.
Individual Client applications: Citizens applying for supports may do so through our application forms which will be available through the PGNAETA website or the PGNAETA facebook page. This access is being developed and we appreciate your patience. We hope to have this operationalized within three – four weeks.
Given the nature of our services and the vulnerability of the clients we serve, we feel this is the responsible decision for the safety of our indigenous community and citizens. We hope you will understand and support our decision. We are taking the stance the caution and prevention is the best approach toward keeping the community safe for everyone.
Canada is missing out on a whopping $27.7 billion annually because of its "under-utilized" indigenous workforce, according to a new national report by the National Aboriginal Economic Development Board.
The report says a huge economic gap exists between Canada's Indigenous and non-Indigenous population in terms of income, education and training.
"We had a look at that and said, 'If we were to close that gap between indigenous and mainstream Canadians, what would that amount to?'" said Dawn Madahbee Leach, vice-chair of the organization that gives recommendations to the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs.
With Canada's aging population, and a fast-growing, young Indigenous population, Leach said now is the time to get Indigenous people trained up to fill that gap.
"There's a lot of people retiring, the baby boomers," said Leach. "And the Indigenous population... we have a workforce ready and willing to come on board."
The report was presented to the minister's office this week.
The $27.7 billion figure is the estimated potential value of a fully-working, Indigenous workforce in Canada over the age of 15.
The report uses Statistics Canada's numbers for 2015.
First, the report takes the estimated number of Indigenous people with income, and looks at how much more money they'd make if their income matched that of Canada's non-Indigenous.
Nunavut has the highest average income gap at a hefty $52,000, followed by the N.W.T., with a gap of almost $30,000.
If all the income gaps are closed, the value of the Indigenous workforce would be around $8.5 billion a year.
The report assumes this gap will be closed with more education and training for the Indigenous population.
Next, the report looks at the impact of engaging the currently untapped Indigenous population.
It calculates the number of a new Indigenous working population by assuming the employment rate will match the non-Indigenous employment rate. If that happens, the newly working Indigenous population is worth $6.9 billion annually.
The North has a potential of generating $1.2 billion from its currently "under-utilized" Indigenous labour force, according to the report.
The report also calculates a further $8.7 billion gain from eliminating the cost of poverty — from social assistance, health care to housing programs — that is currently burdening the government.
All of that together, calculated with Canada's GDP indicators, creates the $27.7 billion figure in the report.
"This is about a 1.5 per cent boost in the country's GDP," says the report.
But the calculations don't consider the potential costs that would go into investing in educating and training hundreds of thousands of Indigenous people.
And the cost will be massive, according to JP Gladu, the president and CEO of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business.
"We're chronically under-funded in our school systems," said Gladu. "The quality of education and infrastructure surrounding it is one of the biggest gaps in this country."
Gladu said that building up the currently "subpar" infrastructure for Indigenous communities is necessary for closing the economic gap. An infrastructure deficit range of $50 and $570 billion exists in all of Canada, according to a 2013 report from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.
"We're so far behind that it's going to take significant energy, time and resources to get caught up."- JP Gladu, President of Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business
"We're talking about schools, water, homes, energy. All of these things to grow sustainable young people in our communities," he said.
Some billions of dollars would go into closing the infrastructure gap, according to Gladu.
"We're so far behind that it's going to take significant energy, time and resources to get caught up."
Leach said that the government alone is not responsible for closing the gap.
"We're calling upon corporate Canada. We're calling up agencies such as the health sectors... and educational institutions," said Leach.
The first concrete step, she suggests, is a concrete action plan that stems from recommendations from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
"We believe that full reconciliation can't occur without economic parity," said Leach.
She said Australia is a good example. Reconciliation Australia, a group dedicating to championing reconciliation action plans, set up plans and promotes them throughout the country. Their website shows a long list of corporations in Australia that developed a reconciliation strategy.