The recent name change of Cree Human Resources Development (CHRD) to Apatisiiwin Skill Development (ASD) is part of the Cree Nation Government’s Strategic Action Plan for 2018-2023.
The CHRD was established in 2002 to promote employment and training within Eeyou Istchee. ASD Director Louisa Saganash explained that the name change was necessary to distinguish it from the CNG’s Human Resources Department. “The revamp has been in the works for the past year,” Saganash said.
Apatisiiwin (meaning “employment”) will have its own identity as an organization that is geared to working with clients, communities and industries to meet employment needs in Eeyou Istchee. It will also help Crees meet their full potential and fulfil their career goals through skills training and education.
As CHRD works with a number of partners through various funding agreements, this rebranding will continue the department’s expansion while offering better service to Eeyouch.
According to Saganash, the primary goal is to restructure and create separate departments for an administrative division, a service division, a program division and a finance division. She said this will mean certain job titles will change to reflect the new positions more accurately as well as the position’s qualifications.
As for the people ASD serves, Saganash said there will be major improvements to address the needs of Crees. This in turn will allow for improvements within programs and services to prepare Crees for the labour market and ensure that they are being trained to fill positions that are needed.
The revamped ASD will create the positions of employment integration counsellor and labour market information analyst. Saganash said one of the positions has been filled, while the second one is in the process of being filled. Both positions require university backgrounds and specializations in their respective fields.
Another new feature is that at all 10 ASD points of service students or trainees will now meet employment counsellors (previously known as Cree employment officers). There will also be a senior employment counsellor, program officers as well as administrative and finance divisions in both Mistissini and Chisasibi. Together they will provide services to help clients, communities and partners to understand the opportunities within Eeyou Istchee.
Despite the changes, Saganash says the ASD remains committed to helping Crees succeed at obtaining sustainable employment.
“Apatissiiwin Skills Development is excited to implement its new strategic plan and its new name. We hope this renewal will better reflect what the department does,” said Saganash.