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Community ᐄᐦᑖᐧᐃᓐ

The Nation’s annual Education Guide

BY Amy German Jan 17, 2020

If you are shopping around for a trade program to start your first job or considering a new career, read on. The Cree School Board training courses offered throughout Eeyou Istchee may have just the thing for you.

Here is a list of various programs starting within the next six months.

In Eeyou Istchee


New this winter is the Small Appliance Repair Course, which is geared at training students to be a godsend for those who prefer to fix their aging household appliances instead of throwing them out. This 1350-hour program will lead to a vocational studies certificate in Studies in Repair of Household Appliances. It will prepare students to perform general workshop work, repair single-phase motors, perform electrical circuit assembly, repair crushers and waste compactors, repair electric ranges, washers and dryers, dishwashers, refrigerators and freezers, air conditioners and dehumidifiers and microwaves.


Trucking Class III is a 330-hour course that will teach students how to drive a truck with two axles and whose net weight is 4,500 kg or more, or a truck with three or more axles. These vehicles are for the purposes of hauling a trailer or semi-trailer and which are used to transport equipment, tools or furnishings as part of its permanent equipment, and whose net weight is greater than 2,000 kg but less than 4,500 kg; Hauling a trailer or semi-trailer whose net weight is less than 2,000 kg.


Institutional and Home Care Assistance is the perfect vocation for someone who enjoys helping and caring for others. This 870-hour program teaches students to establish a helping relationship with patients and to respond to clients with cognitive impairments, mental health problems, neurotypical disorders, physical illnesses, and disabilities. It will also teach students how to provide assistive care related to daily activities and look after people in palliative care.

Carpentry is also being offered for those who enjoy working with wood and creating structures. This 1350-hour course helps students learn project management; how to read and produce drawings, specifications and sketches; how to build, install, insulate, set and finish every section of a building; and to install insulation, soundproofing and ventilation. It also includes practical information on how to work on a team, how to assess client costs, and industry safety and regulations.

A Construction Business Management course is also being offered. For those who have been around the industry and have dreamed of being an entrepreneur or becoming a business manager, this 450-hour course is ideal. For those skilled in communication and organization, the course will teach project management, basic accounting and human resource skills, how to read drawings and specifications, how to develop a business plan, industrial health and safety, and to follow Quebec’s building code.


The Sabtuan Regional Vocational Training Centre will offer a Northern Heavy Equipment Operations course this spring. With so much construction in the north – be it housing, infrastructure and natural resource development – there is a need for heavy equipment operators who know how to make these machines perform well when it’s minus-30 degrees. This 900-hour course teaches all the basics like infrastructure construction, equipment mastering, maintenance of equipment as well as safety and regulations.

Starting this winter is a Recreation Leadership course. This 1290-hour program is the perfect thing if you are the type of person who loves to plan activities for everyone to enjoy. From basketball tournaments to traditional events for the whole community, Recreation Leadership technicians are the folks who plan the social calendars to keep everyone engaged.


This winter Wemindji will be offering a Northern Building Maintenance program. This 1300-hour course provides instruction on performing building maintenance in a northern context. It focuses on plumbing and heating systems as well as other maintenance issues. With its hands-on approach, students will learn how to do the job from the get-go.

Lots of programs are offered within Eeyou Istchee, check out your options!

Beyond Eeyou Istchee

Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue

Over the years UQAT has developed a long list of programs geared towards Indigenous students. What is interesting to note is that along with having a wide variety of courses developed on the study of Indigenous peoples, there are also a lot of professional courses offered at different levels for those who want to continue their education in a northern setting.

Under the Aboriginal Studies umbrella, UQAT offers various undergraduate and certificate programs in Aboriginal Tourism Management, Childhood-Family Intervention in Aboriginal Context, Aboriginal Studies, Employability and Career Development in Aboriginal Context.

UQAT offers the following programs specifically to Indigenous students in the Education Department – a certificate in Elementary Education Support and a B.Ed. in Preschool Education and Primary Teaching – and in the Faculty of Management – certificate programs in Human Resources Management, in Administration and in Business Management.

Indigenous students can also take a special Mines and Groundwater course in Applied Hydrogeology.

For more information: www.uqat.ca/en/indigenous/

Vanier College

Vanier College offers an Indigenous Studies certificate program for both Indigenous and non-Native students. The program offers a variety of courses that cover the history of Indigenous peoples in Quebec and Canada and their contributions and respectfully utilizes Indigenous knowledge about humans and their world. This program is set up to engage with local Indigenous communities and organizations. For students just starting their CEGEP life, Vanier offers an Indigenous Circle to help and connect them with support services.

Dawson College

Dawson College offers a transition program for Indigenous students who want to study in a downtown setting. Their one-year bridging program is designed to provide Indigenous students with “a welcoming, holistic, supportive and culturally relevant environment for learning at the post-secondary level.”

The “Journeys” program offers general education courses that combine Indigenous knowledge, culture and traditions with pedagogical approaches. These courses are geared at providing students with the necessary skills they need for an academic post-secondary level education. The thematically interlinked courses are taught by culturally aware and engaged faculty members working closely with Indigenous communities to ensure the inclusion of culturally relevant content and approaches.

John Abbott College

John Abbott College offers a two-semester integration program for Indigenous students called Crossroads. Geared at getting new students prepared for college life and any pre-university program, Crossroads combines courses in study-skills development, general education courses and program-specific courses. Students in this program are automatically enrolled in the Indigenous Studies courses, offered a flexible schedule and lots of student support.

Heritage College

Located in Gatineau, Heritage College has an Aboriginal Education Council which is committed to the life-long learning of Aboriginal peoples. This council has a “collaborative responsibility for the continued support of initiatives to meet the needs of the college’s Aboriginal community.” It aims to ensure that Aboriginal identity is respected and honoured, and that culture is reflected in their programming. Heritage offers a variety of features to appeal to and support Indigenous students – including an Aboriginal centre, a learning centre as well as academic and personal guidance.

Colleges a bit further away may have programs that better suit students’ career choices.

Kiuna Institution

Located on the beautiful Odenak Reserve on Abenaki territory just 35 minutes from Trois-Rivières, the Kiuna Institution offers a college education designed for First Nations students. The college’s mission is to “shape competent First Nations citizens in their respective fields” with a focus on maintaining one’s culture, developing social responsibility, having an open mind and a concern for the well-being of their home communities.

If you are looking to transition to an Indigenous school on a reserve, Cégep Kiuna offers an orientation and integration semester followed by a transition semester that allows new students to smoothly adapt to college life. Upon completion, students can enroll in Kiuna’s First Nations Social Science program.  Students wanting to study language, arts, literature and communications can also enrol in the First Nations Arts, Literature and Communication program.

With a diversified approach to Indigenous education, Kiuna offers unique opportunities for First Nations students and the chance to develop a strong sense of Aboriginal identity and tradition before deciding on a career path.

Rosemount Technology Institute

Cree students who already live in the Montreal area or those wanting to study a vocational program not available in Eeyou Istchee might consider the Rosemount Technology Institute, which offers a number of interesting – and free – programs. They include Automated Systems in Electromechanics; Cabinetmaking; Computer Graphics; CNC – Numerical Control Machine Tool Operator; Digital Layout and Printing; Furniture Finishing; Industrial Drafting [Computer Aided Design]; and Machining Techniques.

LaSalle College

Best known for its Fashion, Art & Design program, LaSalle College also offers many other top-notch career programs that are designed to train students for rewarding careers. The college is ideal for anyone wanting to go into the video gaming industry and hotel industry.  

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Amy German has worked in the magazine industry since 2001 and has her own personal blog. She is pretty much never without something to say and is always looking for a story.