Courtesy of the Lhoosk’uz Dene, Lhtako Dene and Nazko Nations:
Today, Leaders of the Lhoosk’uz Dene Nation, Lhtako Dene Nation and Nazko Nation celebrated the creation of the Quesnel Dakelh Education & Employment Society. The society will operate as a central hub or, nexus to support the attainment of Education, Training and Employment of community members while, helping to mitigate poverty and support the overall economic and social capacity of the three Nations.
“It is time that we as Nations’… that we as Partners… take a different path to support the economic, education and social goals of our community members. It is time to take a different path… to take ownership and make our future stronger, together” said, Chief Clifford Lebrun of the Lhtako Dene Nation.
The organization is a unique partnership with both operational and strategic support from Industry Partners. Each nation will appoint an industry partner to the corporate board to help ensure alignment with current and future developments within the economy. The Society will take a case management approach with the goal of “providing support to those who wish to reach their goals in what ever field they choose” said, Chief Stuart Alec of the Nazko First Nation who also sits as the society President. Larry Gardner, Vice-President of Canadian Woodlands for West Fraser Timber (TSX: WFT) highlighted that “the Quesnel Dakelh Education and Employment Society reflects our commitment to create opportunities for employment today and into the future. We hope its holistic approach will further develop the economic capacity of First Nations, improve social conditions, and play a role in poverty reduction.”
“Ensuring that community members have full participation in the economy, is a priority. Access to education and ultimately employment is key to addressing poverty and economic capacity within our communities, thus making our Nations stronger” said, Chief Liliane Squinas of Lhoosk’uz Dene Nation The society’s executive has appointed Karsten Henriksen as Interim-Chief Executive Officer. Henriksen’s background includes service as an Faculty Member, Academic Dean and Director within Western Canada’s Post-Secondary System and has an extensive history working with Industry, First Nations’ and Indigenous partners.
“We look forward to working with all partners including industry, the Government of Canada and Premier John Horgan’s new government to implement new strategies to change the paradigm in First Nations Education and Employment Services for community members” said, Henriksen