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Skills Training Supports Healing Journey

October 25, 2013

Innovative Approach to Treatment, Education and Employment

Nine candidates from the all-male treatment centre, Three Voices of Healing Society, will celebrate the completion of their program today at a ceremony held in Invermere, B.C.

“It’s been a great experience to learn more about work opportunities within industry,” saysTyron Monk, Carrier Nation, BC AMTA candidate from Fort St. James, “After the program I look forward to getting some stability and having a better future than before.”

The program, which was six weeks in length and held in Invermere, B.C., provided candidates from Three Voices with entry-level skills for job placement within the mining and resource development industry.

“It’s been a great opportunity to work in a different environment,” says Suzanne Pederson, Program Manager, Instructor, BC AMTA, “Because of BC AMTA’s flexibility and desire to support candidates in achieving their goals, [Three Voices] has been a perfect venue for training.”

This is the first program of its kind for BC AMTA, and aligns with BC AMTA’s mission to remove barriers in the way of education and training.

For individuals with substance abuse challenges, pursuing meaningful goals is integral on the path to health. Employment helps to build confidence, self-esteem and supports candidates to become interdependent contributors to their communities.

“The reason we got involved with BC AMTA is that normally people from our centre get sent home without a lot of purpose. Offering training allows people to gain confidence and self-esteem, while providing increased support in finding employment,” says Chris Burwash, Program Manager, Three Voices of Healing Society, “By doing this, it helps candidates to have purpose and become a contributing member of society.”

BC AMTA instructors travelled to the centre to deliver daily training. This direct approach provided candidates with a safe, structured space to further their career goals, while attending to their emotional and spiritual needs during treatment.

“It keeps people on a structured routine,” says Chris, “Knowing that you have consistency creates security for everybody.

BC AMTA instructors were equally welcomed and supported by candidates.

“One morning the candidates invited me to smudge with them,” says Suzanne, “This was very powerful for me as a non-Aboriginal woman.”

Suzanne was also presented with a dream catcher on behalf of the group.

Working with candidates who are committed to their educational goals allows BC AMTA instructors to teach from a place of ease, and an opportunity for both candidates and instructor to experience ‘pure teaching’.

“Candidates were dedicated, focused and excited to learn,” says Suzanne. “Our goal is to find out what the candidates want and need to learn, then deliver to their training needs.”

After treatment, candidates from this program will return home to continue their healing journey. Following graduation, BC AMTA will provide resume and job-placement support to candidates, as well as opportunities for continual skills and training development.

“The program has been a huge success,” says Chris, “There’s a high demand for it and we’ve already got waiting lists of people who are interested in enrolling.”

If you have questions, comments or a story to share, please contact:

April Dutheil, Brand Journalist, Communications
BC Aboriginal Mine Training Association  604.612.0845

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