Mi’kmaw youth study some new expertise at welding camp


Eight Mi’kmaw youngsters and youth obtained hands-on welding coaching within the centre of their group final week. 

Elsipogtog First Nation, about 90 kilometres north of Moncton, hosted a week-long camp to introduce group members to the expert trades. 

For 10-year-old Payden Augustine, it was about constructing confidence. 

“First day of camp it may be scary, it was actually scary, however as you get extra into the camp it is really actually enjoyable,” she mentioned. 

She mentioned she attended the camp as a result of her mother wished her to know what different profession choices she might have, other than turning into a hockey star.

She mentioned she was afraid of the sparks at first however because the camp went on she had enjoyable making a cowbell and tags. 

Payden Augustine, 10, took half within the camp and made a cowbell and tags. (Oscar Baker III/CBC)

The Thoughts Over Steel camp was a partnership between Elsipogtog, the Joint Financial Growth Initiative and the CWB Welding Basis. 

Laura MacFarlane, the Indigenous mission apprenticeship co-ordinator at JEDI, mentioned this system was about introducing the apprenticeship pathway to Indigenous youth. She mentioned she hopes it results in extra pink seal Indigenous tradespeople sometime. A pink seal certification is the best designation a tradesperson can obtain.

“We’re actually excited when somebody succeeds and to carry Indigenous folks into good jobs and profession paths,” mentioned MacFarlane, who’s Mi’kmaw from Metepenagiag Mi’kmaq Nation. 

She mentioned the camp provided security coaching, hands-on welding expertise and a presentation by Expertise Canada. The five-day camp value roughly $3,000 a day and MacFarlane mentioned she hopes the funding results in extra children searching for careers within the expert trades.

“I am simply beaming with satisfaction as I see these children are available in,” mentioned MacFarlane. 

Kyron Lantz, 11, holds up a Batman batarang he made with a plasma cutter on the welding camp. Payden Augustine (proper) additionally attended the camp. (Oscar Baker III/CBC)

Kyron Lantz mentioned the camp was a enjoyable and funky expertise. The 11-year-old was in a position to make himself some Batman batarangs with a plasma cutter. 

“I by no means tried this earlier than and it is so cool as a result of it’s important to put on a masks and it’s totally harmful,” he mentioned.

He labored underneath the supervision of Daniel Lemay, the welding teacher. Lemay mentioned the group was engaged and had a sense of humour. 

“The grins on their faces and the laughter and the camaraderie between the bunch and the banter — that is what made it quite a lot of enjoyable,” mentioned Lemay. 

Journey Levi, 18, was a mentor for the youth attending the camp. Final yr she helped lay the wiring for the constructing that hosted the camp. (Oscar Baker III/CBC)

Journey Levi, 18, spent time mentoring the youth at the camp. She wished the youngsters to know the trades are an awesome choice.

She’s attending programs on the New Brunswick Neighborhood Faculty to turn out to be an industrial electrician and thought it was vital to offer again a few of her time again to Elsipogtog. 

“Once I was youthful, I seen all these folks giving again to the group and I dreamed of being like them,” mentioned Levi.

Levi was a part of a group effort to construct the Elsipogtog Commerce Studying Middle final yr, so she mentioned she thought it was becoming the constructing would host expert commerce camps.


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