Aboriginal Bridge Program
Program Mission & Objectives:
The Aboriginal Bridge Program was established in 1997 as a result of partnership among the Metis Nation of Alberta, Local Council #87; Treaty 7 Economic Development Corporation; and the Alberta Vocational CollegeCalgary. The Aboriginal Bridge Program is a two-year basic literacy pilot project designed for adults who want to obtain enough skills to compete in today's labour market. Program goals are, "to provide a safe, supportive and encouraging environment for Aboriginal students to access self-improvement on academic and social levels; to assist in establishing reliance upon Aboriginal values and problem solving techniques; to develop curriculum through Aboriginal input that will really work and be effective in a secure, lasting capacity for the Aboriginal student; to adapt non-Aboriginal learning techniques to being fully culturally acceptable and effective with this student body; and, to address academics, employment preparation techniques, health, self-esteem and other issues of importance in an integrated manner".
The literacy program includes the following components: life skills, education and personal counselling, workplace literacy, basic employment preparation, job shadowing and work experience to a maximum of five days. A full computer lab is available to participants to learn basic word processing, computer-assisted reading and other computer programs. There is a maximum program capacity of 12 learners and the program is currently full. A continuous intake policy is followed, and good attendance is mandatory. The program utilizes a "watch then do" approach and small-group and tutorial teaching strategies. Learners may, depending on their goals, be required to complete 50 hours of community volunteer work to successfully complete the program.