Some federal initiatives changed under the Conservative government. They now include Workplace Skills Initiative (WSI) and Adult Learning, Literacy and Essential Skills (ALLES) program.
Aboriginal Futures was set up to manage an Aboriginal Skills Enhancement Program (ASEP) funded by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada. The focus is training and skills enhancement. They set up partnerships to help northern residents develop higher skills, such as grants to study at NAIT and SAIT.
The Government of Nunavut and Inuit organizations are firmly committed to make Inuktitut the primary language of work. The 1993 Nunavut Land Claims Agreement includes certain important provisions that affect workplace and workforce literacy:
Under the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement, mineral exploration and development has guidelines for local hiring practices, service contracts and environmental guidelines. These provisions should have real impact on Nunavut’s economy and leave more money and control in the hands of Nunavummiut.
The Nunavut Economic Development Strategy 2003 includes ‘economic development for youth’ and ‘education and training’ as priorities under the ‘people’ strategies. The draft Nunavut Adult Learning Strategy includes 29 actions that can form the foundation for the ongoing evolution of adult learning for the next 20 years. The Strategy does not specifically mention workplace or workforce literacy, but many, if not all, actions contribute.
The NWT’s political structure is changing as Aboriginal groups negotiate self-government. The transfer of responsibility from the territory to Aboriginal governments will further increase the demand for a skilled workforce in NWT communities.