Promoting the FNMI (First Nations, Metis and Inuit) community through constructive day-to-day activities is a way to role model success for others. Fifteen inspirational mentors whose lifestyles highlight the positive contributions and employment of Indigenous people in our city will be recognized.
This exciting evening, leading up to National Aboriginal Day, will showcase talented FNMI individuals whose daily work helps to make Lethbridge a welcoming and inclusive city: Katie-Jo Rabbit, SAAMIS Assistant Manager/Employment Counselor says, “It is our goal that the development of mentorship supports will inspire everyone involved to interact, engage and collaborate in the workplace, in the pursuit of higher education and in making Siikokotookii (Lethbridge) a more inclusive city.”
The 2017 Lethbridge FNMI Community Honour Night has been organized by the Education, Employment and Training (EET) Committee. Members include SAAMIS Aboriginal Employment and Training Association, Native Counselling Services Alberta, Community Futures Treaty 7 Assets, Lethbridge Public Library (LPL), University of Lethbridge FNMI Transition Program, 5th on 5th, and Alberta Labour. Focus of the EET committee has been to address some of priority areas (education, employment and training) identified in the Final Report on Urban Aboriginal Issues in Lethbridge – The Lethbridge Aboriginal Community Strategic Plan. Committee member, Lil Radley, Coordinator, Lethbridge Public Library, Read On Adult Literacy Services says that “Having these inspirational role models is a positive step to providing the support individuals may need to succeed as they proceed in their education, employment, and continued training. LPL proudly supports this initiative and others, including hosting monthly inter-agency meetings, and Aboriginal cultural and literacy focused programs.”
Throughout the nomination process, the committee was specifically searching for individuals who promote the FMNI community through their day-to-day activities, through employment and a supportive attitude to the entire Lethbridge community. They also wanted to help facilitate mentorship supports for FNMI individuals who may need help with their career development, and to inspire other indigenous individuals to know that they are capable of success in their own right. Knowing the story of these talented Indigenous individuals can only inspire others in the community to be successful as they pursue their dreams.
The FNMI Community Honour Night will be exciting for all EET committee members, particularly so for Katie- Jo Rabbit who comments, “Finding employment is more challenging. With our current labour market individuals are being more creative. Our First Nations people are educated but sometimes lack the confidence to seek employment, or lack the support on the job to succeed, and some, cultural supports. For many, the mentorship program will be key in making the difference. Recognizing the contributions by these honourees, is a reminder of our traditional values that knowledge is passed on from one individual to another. It is rewarding in that it keeps our way of life intact, and helps First Nations thrive in the city. Life in Siikokotookii (Lethbridge) is getting better, but still a lot more people need to support what we are doing.”
The evening traditional celebration will include the Elders, speeches from city dignitaries, a slide show of the mentors, an Aboriginal feast, and an honour dance.