Anishinabek Employment & Training Services (AETS)
AETS is a not-for-profit organization that provides project-based and workplace-based training to support the education-to-training and employment needs of on-and off-reserve members of nine Anishinabek communities in North Superior Treaty Region of Ontario. AETS is part of a national wide agreement with the Indigenous Skills Employment and Training (ISET), and one of the 110 distinct based Program Agreement Holders in Canada and one of 22 in Ontario.
Maamaawisiiwin Education Research Centre (MERC)
MERC brings over 20 years of Indigenous community development, research, and in-service teacher education experience specific to the North Superior Treaty Region to the collaboration.
Operating in Pic River First Nation, Endzhi-gkinoohmaading Private High School is a First Nation, private high school that meets the regulatory requirements of a high school within the province of Ontario. Endzhi-gkinoohmaading brings a significant experience in distance education of First Nation youth and has a long collaborative history with AETS.
Lakehead Public Schools
Lakehead has become a territorial leader in Indigenous education by developing unique programming and partnering with Indigenous organizations in an effort to increase the school success of Indigenous youth. Almost 50% of the overall student body has self-identified as Indigenous and many of the AETS community members living in Thunder Bay attend Lakehead schools.
Outland Youth Employment Program (OYEP)
For over 20 years, Outland has operated the Outland Youth Employment Program (OYEP), a national, six-week, land-based job training, education and work experience program specifically developed for Indigenous youth. OYEP is a First Nation driven initiative that works towards equity and opportunity through education, training and work experience that fully immerses Indigenous youth in a land-based learning environment.
For over 20 years, Indigenous Works is a national player working with companies to strengthen performance and results in Indigenous employment, workplace engagement and inclusion. AETS will continue to partner with Indigenous Works to provide project-related services to local business and industry partners.
Northern Ontario Education Leaders (NOEL)
NOEL is an association of leaders of educational organizations in Northwestern Ontario. The NOEL table serves as a forum to discuss topics of common concern and to develop projects that will be of direct benefit to students. In October of 2022, NOEL directors and standing members, as well as school boards affiliated with AETS communities, were able to meet with AETS and be informed of the land-based Systems Innovation initiative.
Community Economic Development Commission (CEDC)
The CEDC played a significant role as a key contributor and partial financier of the "Fundamentals of Land-Based Learning Conference," organized by AETS and Biigtigong Nishnaabeg in November 2022. Moving forward, AETS and CEDC intend to sustain their collaborative partnership to further explore project-oriented goals.
Roots To Harvest
Roots to Harvest and AETS are actively collaborating to help with alternative educational initiatives aimed at Indigenous youth who have left the formal education system prematurely. The Cooking for Cred program runs multiple sessions each year for adult learners 18-30 years old who want to gain some culinary skills from some of Thunder Bay’s most talented chefs. The 7-week program includes workshops on making soup stocks, sauces, baking, roasting, carving and more. Everyone has the ability to obtain their safe food handling certification as well. AETS also provides support for childcare, transportation, and a completion stipend.
Fort William First Nation (FWFN)
Fort William First Nation has been actively engaged with AETS, such as being an active host for the Fundamentals of Land-Based Learning Conference in November 2022. Additionally, FWFN has partnered with AETS in a significant project centered around moose hide tanning for the Continuing Education program. This collaboration has allowed community members to explore traditional practices while also pursuing educational objectives. FWFN remains committed to the project's objectives and will continue to support and engage in initiatives that promote cultural preservation and educational opportunities.