Black Lake’s Environmental Impact Responders. Left to Right: Janessa Toutsaint – Leader, Jenny Gunn, Olivia Robillard, Beth Donard.

Environmental Impact Responder Program

September 30, 2018 in News People
Explorer: Fall 2018

Earlier this year, Points Athabasca and Quantum Murray Environmental partnered together to run a pilot project called the Environmental Impact Responder (EIR) Program. Four women were employed from each of the Athabasca Basin First Nation communities. Their employment started on October 2nd with a week of culture camp and ran until the end of March 2018.

SITAG provided a wage subsidy for these positions. The employee selection was made with the assistance of leadership. The focus was to train these employees in the field of Environmental Reclamation in order to be assets to the communities and address the community leadership’s environmental concerns and prepare for potential future opportunities. Training began October 16th in Black Lake, October 23rd in Hatchet Lake, and October 30th in Fond du Lac. The training ran for 3 weeks with instructor face-to-face instruction as well as online training. During the training period, there was opportunity for the EIRs to assist the First Nation Band Administration with tasks at the band office or economic office.

The underlying strategy for Points Athabasca/QM Environmental is to develop employees in their own communities and have them trained to assist in the next phase of the anticipated Gunnar clean-up. The program was considered to be a success, with 12 women trained and ready to go for potential opportunities.