April 25, 2016. A group of First Nations youth from Siksika and Calgary are in Cuba for a month long tour. Wandering Spirit Native Awareness features dancers ranging in age from 12 to 20 years. Over the past three months they have been crafting their dance regalia and perfecting their choreography, including learning new techniques like the Metis jig. Many of the young dancers balanced school and training three days a week in preparation for the tour. "It's a very prestigious stage," said Jackie Soppit, the executive director of Wandering Spirit Native Awareness. "It's all Cuba's highest artists and there will be a lot of celebrities there." The group tours Cuba from April 22 to May 23.
NorQuest to help 20 people with free courses in hospitality
April 25, 2016. In May, NorQuest College, in Edmonton, will be offering free training in the hospitality industry for up to 20 people. Funding will come through the college’s Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation Hospitality Institute. “This programming for in-demand skills will be provided by NorQuest College instructors who are experts within our service industry skills program,” said President and CEO Dr. Jodi L. Abbott. Courses will include customer service, guest service relations, server/host/suite attendant, resume writing, and interview skills. To increase opportunities even further, NorQuest will welcome employers to join classes and recruit people right into jobs. The courses will finish in time for the job fair for Rogers Place, the new home of the Edmonton Oilers.
AER three-year plan includes focus on Indigenous relationship
April 22, 2016. Alberta Energy Regulator’s three-year plan includes working with Indigenous people and studying Alberta’s aging infrastructure. AER released its three-year strategic plan last week. Polling from last summer indicated that while industry approval of AER is 90 per cent, First Nations, landowners and environmental groups approval rating is much less. “One of the things I want to do over the next couple of years is to refocus on Indigenous people. As a regulator, we can do a better job,” said AER President and CEO Jim Ellis. First Nations have criticized AER for not allowing them to speak or limiting their comments at hearings on energy projects adjacent to or on their traditional land. Ellis would not say whether the regulator would loosen its rules on who gets standing to appear.