Labour Studies Index

Updated: 2022-05-16

"I wanted a career, not a job" First Nations and Metis employment in the construction of the Lower Mattagami River Project

Document type Report
Author Mills, Suzanne
Author St. Amand, Anne
Date 2015 11 26
Pages 87 pages: illustrations


This report was prepared for the Moose Cree First Nation. Employment opportunities figure prominently in the private agreements between First Nations, Inuit and Métis governments and the resource companies who want to develop on their territories. Resource companies and Indigenous leadership alike often see employment opportunities as a key way that local communities can benefit from resource-related development. Many early agreements, however, provided for entry-level positions but not for training that would lead to meaningful work that is well compensated for Indigenous communities. As a result, employment provisions in agreements often strive to provide greater detail about access to training and movement into higher skilled positions. Access to training is particularly critical in the construction sector, since jobs are short term and range from unskilled positions that have no upward mobility to registered tradespersons, foreman and superintendent positions. This report offers a detailed examination of how a negotiated agreement facilitated the training and employment of First Nations workers in the construction phase of the Lower Mattagami River Hydro River Project (LMRP) from 2010 to 2015.