Government supports Aboriginal arts through employment

By January 25, 2017Provincial Politics

Submitted. A new employment project in Chilliwack will prepare up to
24 unemployed residents of the Fraser Valley for careers in
manufacturing and support an innovative royalty remuneration system for
Aboriginal artists.

The Province is providing over $600,000 to Stó:lo Nation to deliver the
52-week program. Participants will learn skills and safety procedures
on high-tech equipment to produce fine copy replicas of artwork by
local Aboriginal artists on items such as clothing, glassware, wood and
leather materials. Participants will also receive follow-up support,
preparing them with the tools they need to gain employment in
manufacturing, an industry in need of skilled labour.

Participants will also gain work experience with Stó:lo Nation
partners, Monague Native Crafts and White Feather Tissue and Towel. At
Stó:lo Nation’s social enterprise Nations Creations, they will
manufacture and ship the replica artwork. Stó:lo Nation established the
social enterprise after recognizing that local Aboriginal artists need
a different way of doing business. Typically artists will sell their
designs to manufacturers who produce and import replicas from overseas
and pay a single fee to the artist up front for their design. Stó:lo
Nation wants to help change the compensation structure by offering
royalty payments to artists, benefitting them and their families with
sustainable revenue over time. Every time a replica of an artist’s work
is sold by Nations Creations, they will earn a portion of that revenue.
For this project, Nations Creations will source all of its artwork from
Aboriginal artists, from the Lower Mainland and beyond.

Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation funding is
provided through the Project-Based Labour Market Training stream of the
Community and Employer Partnerships (CEP) program, which funds projects
that increase employability levels and share labour market information.

The ministry recently added a social innovation component to CEP, which
expands the scope of the program to support innovative projects that
address social challenges beyond unemployment. Nations Creations by
Stó:lo Nation is the first social enterprise to participate under the
new focus of the program.

Community and Employer Partnerships are featured in B.C.’s Skills for
Jobs Blueprint and provide support to people who are struggling to gain
a foothold in the job market. They also help build stronger
partnerships with industry and labour to connect British Columbians
with classroom instruction and on-the-job training, while making it
easier for employers to hire the skilled workers they need – when and
where they need them.

To date, more than 1,400 job seekers have benefited from work
experience and nearly 260 projects have been funded throughout the

Learn more about the Stó:lo Nation: For more information on Community and Employer Partnerships: Find a local WorkBC Employment Services Centre: Learn more about the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation: For more information on B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint: To find out more about the BC Jobs Plan:

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