Six years after the Atoskewin Success Centre opened in North Battleford, it certainly is living up to its name.
The one-of-a-kind centre offers a wide variety of programs for residents of seven First Nations that make up the Battlefords Agency Tribal Chiefs — Ahtahkakoop Cree, Moosomin, Red Pheasant Cree, Sweetgrass First, Stoney Knoll, Saulteaux and Mosquito Grizzly Bear's Head Lean Man.
Its primary goal is to train and place Aboriginal people in jobs in the region.
“Dependence on social assistance has been brought down 13 per cent by the initiatives at the Atoskewin Success Centre,” says communications manager Alexis Christensen. “The centre has accepted nearly 5,000 training applications and, within a single year, had more than 8,500 visitors.”
Atoskewin is the Cree word for “a place to work.” By providing quality services to help individuals overcome their barriers, the success centre has grown at a rapid pace, both in the number of courses offered and community supports.
There are more than 60 education and training courses to choose from including lifeskills courses and the Indigenous Social Work Degree Program. There is also a training education salon named Ka-Miyosit, which means “beautiful one.” As an added feature, the salon is open to the public for business at reduced rates.
There are seven shuttles to bring students in for training and employment and the Kiwewin Family Centre provides childcare for students’ children. The family centre’s holistic approach and traditional teachings foster positive self-identity as well as build a sense of belonging by learning more about kinship and history.
There is also a 24-hour industry support line, pre-screen drug testing and a liaison service with industry partners.
“We remove every barrier we can,” Christensen says. “We pride ourselves in offering a ‘hand up.’”
If you’d like to find out how you can benefit from the Atoskewin Success Centre’s programs, visit BATC.ca or call 306-446-1400.