WHITEHORSE – Yukoners will soon have a new resource that will provide training and education to Yukoners in a wide variety of social justice fields and will also undertake related research.
The Northern Institute of Social Justice is preparing to deliver training programs in 2010. The institute will be based at Yukon College, Justice Minister Marian C. Horne, Education Minister Patrick Rouble, Health and Social Services Minister Glenn Hart and Yukon College President Terry Weninger announced today.
“Through the institute, employees in public and First Nation governments, organizations and businesses will deliver programs and services that will help Yukoners address a variety of challenges and possibilities,” Horne said.
About eight per cent of all jobs in Yukon – 1,390 in total – have been identified as having a social justice-related component. Some examples of these jobs include social service providers, educators, mediators, investigators, law enforcement officers, safety and security officers and administrative tribunals.
“The Department of Education is pleased to support the institute as part of our goal to build our workforce with targeted training for Yukoners for Yukon opportunities,” Rouble said. “The institute helps fill an identified need to enhance the capacity of Yukoners whose work touches on social justice.”
The Department of Education will contribute $1,146,000 between 2010 and 2013 from the federally funded Community Development Trust to support the institute.
“The institute’s programming will take us beyond what most of us think of as justice programming,” Hart said. “This is an opportunity to grow our own experts in a broad spectrum of areas.”
“The institute will provide entry level, job-specific and common training that cuts across many jobs and fields,” Weninger said. “In preparation, the institute has been working closely with Yukon College to match training needs and programs. Some of these programs are currently available, while others will be brokered or developed. We are excited about the new direction this will take us.”
To date, the institute has overseen development and delivery of the correctional officer career exploration training program for women, which was funded by Advanced Education’s Community Training Funds, contributed to workshops on substance abuse and women, and is preparing training on fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. Planning is underway for career exploration, trauma training and other programs. Program dates will be announced early in 2010.
Backgrounder on the Northern Institute of Social Justice
Yukon is focused on training that builds leadership, knowledge and skills to strengthen individuals and communities in meeting challenges and opportunities and delivering social justice-related programs and services.
People in social-justice related occupations and professions are employed in Yukon’s public and First Nations governments, non-government organizations and businesses. They work in such areas as corrections, counselling, community justice, enforcement, emergency services, education, health, inspections, law, policy development, protective services, social services, safety and security, etc. They include administrative staff, frontline service providers, program officers, supervisors and senior decision-makers.
The institute was created to address two broad challenges:
• recruitment, development and retention of a qualified workforce to deliver programs and services with a social justice-related component, from entry to senior levels; and
• relevant and accessible training to enter the workforce or further develop careers.
The institute will meet these challenges by providing training and education and undertaking related research. In carrying out its purpose, the institute will focus on training that is relevant, recognized, accredited, and transferable. It will broker, consolidate, adapt or develop training as required to reflect a Yukon context to meet Yukon-specific needs.
The institute's governing council provides vision, leadership and sets direction. The council has overseen the institute’s evolution. The council's founding members are:
• Terry Weninger, Yukon College President (council chair);
• Yukon government deputy ministers:
o Dennis Cooley (Justice);
o Pamela Hine (Education),
o Stuart Whitley (Health and Social Services) and
o Patricia Daws (Public Service Commissioner);
• Chief Mark Wedge, Carcross Tagish First Nation;
• Eric Morris, community member; and
• Grand Chief Andy Carvill, Council of Yukon First Nations.