The Gitxsan Alternative Issue Papers written by G.J.Sebastian.
Gitxsan Training Institute
The Gitxsan Hereditary Chiefs are considering establishing a Gitxsan Training Institute to improve the practical skills of Gitxsan in the building trades – that is, carpentry, plumbing, roofer, electrician, and so on. These would be properly accredited apprenticeship programs that include not only academic study but workplace experience.
The practical work would be provided by the repair and renovation of sub-standard Reserve Housing.
How you benefit
The result would be two benefits: a broadening of the skills of the Gitxsan Community and the upgrading of a significant number of houses on Reserves, something nearly everybody admits needs doing. We would hope that we would develop all the skills to properly repair and renovate all the housing in the community over time, as well as prepare our people to take advantage of non-residential building opportunities that arise.
A first priority would be a technical examination of all housing on Reserves to establish a list of those houses most in need of repairs, and identify occupant families prepared to relocate while the work is being done. Beyond that, to avoid charges of favoritism, the houses to be renovated would be chosen by lot.
Gitxsan Hereditary Chiefs
The Gitxsan Hereditary Chiefs are exploring non-traditional sources of funding that would not affect the ordinary funding of the Bands. We are trying to find funding in the several millions of dollars to establish a multi-year program for up to 100 participants. However, the size of the program depends on how much money can be raised, and training money in part depends on our establishing an ability to work together for common desirable objectives.
Thus, obviously the cooperation of the Band Councils would be required.
We have written to each Band Council seeking their support for this program.
*While we have written to each Band Council, we suggest that, in the coming election for Gitanmaax Band Council, candidates be asked if they would support such a program.