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Feb 19 2021

New health care training program helps ease transition for Indigenous elders

Posted by TC Energy


For many elders and their families, transitioning to life in any type of senior living situation can be a new and uncertain process. Whether elders are moving to an assisted living at home or nursing home facility, it can be overwhelming, and chances are they will have questions about what to expect and how the entire process works.

Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation, in central Alberta, is hoping to make this transition easier for their elderly population by training younger community members to become certified Health Care Aide workers to provide care and support on and off the reserve.  

With this training program we want to build community capacity and provide security for our elders in the community and surrounding senior facilities where Alexis elders may be staying. Currently, there’s a lack of skilled workers from the community in this field and with the increased demand placed on communities by the aging population, these essential health care workers are really going to be needed to provide culturally sensitive services for members of our community.”

Bev Latter
Project Manager for Training and Development at Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation

As part of the program, the Nation will identify 18 community members to participate in a full-time 30-week program, with an additional eight weeks of practicum placement administered by Alberta Health Services. Upon completion of the program, the graduates will receive a post-secondary certificate as Health Care Aides.  Additionally, the Nation will support graduates in finding employment both on and off the reserve in this field.

“This is the first time we are offering this provincially recognized certificate program on our reserve,” says Bev. “It’s a great program because in addition to being trained as Health Care Aide practitioners, this program also has the potential to be a career stream for graduates into other medical fields such as nursing or Emergency Medical Technicians.”

TC Energy, through NGTL’s proposed Edson Mainline Project, is proud to support this training program by providing funding that will go towards materials and supplies such as Personal Protective Equipment for participants and instructors, books and computers as well as vaccinations.


“Having the support of companies like TC Energy is really important as those partnerships are a key component of our training and help with valuable items such as program costs and technology,” adds Bev. “With all the pipeline work happening in the area, I want the community to see the practical support and outcomes that TC Energy is providing to our community.” 

“We conduct ourselves as partners committed to forging collaborations that result in lasting, positive change for both TC Energy and the Indigenous groups,” says Matthew Watson, Canada Gas Project Manager. “We’re thrilled to partner alongside Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation and support the education and training of their community members to help develop the next generation of community leaders.”

The Health Care Aide program is expected to kick-off in March 2021 and be completed in mid-2022. We look forward to speaking to some of the participants next year about their experiences!

Learn more about the Edson Mainline Expansion Project.

Learn more about the NGTL System.