Saturday, September 20, 2014
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Mi’kmaq working at Port Hawkesbury Paper celebrated

WAYCOBAH — The work of First Nations security officers at Port Hawkesbury Paper was celebrated by members of a community partnership this week.

“A few years ago, there were no Mi’kmaq working at the paper mill in Port Hawkesbury,” said Chief Rod Googoo of Waycobah First Nation, in a press release.

“This is an example of a great partnership with industry and a real success. This means good jobs for our people. We want to work with industry and we want to build upon this success.”

The mill visit followed a partnership between First Nations organizations and Port Hawkesbury Paper that led to jobs for Mi'kmaq people at the mill and the start of a new company.

The partnership involved Port Hawkesbury Paper, Waycobah, the Mi’kmaq Rights Office (KMKNO) and the Mi’kmaw Economic Benefits Office of Nova Scotia (MEBO).

It saw the paper company agree to hold its security contract as a Mi’kmaq set aside which led to several Mi’kmaq companies issuing a request for proposals.

Recognizing the opportunity, the community of Waycobah established a new security business, First Alliance Security.

They partnered with Maritect Security, and then approached Mi’kmaw Economic Benefits Office to help train 12 community members for security work.

As a result, they would win the security contract at Port Hawkesbury Paper. Today, there are four full-time security guards working at the mill and two part-time Mi’kmaq security officers.

This success with Port Hawkesbury Paper has led to further expansion of the Waycobah security company, which now has a total of 27 employees working across eastern Nova Scotia, including Port Hawkesbury Paper.

First Alliance Security has now partnered with two other First Nation communities, Pictou Landing and Paq'tnkek to have the benefits office and Maritect provide training for community members to work for First Alliance Security.

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