The Yellowhead Tribal Council was formed in 1977 to work collectively on political issues to facilitate the delivery of programs and services as required to fulfill each community’s needs in a fair, equitable, and responsible manner. It has grown to employ more than 50 full-time staff members within the following program and advisory service areas: administration, finance, technical services, education, health, corrections, ASETS, and environment.
Our accomplishments are significant, many, and varied. The college has grown in its thirty years of continuous operations from a small upgrading program into an independent institution offering a range of certificate and diploma programs designed to meet the labour needs of our communities, and to prepare students for a wide variety of careers and/or further post-secondary study. Despite our small size, we have consistently managed to secure financial support from the province and from the federal government. Our Post-Secondary Partnerships Program proposals have been successful even beyond our expectations, which is particularly meaningful as the PSPP is open to all post-secondary institutions, not just First Nations colleges. This success has been matched by the success of our programs and our graduates.
Our positive relationship with all levels of government is apparent across all units within the Yellowhead Tribal Council’s administration. Our history in the area of the environment is particularly strong. Together with Tribal Chiefs Ventures, we had the longest-standing MOU agreement with Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development (signed in 2008) to work together on joint areas of concern with regard to environmental issues including water, air, land, and biodiversity. Among the many things accomplished under this MOU were jointly organized workshops, work plans, and meetings where we established good working relationships with representatives from the Government of Alberta. This is supported by our ongoing environmental activity: in the spring of 2015 we also established a working group of Land Managers/Consultation Coordinators within the four YTC member nations to discuss areas of joint concern. We accumulate and curate information on the environment to share with the YTC member nations, including information on jurisprudence affecting environmental matters. We present this information to Chiefs and Councils in Area Council meetings, in the YTC Symposium, and in the Chiefs and Council orientations.
ASETS has also worked to maximize its effectiveness through relationships with a wide variety of agencies and organizations, becoming a Service Canada agreement holder in 2005 and creating formal partnerships with Tribal Chiefs Employment and Training Services Association, Oteenow Employment and Training Society, Alberta Indigenous Relations, and six independent First Nations, among others. This has allowed us to take a prominent role in events such as the 2015 Treaty 6 Employment Partnerships and Job Fair, which we co-hosted.