Canada’s Ocean Supercluster Announces Indigenous Career Pivot Project

by ahnationtalk on September 21, 2020273 Views

Alongside members of its Indigenous Working Group and Indigenous community partners, Canada’s Ocean Supercluster announced its newest project called the Indigenous Career Pivot Project. This is a first-of-its-kind ocean innovation ecosystem project in Canada that is now fully developed and ready to deploy. The project represents a total investment of more than $740,000 of which $550,000 is funded by the Ocean Supercluster.

Led by Ulnooweg Development Group with their project partners, the Joint Economic Development Initiative and the College of the North Atlantic, the project will facilitate and support meaningful work placements for Indigenous peoples wishing to explore career options in the ocean economy. During their 12-month placements, participants will gain valuable experience in ocean and enhance their knowledge through placements that complement their existing skillset and natural aptitudes. Approximately ten Indigenous people will have the opportunity to work in Ocean Supercluster member organizations as a part of a pilot program.

Learning and support opportunities for both participants and employers have been imbedded into the project and they include: career mentoring support provided by Canada’s Ocean Supercluster and employers; the development of a Peer Support Network for Indigenous participants; and intercultural competency training provided to employers.

Canada’s Ocean Supercluster recognizes the value of traditional knowledge and has engaged Indigenous stakeholders in the development of its five-year strategy, works closely with its Indigenous Engagement Working Group, and employs a full-time Indigenous Engagement Lead. Although Indigenous people have a connection to the ocean, there is often a disconnect between ocean resources and ocean-related careers. Today’s announcement is the realization of one of the key priorities set out by the Indigenous Engagement Working Group aimed to help address that disparity.


“The Ocean Supercluster is deepening our understanding of the great marine resources that Canada has within its territorial waters. This new project will provide work placements for Indigenous Peoples, recognizing their traditional knowledge and offering ocean-related career choices.”

  • The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

“Together with our members, Canada’s Ocean Supercluster is developing new partnerships, launching new projects, building capabilities and opportunities for growth, and we are supporting an innovative ocean economy that is sustainable and inclusive. This has been a true collaboration between the Ocean Supercluster, our Indigenous Engagement Working group, and members of the Indigenous community – and we look forward to continued collaboration as we work towards future projects and initiatives.”

  • Kendra MacDonald, CEO, Canada’s Ocean Supercluster

“Ulnooweg is enthusiastic about the long-term outcomes of pairing Indigenous professionals with training and career opportunities in the ocean economy. Indigenous people have a strong history of innovation and resourcefulness which has helped to advance modern industry. This synergetic collaboration furthers Indigenous participation and engagement as the Ocean Supercluster continues to evolve.” ​

  • Chris Googoo, COO, Ulnooweg Development Group

“This is a great opportunity for Indigenous workers to have access to a very unique potential career path in Supercluster Member companies.”

  • John Paul, Executive Director, Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nation Chiefs Secretariat

“The Joint Economic Development Initiative (JEDI) is a leading Indigenous organization dedicated to working with partners to foster Indigenous economic and workforce development in New Brunswick. In collaboration with Canada’s Ocean Supercluster, JEDI is committed to advancing the Indigenous workforce in the ocean economy.”

– Alex Dedam, JEDI President


Media Contact

Nancy Andrews
Canada’s Ocean Supercluster


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