Aboriginal Community Career Employment Services Society is designed to stimulate and support innovative labour market initiatives. Human resource development is an integral aspect of Aboriginal self-determination and capacity building.

Aboriginal peoples living off reserve in British Columbia face special issues and have special and unique needs. Over the past several years, the need for dedicated funding to the growing urban Aboriginal population became increasingly evident. In 1999, the federal government though Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) announced that it would be awarding labour market development funds to several urban regions in British Columbia under a five (5) year agreement – this included the Greater Vancouver Regional District (GVRD).

The GVRD is comprised of 21 member municipalities and one electoral area: Anmore, Belcarra, Bowen Island, Burnaby, Coquitlam, Delta, Electoral Area A, Langley City, Langley Township, Lions Bay, Maple Ridge, New Westminster, North Vancouver City, North Vancouver District, Pitt Meadows, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Richmond, Surrey, Vancouver, West Vancouver and White Rock.

Meetings held with many of the region’s urban organizations discussed how to best address the submission of a proposal to HRSDC for urban labour market development services that would suit the needs of all stakeholders. Representatives of the Urban Native Indian Education Society, the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre and the United Native Nations played equal roles in the pro-active development of the specialized service delivery agency (ACCESS formerly ACES).

The decision of the urban groups to work cooperatively underlines the common purpose of ensuring that the needs of the urban populations be managed by those organizations who are most familiar with and who best represent the Aboriginal peoples of the region. Partnership driven – in spirit and in practice – the Aboriginal Community Career Employment Services Society is now guided by a group of six Aboriginal service delivery organizations in the GVRD that oversee the implementation of the initiative and ensure that the principles, standards and values of the Agreement are adhered to.



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