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Westbank First Nation fair sheds light on career options

Taner Snodgrass (right) asks questions to Simone Ramsay at the second annual Westbank First Nation career fair. - Wade Paterson/Capital News
Taner Snodgrass (right) asks questions to Simone Ramsay at the second annual Westbank First Nation career fair.
— image credit: Wade Paterson/Capital News

Aboriginal students from School District 23 and School District 51 filled the Sensisyusten Gymnasium Thursday as they took part in Westbank First Nation's second annual career fair.

Jolene Esau, membership employment coordinator with WFN, said there were approximately 60 booths put on display by various businesses and organizations this year.

"It's similar to last year, but we do have a little bit more diversity with the vendors," said Esau.

According to Esau, last year's career fair was the first of its kind put on by WFN.

"We had never done one before. I'm the membership employment coordinator—it was a newly created position about three years ago—so I decided that we should start doing career fairs," said Esau.

"We have over 350 businesses on our land, so of course (we) reached out to them and other industries as well."

In order to get the students interacting with the representatives behind the booths, they were given lists of questions. Students were encouraged to ask the prospective employers questions in order to fill out their answer sheets. Prizes were given out to those who answered the most questions correctly.

According to Esau, that interaction helped students understand a bit more about what each business or organization was all about.

The career fair organizer added there was a broad range of industries represented at the event.

"We're showcasing our key departments at Westbank First Nation.

"We (also) have heavy equipment operators, to nurses, to employment centres…it's pretty spread out."

Esau said the purpose of Thursday's career fair was to allow students to understand what educational path they might need to take in order to land a job in a certain field.

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