Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - November 1, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta
30 THE LtTHBRIDGE HERAID Wednesday, November 1, 1972----------------------------------------------------------- Manitoba air base converted into native training centre New approach in integrating Indian people RIVERS, Man. (CP) A new approach lo the problem of Integrating Indian people Into modern urban society is being forged at an abandoned air base in Ihis western Mani- toba town. The base, the economic mainstay of the town of for 30 years, was closed last fall and the site, complete with buildings and recreational facilities, w a s converted into a native train- ing centre. At the centre, known as do- Za-We-Kwun-Yellow Quill- the social and economic Ijun- dations are being laid for what is hoped will become a bustling, predominantly na- tive community of General manager of the centre is Frank Price, a con- sultant on resource develop- ment. His firm wrote the orig- inal consultant's report on the Oo-Za-We-Kwun concept and he later signed a five-year contract to implement it. Mr. Price said millions have been misspent on native people in (ho past through "too many short-term solu- tions to long-terra problems." Governments have suc- ceeded in convincing Indians to move to urban centres but the result has been just to transfer them from "rural isolation to urban isolation." "We forget about the adjust- ment of the family." The centre aims to correct this by attracting industries where Indians and Metis workers can find jobs- In ad- dition to on-the-job training, social programs are to be of- fered to give families an op- portunity to develop the skills necessary to live in an urban society. Already, about CO families live at the centre. They are either employees of the centre or students from a native edu- cation program at Brandon University. Mr. Price, after getting the centre functioning efficiently anrt hiring staff, now is con- centrating on filling the re- quirement for jobs. Although industries which decide to settle at the centre must accept a staff consisting of at least 25 per cent native trainees, Mr. Price said he is ncgolinting with more compa- nies than the centre can ac- commodate in its existing buildings. He expects by the end of the year to have attractcl firms supplying 240 jobs, about half of them for native workers. In lus consultant's report, Mr. Price made it clear that an over-all objective is to en- sure that Indians adapt to urban life on their own terms. The report talks of the need for the trainee lo set his own goals and assess his own progress. "He Ihus becomes very much an active rather than a passive learner." SEES I1IG GROWTH Art Carriere, firector of the cenlre's social program, said: "It's important for people to have an OK feeling about themselves." The social program deal will] the individual and the family and their respec- tive roles in the community and at work- Individual, group and family counselling is to be available and day-care centres will enable women to take part in activities of their choice. Mr. Carriere said he ex- pects residents will stay at the centre about two years, acquiring the skills necessary to move to other urban areas, but they may remain for longer or shorter periods. Oo-Za-We-Kwun, run as a non-profit corporation by the Indian affairs department and Ihe Manitoba Indian hood, is following a three-year development program. Mr. Price predicted a population of about within a year, rising to in two years and Icvelu'ng off at about after the third year. ON SALE: NOV. 1st W NOV. 7th-WHILE QUANJimS LAST! ANTVHOSEDuponl Nylon 3 hi 0AM BATH MAT MAC COTTON TEA 4 ffttc TOWELS For OO Best Buy LIGHT BULBS 4 lull! OQ'I TABLE 40-60-100 Wall Fir OO I CtOTH Appro. TRUISISTOIIATTE- pO party.