Six graduates from the program, Rory Stump, Chad Beaulieu, Krystie Jimmie and Keanu, Dalton and Beverly Starr, were on hand to celebrate their graduation, and receive their certificates. (Cassidy Dankochik Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)

Six graduates from the program, Rory Stump, Chad Beaulieu, Krystie Jimmie and Keanu, Dalton and Beverly Starr, were on hand to celebrate their graduation, and receive their certificates. (Cassidy Dankochik Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)

?Esdilagh First Nation celebrates heavy machinery grads

Students were on hand just south of Quesnel to mark graduation

The sounds of machinery cutting, stripping and processing trees has been echoing throughout Carlos Kelly’s property for the past month, and on June 4, the owner of the property and the workers who helped clear the land gathered to celebrate

Carlos Kelly, the owner of the Carlos Place fish and chips restaurant, gave his property over to the ?Esdilagh First Nation to clear, and teach 15 students how to operate heavy machinery.

He provided a rib lunch to the graduates and their families.

?Esdilagh Chief Troy Baptiste was on hand to address the students.

READ MORE: Newly-elected ?Esdilagh First Nation chief eager to get to work

“You should be proud of this accomplishment, and know that your family and communities will be proud of you as well,” he said. “I know you will take this training and knowledge and contribute to your communities through the industrial workforce, and help push forward Indigenous economic development.”

Councillor Chad Stump said this was a great opportunity to give students hands-on training and experience.

“We thought it would be good to see members and Indigenous people training on machines we actually use for work,” he said. “We decided to use our logging equipment during breakup to train.”

It wasn’t just ?Esdilagh members who were able to take advantage of the training, as Indigenous people from around the region were able to access the course.

“It’s been a great success,” Stump said. “After this training, four of our students have already gone to work on the machines.”

WATCH: Correlieu students simulate driving heavy machinery

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: cassidy.dankochik@quesnelobserver.com


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