Final Group of Indigenous Learners Graduate from Northern College Mining Program

Northern College News and Events

Friday, February 24, 2017

TIMMINS, ON: Northern College held a graduation ceremony for the final of four groups of Indigenous learners who graduated from the Underground Hard Rock Miner Common Core program this morning at the Timmins Campus. Five students completed the latest intake of the 14-week training program, offered in partnership with Wahgoshig First Nation and Primero Mining Corp.

This modular training program tailored to Indigenous learners was delivered onsite at Primero’s Black Fox Complex, located just outside of Matheson, with curriculum and instructors provided by Northern College.

Successful graduates are prepared with the knowledge and skills required to work effectively and safely in the mining industry. Topics covered in the program included staging, rock bolting, scaling, lock and tagging, blasting, mucking, and drilling.

With support from Ontario’s Aboriginal Economic Development Fund, the Underground Hard Rock Miner Common Core program was delivered four times and has seen 24 students successfully graduate from the program.

“We are extremely proud to have been a part of this innovative training opportunity in partnership with Primero Mine and Wahgoshig First Nation,” said Christine Heavens, Executive Director, Community, Business Development and Employment Services at Northern College. “Throughout each offering, the partners remained focused on student success through collaboration, support, experiential learning and respect of indigenous culture and traditions. The initiative garnered national coverage and, to date, 72% of the graduates have found employment in the mining industry.”

Representatives from Primero, Wahgoshig First Nation, Mattagami First Nation, and Northern College senior management team attended the ceremony.

For more information about the Underground Hard Rock Miner Common Core program, contact Northern Training Division by phone at 705-235-3211 ext. 2174 or by email at

Pictured (Left to right) – Back row: Andrea Naveau, Michael Gregoire, and Ian Shaganash – Front row: Gordon Matinet, and Steve Gelina

Pictured (Left to right) – Back row: Walter Naveau, Mattagami First Nation Chief, Andrea Naveau, graduate, Michael Gregoire, graduate, Ian Shaganash, graduate, Fred Gibbons, President and CEO of Northern College, Ken Cook, Underground Safety and Emergency Response Coordinator of Primero Mining – Front row: George Sackaney, Aboriginal Liaison Officer of Primero Mining for Wahgoshig First Nation, Gordon Matinet, graduate, Steve Gelinas, graduate, Christine Heavens, Executive Director of Community, Business Development and Employment Services of Northern College


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Mélanie Watson
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705.235.3211 x2276