The FPIC supported the Atikamekw authorities and their partners in setting up the first Atikamekw FabLab located in La Tuque. The Council of the Atikamekw Nation (CNA), the leaders of the Atikamekw communities as well as certain economic partners are not only in favour of the establishment of the Wawacte FabLab in La Tuque, but they have been waiting for this project for several years. A little-known fact, outside the perimeter of La Tuque, the demographics of the city include a strong contingent of Atikamekw migrants. More than 30% of the city has Indigenous origin, mainly Atikamekw.
The Wawacte FabLab will play an important role in the region. Not only young Atikamekw living in remote communities will have access to technologies, but it will also allow these young people to integrate different economic sectors in their region and in particular, into businesses requiring digital skills.
Wawacte FabLab offer a similar program then Onaki FabLab offered. The young people are able to benefit from a 5-month training (4 months of training and 1 month of internship) within the Wawacte FabLab. After completing the training, young people can find a job in the field or work at the Wawacte FabLab, go back to school or embark on entrepreneurship. Two cohorts of young people are trained per year at this Wawacte FabLab. Based on the Onaki FabLab training, but rooted in the Atikamekw culture, here is the training offered in La Tuque:
- digital training.
- Arduino Programming,
- 3d printing,
- laser cutting,
- vinyl cutting,
- digital milling machine,
- Digital embroiderer…
- Pre-employment training;
- Business Mentoring,
- generic skills,
- Preparation for employment (CV, cover letters, etc.).
- Identity Pride Enhancement Sessions:
- Reconnection to cultural identity (talking circles, discussion, film, meetings, visit of elders).
- Traditional Indigenous art workshops (making drums, canoes, traditional crafts, woodworking, etc.)
1 month internship
The workplace internship allows young Atikamekw to showcase the skills acquired, particularly digital skills in this era of a shortage of specialized labour. These internships are rooted in the needs of the community.