An agreement was signed Monday between the Musqueam and an airport-based company to train and employ members of the First Nations band in airport operations.
A memorandum of understanding was signed between ABCoast and the Musqueam band to create three programs to train band members, which could later lead to jobs at the airport.
Program participants have already been identified and the training modules are being developed. The agreement is for 12 months, during which it will be monitored, and then possibly renewed after a year.
ABCoast provides baggage services for Vancouver International Airport (YVR), including system operations, passenger carts and curbside assistance.
Prior to the pandemic, there were 91 members of the Musqueam band working at the airport.
“Musqueam is proud of our relationship with YVR, and of the work our employment and training department has put in over the past few years to increase the number of Musqueam members working at the airport,” said Musqueam Chief Wayne Sparrow in a press release. “Through this MOU and partnership with ABCoast, we are deepening this relationship and setting an example of how companies can work with First Nations to create new and exciting opportunities for career exploration.”
“In the signing of this memorandum, we mark the start of a new partnership borne of cultural learnings, which we’ll take with us as we continue on the path to truth and reconciliation," said Steve Hall, president of ABCoast Aviation Services.
In 2017, a 30-year agreement, called the Musqueam Indian Band-YVR Airport Sustainability & Friendship Agreement, was signed to “achieve a sustainable and mutually beneficial future,” according to a press release. This includes scholarships, new training, jobs, revenue sharing and protection of archeological resources.