The Listuguj Mi’gmaq Development Centre (LMDC) has been a staple in the community for over 25 years. The Centre opened in 1996 and provides education, training, and development opportunities. The staff ensures that community members have the tools and resources they need to attend adult education or vocational schooling and to be job-ready to get into the workforce. The LMDC began operating out of various locations in Listuguj, and the facility located on Pacific Drive was built and opened to the public in 2004. The building consists of several classrooms along with a fully functioning garage used for training purposes.
Jennifer LaBilliois-Metallic has been employed with the LMDC since the very beginning. She has taken on a number of roles, but as of December 2022, she is now the Director of the Listuguj Mi’gmaq Development Centre.
LaBillois said, “We have been offering programming to the community based on needs, that was the whole premise of the LMDC right from the beginning. Develop planning, program design, and implementation.” The staff receives feedback from community members as to which programs could be helpful to have offered. This type of data is collected through needs assessment surveys, or just from community members contacting the LMDC to inquire about programs. Once the LMDC receives the feedback on desired programs, the staff will then reach out to institutions and try to bring the programs to the community.
Training is mostly at a vocational level at the LMDC. One vocational training institute that is housed at LMDC is Eastern Shores School Board. They have been in partnership since the early 90’s and have offered several programs and training over the years. These programs include Licensed Practical Nurse, Home Care Attendant, Secretarial/Accounting, and various trade programs (Carpentry, tiling, etc.)
Another program that is currently available at the LMDC is the Wildlife Protection Officer course held by Collège d’Alma. This course was requested by Listuguj Public Security and Natural Resources to have trained officers to support the management and monitoring of the environment in Listuguj’s traditional territory.
The Adult Mi’gmaq Immersion program is an LMDC initiative that began in 2016-2017. Initially, the LMDC rented classrooms at the Education Complex, and this year, the program has found a new home at the LMDC building.
Other programs and services that can be offered at the LMDC include youth employment programs (Step-by-Step), workshops on healthy living, financial fitness, life skills, and much more.
Over the years, many individuals have benefitted from the LMDC’s services. LaBillois is happy to see the progress and the Centre’s impact in Listuguj. When it comes to what she likes most about working at the LMDC, LaBillois said, “To see the successes of our community members over the past 27 years.”
The LMDC has helped many individuals gain the training, skills, and confidence they need to enter the workforce for the first time or help determine what career path they would like to take. The staff is knowledgeable and eager to assist when it comes to resumes, applying for jobs, career counseling/research, and applying for funding.
If you would like any information on available or upcoming workshops and programs at the Listuguj Mi’gmaq Development Centre, feel free to stop in at 2 Pacific Drive in Listuguj, or contact 418-788-1347.
By Ann Marie Jacques and LMDC