The Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technology has received an investment from the federal government.

At an event at SIIT’s Aviation Learning Centre Thursday morning, Northern Affairs Minister Dan Vandal announced $7.6 million in funding for economic initiatives in the Saskatoon area, through the federal government’s PrairiesCan initiative.

$1.3 million of the investment is going towards SIIT training programs.

Vandal broke that investment down further saying $1 million of the $1.3 million investment will be used to bolster the SIIT’s aircraft maintenance engineering program.

“As providers of the only program of its kind in Saskatchewan we know that your graduates are in very high demand to fill well paid jobs,” said Vandal.

The Northern Affairs Minister then said the remaining $300,000 will be used for a mobile healthcare lab to deliver the Indigenous practical nursing program to rural and remote areas.

“This innovative mobile lab will make training more accessible to students because it can be closer to their home communities and jobs that are in their regions,” he said.

SIIT President Riel Bellegarde called the investment “important for us” and “very significant.”

“This investment is now going to allow us to not only deliver these programs in urban settings, but to take it rural and remote and actually begin to train people closer to their communities,” he said.

(PHOTO – SIIT President Riel Bellegarde presents Northern Affairs and PrairiesCan Minister Dan Vandal with a framed starblanket.  Photo by Joel Willick)

Bellegarde finished off his address by calling the investment from the federal government a “true example of economic reconciliation.”

The remaing over $5 million in funding will be used for 5 other economic initiations in Saskatoon including Superior Cabinets and Algarithm Ingredients.