Cooks with Stones (CwS) celebrates the unique, traditional teachings of the Iyarhe Nakoda Eyithkabi, which means Mountain people of Nakoda (also known as Stoney Nakoda). The program builds literacy skills and supports meaningful job placements with any employer partner through traditional Stoney Skills and teachings and demonstrates how they relate to workplace success. CwS was created with the community as part of FESA’s Going the Distance Project to address the under representation of Indigenous populations in the labour force by supporting businesses in Tourism and Hospitality.
CwS builds the capacity of employer partners to recruit, mentor and retain Indigenous employees by building their cultural competencies, their understanding of mentorship, Indigenous culture in relation to the workplace, and of the role of literacy and essential skills (LES) in the workplace. The program is a collaborative effort to remove barriers to employment for Stoney youth and creates opportunities for employment in the Hospitality and Tourism sector in the Stoney region. Through CwS, participants not only improve their literacy and essential skills, but they also start with a foundation of Stoney culture, traditions, history, and learning from the land, and then are shown how their skills are transferrable to a non-Indigenous workplace.