Helmets to Hardhats and Aboriginal Veterans Autochtones sign Memorandum of Understanding to increase pathways into skilled trades for Indigenous Veterans 


OTTAWA, Traditional Unceded Anishinabe Algonquin territory, June 30, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Throughout the month of June, Canada recognizes and celebrates the history, heritage, resilience and diversity of First Nations, Inuit and Métis people across Canada. It is a chance for us to reflect on the past and work towards a brighter future based on reconciliation. This work includes ensuring Indigenous Veterans are employed at the same rate as the rest of the country. 

In honour of Indigenous History Month, Executive Director of Helmets to Hardhats (H2H), James Hogarth, and President of Aboriginal Veterans Autochtones (AVA), Robert Thibeau, announce a bilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the next steps to help ensure that Indigenous Veterans across Canada are aware of the opportunities available to them in the skilled trades through Helmets to Hardhats. This partnership was formalized under the previous Helmets to Hardhats leadership, Joe Maloney. 

Helmets to Hardhats is a national non-profit organization that supports the Canadian military community in finding meaningful careers in the skilled trades. AVA is a nationally incorporated organization that represents the interests of Canadian Aboriginal Veterans and serves members of Aboriginal descent. H2H and AVA are committed to creating awareness campaigns and promoting our services, including a streamlined process into the unionized construction industry, educational upgrading and training opportunities for all Ontario-based Veterans.


Together, we will ensure that all Indigenous Veterans, Reservists, Cadets, Rangers, and their families, including those in rural and remote areas, know the benefits and career opportunities available to them in the skilled trades. With the help of AVA, H2H will ensure that our outreach resonates and spurs participation with Indigenous military communities, diversifying the workforce and providing rewarding career opportunities. 

Providing employment opportunities is one way to aid Veterans’ successful transition into civilian life. By providing financial stability and reducing the pressure of finding well-paying, meaningful employment, Veterans can quickly become autonomous in meeting their hierarchy of needs. 

Helmets to Hardhats look forward to referring Indigenous military members to apprenticeship and career opportunities with Canada’s Building Trades.


“Supporting Indigenous military members transition to careers in the skilled trades is critical to advancing reconciliation and diversifying Canada’s workforce. By fulfilling this memorandum of understanding, we are committing to a shared vision of providing rewarding careers, increasing employment rates, and filling skills shortages across Canada by promoting pathways into Canada’s Building Trade Unions.”

Executive Director of Helmets to Hardhats Canada, James Hogarth

“As part of our mission to support First Nations, Inuit and Métis Veterans and their families, we look forward to working closely with H2H to help our Veterans find meaningful second careers with organizations that employ skilled trades people.  This should prove relatively seamless for Veterans who are already trained in Red Seals trades, while also opening up opportunities for other roles in these organizations as military service develops many transferable skills.”

President of Aboriginal Veterans Autochtones (AVA), Robert Thibeau

Contact information:

Aidan Strickland, Director of Communications
Helmets to Hardhats Canada
[email protected]

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