Trades Winds to Success advances Indigenous training in construction trades, building energy efficient homes



Our Tour of Trade Winds to Success

Alberta Ecotrust staff member had the opportunity to tour the Trade Winds to Success training facility in Edmonton. 

Trade Winds to Success is a not-for-profit organization providing opportunities for Indigenous people to enter the construction trades while addressing important issues like energy efficiency and Indigenous housing needs. Since 2005, their programs have helped over 3,000 Indigenous people complete pre-apprenticeship training and start trade careers.

Like any post-secondary, the warehouse-style training facility is a place of hands-on learning, but what’s unique is the focus on Indigenous mentorship and culture. 

It was inspiring to see that students recently built two energy-efficient small homes right inside the facility. The homes were moved to Whitefish Lake First Nations, with another two being built for the Bigstone First Nation. 

Instructors teach high-performance building principles in an accessible way. Students can then enter the workforce understanding energy efficiency and smart design.

This program is one example of how multiple problems can be solved at once - housing affordability, energy efficiency, and Indigenous skill-building. Alberta Ecotrust looks forward to continuing to build the relationship with Trade Winds to Success, and to work together with other organizations in the building and construction sector, as it develops the Emissions-Neutral Buildings Information Exchange.

Alberta Ecotrust’s Emissions-Neutral Buildings Information Exchange

Alberta Ecotrust is launching the Emissions Neutral Buildings Information Exchange (ENBIX) in the coming months. Based on the successful model of other Building Exchanges such as ZEBx in British Columbia and BE-EX in New York, ENBIX is an industry-led, Alberta-based collaborative initiative focused on accelerating the movement toward an emissions-neutral built environment for new and existing buildings.

ENBIX will bring industry partners together to share knowledge, build capacity, and incubate the free and rapid sharing of innovative ideas, solutions, best practices, and lessons learned.

ENBIX will work with organizations like Trade Winds to Success to share knowledge, showcase achievements and collaborate on projects.

For more information about how your organization can get involved with ENBIX, visit 

More on Trade Winds to Success

Trade Winds assists Indigenous people in overcoming common barriers to entering the trades by providing support in areas such as:

  • Academic math and science review to prepare students to pass the Alberta Apprentice and Industry Trade Entrance exam

  • Workshops on financial management

  • Understanding employer expectations

  • Resume writing and interview skills

Students who demonstrate good attendance and work ethic move on to gain hands-on trades experience. At the Trade Winds’ Residential Construction Program in Edmonton, students gain carpentry skills and electrical experience by building small eco-smart homes destined for Indigenous communities.

This post was brought to you by the ENBIX - the Emissions Neutral Buildings Information Exchange - an initiative of Alberta Ecotrust.