Harper Government Connects First Nation Youth with Personalized Skills and Training

Jan 31, 2014, 10:29 ET from Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada

Seventy First Nations to participate in a program to help connect youth with skills training

SASKATOON, SK, Jan. 31, 2014 /CNW/ - The Government of Canada is investing in skills training for nearly 4,000 First Nations youth (ages 18 to 24) across Canada as part of the first set of proposals approved under the improved on-reserve Income Assistance Program.

The initiative will provide personalized supports to First Nations youth from 70 communities across the country as they secure the tools needed to find meaningful employment and reduce their reliance on income assistance. Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Minister Bernard Valcourt joined together with the Saskatoon Tribal Council, the Battlefords Tribal Council, Meadow Lake Tribal Council, Yorkton Tribal Council, Lac La Ronge Indian Band and the Saskatchewan Indian Training Assessment Group Incorporated in Saskatoon today to announce the participants in the program.

Activities will begin over the coming months across Canada, as First Nation communities and Tribal Councils lead the effort to ensure youth have every opportunity for jobs and prosperity.

Quick Facts

  • An integral component of the new Income Assistance Program is case management. Case-workers will work with individuals to identify barriers to employment and to develop a personalized plan to address those barriers.
  • This announcement represents the next steps in the implementation of the Economic Action Plan 2013 commitment to invest $241 million over four years to connect on-reserve First Nations youth between the ages of 18 and 24 to skills training and jobs.
  • This approach builds on the success of recent pilot projects and partnerships being undertaken across Canada, where the Government of Canada has been working with the provincial governments, First Nations and the private sector to link First Nations Income Assistance clients with training and jobs.
  • First Nations youth will have access to a range of services and programs aimed at increasing their job prospects and supporting them as they move into the workforce, including: basic life-skills training, skills training and career counseling.


"Our Government continues to take concrete steps to create the conditions for more prosperous, self-sufficient First Nation communities. Investing in jobs and skills training will lead to greater First Nation participation in the economy, healthier First Nation communities and a stronger Canada."

Bernard Valcourt
Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development

"As our communities have, in many ways, still been experiencing residual destruction of our social fabric, the business of enhanced service delivery will not be complete until our youth have the necessary job skills and life skills as a foundation for rebuilding the family unit. Together we will build a foundation for our communities. We will overcome and reclaim our families and communities."

Pat Thompson, Director of Operations
Yorkton Tribal Council

"Through our partnerships with industry, we see a vast number of employment and business prospects for our community members, today and in the future. This funding strengthens our ability to help prepare our members to take advantage of these exciting and long-term opportunities."

Eric Sylvestre, Tribal Chief
Meadow Lake Tribal Council

"We have seen a lot of progress with our First Nations members, through a number of initiatives and programs. By accessing this funding, we can continue this work to enhance the assistance and supports that we have available to our youth, ensuring they are able to become active participants in the provincial workforce."

Neil Sasakamoose, CEO
Battlefords Agency Tribal Chiefs 

"Lac La Ronge Indian Band looks forward to our young people achieving their full employment potential. The Enhanced Service Delivery program will fill a service gap in our communities so we can work closely with youth to prepare and enter local labour markets and build our economy."

Tammy Cook-Searson, Chief
Lac La Ronge Indian Band

"We have built a strong foundation of training and career development supports for our youth. Our goal as an ESD provider will be to further engage, train and support more of our members in their pursuit of long-term and meaningful employment."

Felix Thomas, Chief
Saskatoon Tribal Council

"We are pleased to be able to assist many more youth to obtain a job. This key investment from the Government of Canada will help grow the labour force as a result of expanded skills training and supports needed to successfully compete in today's labour market."

Darcy Bear, Chief
Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Saskatchewan Indian Training Assessment Group Inc.

"Encanto is delighted by the federal governments innovative reform of the on-reserve Income Assistance Program to help workers aged 18-24 acquire the skills and training that will allow them to fill many of these new employment opportunities. This new federal training program will be instrumental in helping First Nation members acquire the skills to begin long-term careers, and share in the prosperity."

Jim Walchuck
President and CEO of Encanto Potash Corp.

Related Products

Backgrounder - Improve On-Reserve Income Assistance Program
Backgrounder - Income Assistance: Perspectives on Active Measures

Associated Links

SOURCE Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada