Question: What Programs are Available for Aboriginal Youth?
Answer: Since 1996, the First Nations and Inuit Youth Employment Strategy (YES) has helped to expand existing community initiatives for Aboriginal youth or to develop new initiatives where none existed before.
With the exception of the Youth Business Program, the First Nations and Inuit YES programs are highly decentralized and are administered by First Nation and Inuit communities. The flexibility of the programs allows for the development of activities based on specific needs and enables youth to have a sense of ownership and belonging to their communities.
DIAND’s YES initiative consists of five programs. To be eligible for these programs, you must be a First Nation youth living on reserve or an Inuit youth living in a recognized Inuit community. Other specific eligibility requirements are listed below.
First Nations and Inuit Summer Student Career Placement Program supports opportunities for career-related work experience and training to in-school First Nation and Inuit youth during the summer months.
The overall purpose is to assist students in preparing for their future entry into the labour market. The program provides for wage contributions to create jobs for Inuit and First Nation students at the secondary and post-secondary levels.
First Nations and Inuit Youth Work Experience Program funds proposals from First Nation and Inuit governments and organizations to provide supervised work experience for out-of-school unemployed youth.
Participants improve their job skills and future employment prospects while contributing to their communities. For a period of six to nine months, the program pays minimum wage plus benefits to eligible youth between the ages of 16 and 24 years.
First Nations and Inuit Youth Business Program focuses on out-of-school, unemployed First Nation and Inuit youth living on reserve or in recognized Inuit communities.
This program enables Aboriginal lending institutions to offer eligible youth aged 15 to 30 proactive business opportunity advice and counselling, mentoring and advisory support, and seed capital to explore or develop a business opportunity.
First Nations and Inuit Science and Technology Camp Program promotes science and technology as career choices.
Participants gain first-hand experience in various science and technology disciplines.
The program provides funds to First Nation and Inuit governments or organizations either to design and run a science camp or to provide sponsorship.
First Nations Schools Co-operative Education Program funds proposals to establish or expand co-operative education programs in First Nation schools on reserves.
The program creates school-based work/ study opportunities that provide meaningful work experience in a supportive environment.
To learn more about these programs, contact your First Nation council, hamlet office or regional DIAND office. Information is also available on their Web site at: https://www.inac.gc.ca/ps/ys/index_e.html.