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Resources for career professionals working with Indigenous youth

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Indigenous populations are the fastest growing in Canada, and First Nations, Métis and Inuit youth contribute significantly to the labour market. However, gaps in labour market outcomes with non-Indigenous youth remain, with Indigenous youth facing higher levels of unemployment.

Career professionals and educators can support Indigenous youth on their educational and employment journeys by connecting them to the many resources available across the country, including the organizations and programs detailed below.

There are numerous organizations and resources geared toward the career and educational success of Indigenous youth, and they are not all reflected here. If you feel there is something missing from this article, please email lindsay@ceric.ca. This article was last updated in June 2022.

Aboriginal Essential Skills Guiding Team (AESGT)

The guiding team for AESGT is a group of individuals who work within a network of Aboriginal organizations that share information and work jointly to support a broader understanding of Essential Skills (ES) and its potential to raise Aboriginal Peoples’ skill levels.

First Nations Child & Family Caring Society

The Caring Society works to ensure the safety and well-being of First Nations youth and their families through education initiatives, public policy campaigns and providing quality resources to support communities. Its Knowledge Portal offers a multitude of resources in a searchable database, including literature reviews, reports, guides, films, booklets, studies, journal articles and presentations.

First Nations, Inuit and Métis Essential Skills Inventory Project (FIMESIP)

FIMESIP aims to build a knowledge-sharing platform for individuals and organizations across Canada working in literacy and essential skills (LES) for Indigenous people. The website has a section on case studies of training, skills and employment programs.

First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Initiatives – Skills Ontario

Skills Ontario’s First Nations, Métis and Inuit (FNMI) Initiatives aim to increase the awareness of FNMI youth in the rewarding career opportunities that exist in the skilled trades and technologies.


Indspire is a national Indigenous registered charity that invests in the education of Indigenous people for the long-term benefit of these individuals, their families and communities, and Canada. It hosts events, offers bursaries and scholarships, and a program that supports students who want to become teachers, among other initiatives.


Kocihta is working to resolve the Indigenous education and employment gap. It aims to help Indigenous youth, including youth with disabilities/special needs, reach their human resource and career potential.

Laidlaw Foundation – Indigenous Youth & Community Futures Fund (IYCFF)

Through the IYCFF, the Laidlaw Foundation invests in opportunities for Indigenous youth to connect with their land, languages and cultures, and strengthen and deepen their relationships within and across Indigenous communities. The Laidlaw Foundation’s Indigenous Strategy includes investing in young people and youth-driven groups.

Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre (MFNERC)

MFNERC provides education, administration, technology, language and culture services to First Nations schools in Manitoba.

Native Youth Learning Centre – Urban Native Youth Association

The Native Youth Learning Centre (NYLC) is a computer-based learning centre, supporting the personal, educational and career development of Indigenous youth ages 15 to 30.

NPAAMB Indigenous Youth Employment & Training

NPAAMB provides skills development and training opportunities for urban Indigenous youth in Southern Ontario. It offers a variety of programs including Building Futures for Indigenous Youth, combining classroom instruction and on-the-job skills development training; the Apprenticeship Opportunity Fund, which provides support services for successful apprenticeship completion; and an Employer and Partnerships Program.

Ontario Native Education Counselling Association (ONECA)

ONECA is an organization composed of First Nation Education Counsellors. It offers scholarships, student awards and resources for teachers, holds an essay contest and hosts an annual conference.

The Martin Family Initiative

The Martin Family Initiative is committed to improving elementary and secondary school education outcomes for First Nations, Métis Nation and Inuit students in Canada by working in full partnership with the Indigenous people of Canada, pertinent governments and the private sector. It offers resources and programming, such as its Aboriginal Youth Entrepreneurship Program.

4Rs Youth Movement

The 4Rs Youth Movement is a youth-driven initiative that was launched to change relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous young people. 4Rs is about engaging young people in critical cross-cultural dialogue that furthers reconciliation. It is supported by 14 founding partners including The Counselling Foundation of Canada.

Actua – National Indigenous Youth in STEM Program (InSTEM)

Actua works to prepare youth to be innovators and leaders by engaging them in exciting and accessible STEM experiences that build critical skills and confidence. InSTEM is a customized, community-based approach to engaging First Nations, Métis and Inuit youth in locally and culturally relevant STEM education programs, including in-school workshops and land camp programs.

Building Environmental Aboriginal Human Resources (BEAHR)  – ECO Canada

BEAHR Indigenous training and employment programs help First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities across Canada develop local environmental skills and foster green careers. These flexible courses provide introductory training to students who want to work in the environmental sector in Canada.

First Nations and Inuit Skills Link Program – Government of Canada

The First Nations and Inuit Skills Link Program supports activities that assist youth in acquiring the essential skills that will help them gain employment, function well in the workplace, and learn about job and career options. Activities may include career promotion, science and technology activities, co-operative education placements, and internships and mentored work placements.

Indigenous Youth Internship Program – Government of British Columbia

Every year, this program provides a 12-month paid internship for up to 25 young Indigenous British Columbians, ages 19 to 29. It provides professional experience, leadership development, cultural support, and a professional, cultural and social network through the intern cohort.

NPower Canada – Indigenous Tech Career Pathways

This 15-week program provides First Nations, Métis and Inuit jobseekers with enhanced wraparound services and Elder-led counselling to support their successful completion of the NPower Canada program and their transition into meaningful employment in the tech industry.

Outland Youth Employment Program (OYEP)

OYEP is a national network of land-based education, training and work opportunities for high school aged Indigenous youth, which includes a six-week work experience providing training and education in a supportive space. OYEP collaborates with local Indigenous communities and consults with Elders.

Programs and funding for Indigenous people – Government of Ontario

Learn about Indigenous health and wellness strategies, youth work exchange and internship programs, education strategies, housing and legal help.

Water First – Drinking Water Internship Program

This program supports young Indigenous interns to become certified water treatment plant operators. It includes over 2,000 hours of training and experience in the classroom

Guides and resource listings
Career Resources for Indigenous Students – University of Manitoba

Information on job banks, programs, entrepreneurship, education, training, mentorship and more.

BC’s Career Guide for Indigenous People (Work BC)

Tools and activities to help students and jobseekers explore and plan their career options.

Tools & Resources for Indigenous Peoples – Government of Alberta

Information for Indigenous people planning their education, including videos, training opportunities, career-planning resources and more.


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Lindsay Purchase Administrator
Lindsay Purchase is the Editor of CERIC’s CareerWise website and CareerWise Weekly newsletter. She has a background in journalism, having worked previously as a digital editor and reporter. Lindsay is a graduate of Wilfrid Laurier University’s Global Studies program and Toronto Metropolitan University’s Food Security certificate program.
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Lindsay Purchase Administrator
Lindsay Purchase is the Editor of CERIC’s CareerWise website and CareerWise Weekly newsletter. She has a background in journalism, having worked previously as a digital editor and reporter. Lindsay is a graduate of Wilfrid Laurier University’s Global Studies program and Toronto Metropolitan University’s Food Security certificate program.
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