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Engaging Aboriginal Youth in Natural Resource Management — a Compendium of Programs and Initiatives in Canada Compiled by Reginald Parsons1 and Ann Marie Brake2 Developed for: Canadian Model Forest Network — Aboriginal Strategic Initiative

May 2006

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Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service - Atlantic Forestry Centre, PO Box 960, Corner Brook, NL A2H 6J3, Telephone: 709.637.4906 Box 3960, RR #2, Corner Brook, NL, A2H 6B9 Telephone: 709.783.3120

The Forest, My Home Falling leaves land on the ground the whistling wind is the only sound, I close my eyes and feel the breeze my senses heightened I can smell the trees. Fresh scents, back to a childhood dream where we would run wild, chasing sun beams so new, so open, so much to explore my forest, a playground and so much more. A home to the animals so great and so few a home to the medicines and soft morning dew A home to the nest and birds that take flight, a home to the dark, creatures of the night. Some would say it’s a garden to grow living things I’d say it’s a home, amongst other things a safe haven for creatures, wild animals to hide nature’s own protection, the forest to survive. Earth’s great foundation, nature’s way of giving to all of her creatures, all things living From the largest of beasts, to a flower so small the forest a home and protection of all. But without the forest, what happens then? When this is no more, this is the end We need to protect, take care and conserve they don’t have a voice but need to be heard. The beauty is held in the palm of our hands together, united we can take a stand We are the future, protect what is ours we have the right, we hold the power. Our children, our grandchildren, they need to see all the beauty in nature that was meant to be The time is now, it’s time to decide take care of our forests, for our future, our pride. Ann Marie Brake

Table of Contents Acknowledgments..........................................................................................................................................................iv Abstract ........................................................................................................................................................................v Introduction................................................................................................................................................................... 1 Aboriginal Youth Natural Resource Organisations ............................................................................................................ 3 Building Environmental Aboriginal Human Resources Canadian Aboriginal Science and Technology Society Post-secondary Education............................................................................................................................................... 5 First Nations Initiative, University of British Columbia - Faculty of Forestry, British Columbia Nicola Valley Institute of Technology Bridging Year, University of New Brunswick - Mi'kmaq Maliseet Institute, New Brunswick First Nations Centre, University of Northern British Columbia, British Columbia Aboriginal First Year Experience Program, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan Department of Science, First Nations University, Saskatchewan Maritime College of Forest Technology, New Brunswick Aboriginal Resource Technician Program, Sault College, Ontario Aboriginal Forestry Vocational Training Program, New Brunswick Community College, New Brunswick Junior Rangers Programs................................................................................................................................................ 7 First Nations Natural Resources Youth Employment Program, Confederation College, Ontario Manitoba Junior Ranger Program, Manitoba Alberta Aboriginal Junior Forest Rangers, Alberta Junior Forest Rangers Program, Nova Scotia Junior Forest Rangers Program, Saskatchewan Youth Employment Programs .......................................................................................................................................... 9 Federal Government Provincial and Territorial Government Aboriginal Employment Development Program, Saskatchewan Community Employment Industry Employment Manitoba Hydro Pre-placement Training Programs Science Camps ........................................................................................................................................................... 10 Aborginal Skills and Employment Partnership New Brunswick Inc. Actua Canadian Aboriginal Science and Engineering Assocation Summer Forestry Camp for First Nations Students, University of British Columbia, British Columbia Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, Alberta Experiential Learning.................................................................................................................................................... 12 Innu Environmental Guardians Program, Newfoundland and Labrador Conservation Ranger Program, Saskatchewan Ride Along Program, Saskatchewan Job Shadowing Program, Saskatchewan Trapper Training and Fire Ecology Program, Northwest Territories Nunavut Sivuniksavut Program, Nunavut Aboriginal Elder/Outreach Program, Saskatchewan

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First Nations Training to Employment Program, Alberta Forestry Training Sub-Committee, Saskatchewan Trades in Motion, Alberta Lessons Learned .......................................................................................................................................................... 15 Conclusion ................................................................................................................................................................. 17 Appendix A — Provincial and Territorial Government Employment websites ...................................................................... 19 Appendix B — Aboriginal Scholarships and Bursaries ..................................................................................................... 20 Appendix C — Relevant Reading .................................................................................................................................. 21

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Acknowledgments We thank the Canadian Model Forest Network — Aboriginal Strategic Initiative Steering Committee for their financial support and guidance in developing the compendium. We thank all those who have provided comments, insights, and information about their programs and initiatives; without their assistance, this document would not have come to be. We thank Caroline Simpson of the Canadian Forest Service—Atlantic Forestry Centre for her expertise in editing the document. We also thank Dr. Ted van Lunen for providing resources from the Canadian Forest Service—Atlantic Forestry Centre Corner Brook office for the project. We thank the Prince Albert Model Forest Partnership Inc. and the Western Newfoundland Model Forest Inc. for administering the project. Thank you one and all!

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Abstract This compendium presents various programs, projects, and initiatives across Canada that encourage Aboriginal youth to enter the natural resource sector. It serves as a starting point for those interested in learning more about how Aboriginal youth can be encouraged to consider a natural resources career. The description of each initiative highlights some of the lessons learned and the best practices that have been developed, and provides ideas for those interested in developing new initiatives. Similar initiatives have been grouped within categories, and are described briefly; contact information is also provided. Many of the program and initiative leaders we met noted that funding—both finding it and maintaining it—is one of the main challenges facing almost all the initiatives.


Introduction This document highlights some of the programs and initiatives across Canada that encourage Aboriginal youth to explore career opportunities in the natural resource sector. We look at such initiatives as: Building Environmental Aboriginal Human Resources (BEAHR), junior rangers programs, youth employment programs, science camps, the Canadian Science and Technology Society (CASTS), and experiential learning opportunities, and we take a critical look at post-secondary educational institutions. From there, we explore what lessons have been learned, and offer some conclusions. We also provide some additional information about employment websites, scholarships and bursaries, and relevant reading. There will be a significant shortage of skilled labor in Canada in coming years, particularly in the forestry [natural resources] sector (Smallwood 2005). At the same time, the Aboriginal population, which is younger than that of the non-Aboriginal population (Statistics Canada 2006), has a key role to play in alleviating these predicted workforce pressures. Many Aboriginal people live in forested and rural areas of Canada3 and have close ties to the land within their territory (Dubois et al. 2003). Meanwhile, the private sector is seeking ways to build up the workforce in remote and rural areas (Working Group on Aboriginal Participation in the Economy 2001). The combination of these factors means that a tremendous opportunity exists for Aboriginal youth to become involved in the natural resource sector across Canada. A potential added benefit of their involvement is the integration of Aboriginal worldviews of stewardship and land use into existing frameworks of industrial natural resource sciences and technology. Natural resources could provide youth with jobs in their own communities, where they can be the bridge between Aboriginal (Parsons and Prest 2003) and mainstream cultures. There is an existing and future need for Aboriginal professional foresters and technicians to provide Aboriginal communities with the capacity to manage the resource sustainably and appropriately for multiple uses (Brascoupé 1999, Nordin and Comeau 2003, Smith 2002). The National Aboriginal Forestry Association foresees a need for 500 Aboriginal Registered Professional Foresters by 2010 (Brascoupé 1999). As the current workforce ages, organizations are developing human resource strategies to fill the impending gaps; with the right combination of education and experience, Aboriginal youth could fill this gap. Currently, enrolment in forestry programs at post-secondary institutions in Canada and the United States is declining (Interim National Recruitment Strategy Steering Committee 2006), yet educational requirements in the sector are increasing (Nordin and Comeau 2003). At the same time, the need for forestry professionals, technicians, and other natural resource management professionals is increasing as the “baby boom” generation reaches retirement age and forestry-related responsibilities, accountabilities, challenges, and issues continue to expand. However, many Aboriginal youth do not meet the educational prerequisites, particularly in math and sciences, for entry into college or university, or live in remote areas with no access to educational institutions (Brascoupé 1999). In the past, much emphasis has been on academic learning and western educational systems. Aboriginal communities are starting to look at other models of how to educate their youth. Traditional educational institutions need to be encouraged to adapt to meet the needs of Aboriginal students. Kirkness and Barnhardt (1991) outline four areas where such adaptation is needed: educational institutions should be relevant to the students’ worldview, be respectful of the individual student, offer reciprocity of relationships with others, and be a place where students can take responsibility for their own lives. As well, more should be done to help Aboriginal youth who are seeking careers in forestry [natural resources], such as scholarships and strengthening academic support programs (Nordin and Comeau 2003). To take advantage of these opportunities in the natural resource sector, and to ensure its future prosperity, the Aboriginal workforce must be trained in both western science and traditional ecological knowledge. Aboriginal communities need to become more involved in the economic model of natural resource management; however there is a need for a balanced approach to natural resource management. An approach where economics, ecology, and culture combine to meet the needs and objectives of communities and individuals. As Aboriginal involvement increases, the current model of natural resources management will be redefined (Parsons and Prest 2003). 3

According to Kapsalis (2006) half of Aboriginal workers live in rural or small urban areas.


There are both challenges and opportunities related to Aboriginal youth training in natural resource management fields, and a wide array of initiatives are taking place in Canada with varying degrees of success. This project explores what industry, government, colleges and universities, non-governmental organizations, and communities are doing to encourage Aboriginal youth to enter the natural resource sectors and to support them. The compendium provides a snapshot of what currently exists and what has been tried in the past, so that others can use these models, or adapt them as necessary as a starting point for new initiatives. It is a first step toward developing a national strategy to engage Aboriginal youth in the natural resource sector, one that provides regional and community-based solutions, that will require a long-term commitment on the part of all involved. The next phase of the project will involve hearing from youth about how they think they should be engaged and how we can better interact with them. This will be followed by interaction with professionals and technicians within the field to hear what triggered their interest in the natural resource sector, and to develop a solid plan of action.


Aboriginal Youth Natural Resource Organizations Two organizations have been formed to tackle the task of increasing the number of Aboriginal youth in the natural resources sector: Building Environmental Aboriginal Human Resources (BEAHR) and the Canadian Aboriginal Science and Technology Society (CASTS). Building Environmental Aboriginal Human Resources is an organization that was developed to fill the gap in Aboriginal participation within the environment sector. It is a joint initiative between ECO Canada (formerly Canadian Council for Human Resources in the Environment Industry) and the Aboriginal Human Resources Development Council of Canada (AHRDCC). Its purpose is to promote Aboriginal people’s long-term employability in the environment sector. Over the next 15 years, BEAHR’s goal is to increase Aboriginal employment in the environment sector by 6000 positions. Some of BEAHR’s initiatives include: ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ

Aboriginal EnviroCareers BEAHR Speaker Program Aboriginal EnviroCareers Calendar Contest BEAHR Employer’s Guide BEAHR Internship Program Other Activities

Aboriginal EnviroCareers provides youth and educators with a way to explore their career preferences and opportunities within the environmental sector. There are on-line tools that allow youth to select a career using ecozone, interests, or environmental concerns as starting points to learn more about various careers suited to their preferences. Youth can also read testimonials from current practitioners within various environmental careers that highlight the barriers these practitioners faced during the development of their careers. The BEAHR Speaker Program’s goal is to encourage Aboriginal students to finish high school and to consider a career in the environment sector by pursuing post-secondary studies. Volunteers use a toolkit developed by BEAHR to speak to students in schools to provide inspiration and information about environmental careers. The speakers are Aboriginal persons who have been working in the environment sector for at least 5 years and have post-secondary education. The Aboriginal EnviroCareers Calendar Contest is a contest designed to raise youth awareness about environmental careers. Students submit artwork around the theme of an environmental career that is then compiled in a calendar. The BEAHR Employer’s Guide provides some tips on how to hire and retain Aboriginal workers in the environment sector. It was developed to support recruitment and retention of Aboriginal employees within a host organization. There are three sections for employers to review when thinking about hiring Aboriginal employees: before you hire, recruitment, and retention. The BEAHR Internship Program reduces an employer’s risk in hiring new employees. It gives employers time to determine if a new employee, freshly graduated from a post-secondary institution, has the right knowledge and skills to work in their organization. Wage subsidies of up to $8000 are offered to employers. These tools have been developed by BEAHR for employers, educators, and students. Their focus of increasing the number of Aboriginal environmental practitioners is one that many organizations in Canada are striving for. They provide a good model for program delivery and have some great tools available for everyone. BEAHR’s success in producing useful tools is mainly due to its dedicated staff who keep their agenda moving forward. More information about BEAHR is available at or by telephone at (403) 233-0748.


The Canadian Aboriginal Science and Technology Society (CASTS) is another organization working to increase the number of Aboriginal persons in natural resources professions. It assists Aboriginal students enter, remain, and excel in the sciences, while respecting traditional culture and knowledge. CASTS is supported by eight federal government departments through the Aboriginal Youth Initiative. Located in Tsuu T’inna, Alberta, CASTS’ goal is to increase Aboriginal participation in the science and technology industry. The society encourages participation in science and technology fields by: supporting teachers and education counselors in promoting science and technology; encouraging community support of S&T programs and activities; promoting the development of aboriginal science and technology curricula; developing mentoring programs; and promoting Aboriginal pathfinders. CASTS has developed an array of programs and initiatives to encourage students to pursue a career in the science and technology industry. It has developed a network of communications linking Aboriginal youth to information they need to acquire for a successful career in science and technology by providing: links to science and technology information websites; support to Aboriginal youth at Universities and post-secondary institutions; and access to mentors and to peers in the same area. Membership is increasing across Canada, and members are encouraged to work with each other to gain more knowledge and information about different areas around the country. CASTS has conducted several activities, including: national Aboriginal science conferences; production of a students guide to science and technology education and employment; regional networking workshops; summer camps; administration of science and technology scholarships; and publication of a quarterly newsletter. For more information about CASTS, contact Neil Jones at (613) 233-2701 or visit their website at


Post-secondary Education Many post-secondary educational institutions have programs specifically developed for Aboriginal students that incorporate Aboriginal values and ethics into the curriculum. Smith (2002) provides an overview of university forestry schools and Aboriginal issues in forestry curricula. The University of British Columbia Faculty of Forestry has a First Nations Initiative which is a recruitment effort designed to encourage First Nations youth to enroll in the university’s forestry programs. Students graduate from the forestry programs with the skills and knowledge they need to take advantage of the ever-increasing opportunities for Aboriginal communities in forestry and other natural resources. All students enrolled in the forestry programs benefit from this initiative as they gain knowledge, skills, and awareness about working with Aboriginal communities. The initiative is designed to recruit students and to retain them by providing support for students with their studies through the First Nations House of Learning. Aboriginal content has been added to courses offered through the faculty to ensure all students are aware of Aboriginal culture and rights. Some of the challenges are ensuring students have the math and science skills to complete course requirements in the faculty. One way this is addressed is through raising high school students’ awareness about math and science through a science camp. For more information about the First Nations Initiative at UBC contact Warren Fortier at (604) 822-0651. The Nicola Valley Institute of Technology has two programs tailored to Aboriginal youth in natural resources: a natural resource technician certificate, and a natural resource technology diploma. Both programs provide “training that reflects traditional native ethics of respect and care in the management and protection of forests, grassland, range, fish, wildlife and other wilderness resources.” They strive to strike a balance between western science and traditional ecological knowledge. One of the successful aspects of the institute is its ability to offer courses in a contiguous time block in communities where students reside. Elders are involved in classroom activities and bring traditional values to the classroom. One challenge is in meeting math and science requirements, and students may need upgrading before or during the program. The institute boasts a high completion rate, which is facilitated by allowing students to complete program requirements over several years; only a few students do not complete the programs. All students must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0 in order to receive their certificate or diploma. Employers provide students with a mentor who can provide the richest work experience based on the student’s needs and ability. For more information about these programs, contact Paul Willms at (250) 3783327. The University of New Brunswick has offered a Bridging Year for Aboriginal students since 1991, through the Mi’kmaqMaliseet Institute. The bridging year is for students who do not meet specific minimum requirements to enter University of New Brunswick degree programs. Students wishing to enter an undergraduate program in Arts, Business Administration, Computer Science, Engineering, Forestry and Environmental Management, Kinesiology, Nursing, or Science follow their own individual program to meet the entrance requirements. First Nation students are also offered a one-year bridging program for those who need grade 12 courses for admission; students take these courses along with university courses. Successful students will automatically be entered into their chosen degree with their credit courses. For more information, contact the Mi’kmaqMaliseet Institute at (506) 453-4840 or check out their website at The First Nations Centre at the University of Northern British Columbia is a place where new and returning students can study, learn, and exchange information in a culturally sensitive environment. Career counseling as well as personal counseling is available to students. The centre offers a Northern and First Nations Studies program, as well as access to a Native library and computer facilities. It holds regular cultural and traditional events, and offers a Peer Support Network that focuses on personal development, growth, and student retention. A weekend university program, “Cariboo Chilcotin Weekend University,” is also offered with classes twice monthly on Fridays and Saturdays. Courses being offered usually lead to certificates in First Nations Studies, Bachelor of Arts, General or Bachelor of Arts with a minor or major in First Nation Studies. This program has been successful, with more than 200 students having taken at least one weekend course. For more information about the First Nations Centre or its programs, contact Paul Michel at (250) 960-5517. The University of Saskatchewan offers an Aboriginal First Year Experience Program (AFYEP) that is based in the College of Arts and Science and is open to all Aboriginal students accepted into the University. AFYEP supports students in all undergraduate programs and encourages them to consider all academic options in this college and others. The program’s main purpose is to


“foster a sense of community among Aboriginal students on campus.� Elders are present to provide support and counseling to students when needed. For more information, contact AFYEP at (306) 966-1604 or visit their website at The Department of Science at the First Nations University in Saskatchewan offers students high-quality science programs that are guided by a team of Aboriginal Elders, faculty, students, and representatives from the community. With the goal of increasing the number of Aboriginal people in science and health careers, the department focuses on promoting research and teaching activities that will benefit Aboriginal communities. It offers contemporary science and pre-professional health-related university programs for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students and, where appropriate, traditional knowledge and content in science courses. They also offer support services and workshops as well individual mentoring from tutors and instructors for students struggling with math. For more information, visit their website at: At one time, the Maritime College of Forest Technology had a program specifically tailored to Aboriginal people interested in pursuing a forest technician program. Aboriginal students were offered academic upgrading courses at the outset to bring them to a level where they were capable of completing the intense program. However, the program was discontinued because the students who enrolled were not completing the requirements, and the graduation rate was very low. At the time of this initiative, students were expected to live on campus and classes were held 6 days a week, offering students little time to themselves. It is felt that the Aboriginal students who enrolled were uncomfortable living on campus and had other responsibilities off campus. As students did not have a solid foundation in science and math, their ability to continue in the program was limited. The Sault College in Ontario offered an Aboriginal Resource Technician Program through distance education, which was for a 3-year period totaling six semesters. It was a joint initiative of the Sault College, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Aboriginal communities and natural resource sector employers. Students could complete program requirements by distance in their own communities through a teleconferencing network. A large component of the program was practical field training, which was provided by program sponsors. Three days of instruction were provided via teleconference and two days a week offered practical experience provided through a sponsor. Varied experience was provided to students, exposing them to different aspects of the natural resource sector. The program was discontinued due to low enrollment and success rate. The New Brunswick Community College through their Natural Resources/Mechanical Department offer a 40-week Aboriginal Forestry Vocational Training Program delivered within a First Nations community in New Brunswick. The program provides training in forest management related to harvesting, from seedling to stump. One of the course includes a component that offers perspectives on Aboriginal values. However, the program faces several challenges, among them finding suitable candidates who meet the entrance requirements and have an aptitude for working in the sector. In some cases, students have not conformed to accepted standards within the college and have often arrived late and caused disruptions. Students who do complete the program are highly successful in obtaining employment in the forest sector. For more information about this program, visit their website at


Junior Rangers Programs There are several Junior Rangers Programs across Canada. In the recently released document Aboriginal Junior Ranger Programs in Canada: Best Practices and Implementation, author Bradley Henry4 of the Canadian Forest Service provides an overview of some of these programs. They all aim to increase youth awareness of the natural resource sector, and most often forestry in particular. Through hands-on experience, these programs expose youth to natural resources and allow them to see if the natural resources sector is an area in which they want to pursue a career or further education. Often, the programs provide participants with certifications needed to pursue basic job opportunities in natural resources. In these programs, youth are exposed to the industrial model of the sector, and also learn about the traditional ecological knowledge that can be applied to the sector. In addition to learning western science, Elders often teach youth about various aspects of the environment. This helps the youth to see the links between their culture and western culture, and teaches them the value of understanding both worldviews. Aboriginal youth practitioners often become the bridge between their communities and traditional values and the western approach to the environment. They can provide both sides with valuable insights into natural resource management. Below are some examples of junior rangers programs. The First Nations Natural Resources Youth Employment Program in Ontario takes place in Thunder Bay; it was started in 2003 and now resides with the Confederation College Forestry Centre. They have several sponsors: forest industry, federal and provincial governments, and a community college; however each year funding continues to be a challenge. Target youth are high school students. In their first year, they gain training (50%) and work experience (50%). The second year provides 40% training and 60% work experience, as participants have already acquired many of the skills needed to carrying out silvicultural treatments. If participants return for a third year, they can become crew leaders or are often offered summer employment with contractors or forest industry. The program costs $16 000 per student Youth gain an increased awareness of post-secondary opportunities, as well as a cross-cultural awareness within the forest industry. The forest industry sees the benefit this program brings in that they can access labor to accomplish some of the work that needs to be completed in their forest management areas; as well, they believe it provides youth with valuable training and work experience. Industry is able to build the workforce of tomorrow, and attain a better working relationship with First Nations communities. It is believed that barriers to employment and education are diminished for students who take part in this program. Youth see how they can contribute to the sustainability of the region and their communities while earning a good wage. Youth are expected to work for 6 to 9 weeks in July and August, Monday to Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., with a mid-season break in August. There is increased interest in youth becoming involved in the program, and administrators hope to broaden the scope of the training from strictly forestry to all natural resources. However, there is a need for long-term sustainable funding. For more information, contact Brian Kurikka at (807) 475-6643 or Dave Bradley at (807) 624-7200. The Manitoba Junior Ranger Program was started because of a new partnership that was formed between Tembec Industries Inc. and First Nations Limited Partnership, and was based on the needs of the partnership. The partnership was formed to develop a sawmill on the east side of Lake Winnipeg where there is a large First Nations population. The program received assistance from seven different sources and supported youth from 11 First Nations. The program was run out of the Trapper Education Center located on Wallace Lake in Manitoba and ran for 8 weeks, from the first week of July to the last week of August. The program included many different opportunities for hands-on experience in the following areas: communication and conflict resolution, leadership and career counseling, drug and alcohol awareness, sustainable forest management practices, all terrain vehicle safety (certificate), first aid and CPR (certificate), provincial forest fire fighting system (certificate), boater safety (certificate), and land-use planning and traditional ecological knowledge. The program has been faced with several challenges; currently, it is on hold until such time as funding can be secured. Even with this challenge, there have been expressions of interest from other areas of Manitoba to start a similar program. There 4

For a copy of the report Aboriginal Junior Ranger Programs in Canada: Best Practices and Implementation contact Bradley Henry at (613) 947-9045.


have been several lessons learned from this experience: funding is a challenge and there is a need for a core funder; communities need to be on side with the program; the program must be interesting for youth and should take place during the summer season; the camp location should be optimized to provide greatest impact on the youth; a good group of trained supervisors is necessary to run the camp; the goals and objectives of the program must be clearly communicated; an effective steering committee must be in place; and perhaps most importantly, recognition must be given for a job well done. For more information about the Manitoba Junior Ranger Program, contact Bob Yatkowsky at (204) 367-5225. The Alberta Aboriginal Junior Forest Rangers program is designed to expose participants to principles in forest management, forest protection operations, and options for careers in the environmental sector. The program has developed partnerships with First Nation and MÊtis communities. Some of the challenges faced by the program are: overcoming the perception of the program being just about wildfire firefighting; overcoming the logistics of starting up a program in a new community; and communication within communities and obtaining community project input. The host community provides guidance for program participants in traditional Aboriginal survival skills, techniques for harvesting traditional medicines, and health and wellness awareness. Each community adapts the program to meet its own specific needs or interests. The program provides an opportunity for participants to learn about natural resource management; develop an appreciation for natural resources; be meaningfully employed in the natural resource sector; develop leadership and interpersonal skills; learn about the important role of elders; increase their awareness of traditional ceremonies; and learn about traditional Aboriginal survival skills. Upon completion of the program, the participants will have received training in bear awareness, helicopter safety, chainsaw operation, the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS), first aid, GPS operation, and much more. For more information, contact James Atkinson at (780) 422-4473. The Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq in Nova Scotia is in the beginning stages of starting a Junior Forest Rangers Program for First Nations in Nova Scotia in 2006. A coordinator has been hired who is responsible for making the junior rangers program a reality. The First Nations Forestry Program, a joint initiative of Natural Resources Canada and Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, is providing financial support for this initiative. To date, organizers have spent time researching existing programs to ensure that they learn from the challenges the other programs have faced and adapt accordingly. Currently, they have reached the implementation stage of starting their own program. For more information, contact Bryan Brooks or Alton Hudson at (902) 895-6385. The Sturgeon Lake First Nation in Northern Saskatchewan began a Junior Forest Rangers Program in 2006. The program is intended to encourage youth to finish high school and consider a career in the forest industry. Through the 6-week program, youth in grades 9–11 will earn a number of certificates, including: first aid and CPR; chainsaw operations; safe boating; WHMIS; and Type 1 fire fighting. Students will also participate in other forest-related activities, such as tree planting, GPS, forest measurement, stand release, and Fire Smart community fire hazard assessments. Cultural aspects are introduced in the program, with Elders involved in teaching plant identification, hunting and fishing, and related traditional activities. The program is currently receiving support from the First Nations Forestry Program, Sturgeon Lake First Nation, James Smith First Nation, and the Prince Albert Model Forest. For more information, contact Duane Hiebert at (306) 763-2189 or Michael Newman at (306) 953-8546.


Youth Employment Programs There are several youth employment programs available at all levels, i.e., federal and provincial government, community, and industry levels. By providing employment to youth, the natural resources sector gives them valuable experience and hands-on exposure to the sector, helping youth to choose which direction they want to take in their education or career. Federal Government The federal government offers the Federal Student Work Experience Program (FSWEP), where students can apply for summer employment with various government departments through an on-line application form ( Departments and agencies can screen applications based on their requirements. Successful candidates are offered student employment. Some departments have programs specifically focused on hiring Aboriginal youth, providing these youth with an inside view of how the federal government works. To qualify for the programs specifically geared to Aboriginal students, applicants must selfidentify as an Aboriginal person. Provincial and Territorial Governments In each province or territory, there are youth employment programs in place. Each province has programs to hire summer students, co-op students, and interns, and in some cases, special programs to hire women and Aboriginal people. For a listing of provincial and territorial employment sites see Appendix A. In Saskatchewan, the provincial government is taking steps toward Aboriginal inclusiveness through the Aboriginal Employment Development Program (AEDP). The program was developed to address high Aboriginal unemployment rates and to meet anticipated human resource demands and future labor shortages. AEDP’s objective is to promote employment, economic, and cultural development for Aboriginal people. While identifying the employment needs of Aboriginal people, AEDP also helps employers remove any existing barriers to ensure a fair, respectful workplace for Aboriginal people. Program partners review workplace policies, provide Aboriginal awareness training to staff, and communicate employment and economic opportunities to communities and training institutions. Part of this program included developing the Representative Workforce Strategy with the goal to have Aboriginal workers represented in the provincial workforce. For more information about this program, contact (306) 787-6250 or visit their website at Community Employment Band offices and job boards should be consulted as there are often natural resource opportunities in communities. Various programs are run through the Aboriginal Human Resource Development Agreements within Aboriginal communities. These programs, developed by the communities, aim to “develop and implement labor market, youth and child care programs that are designed to address the local and regional human development needs of Aboriginal people.� Within the scope of these agreements are training programs and initiatives for increasing Aboriginal youth awareness of the natural resource sector. Industry Employment Many industry employers recognize that there will be a shortage of staff in the future, and are taking steps to address this issue. One of these steps is the recognition of Aboriginal people as key players in the future workforce. Companies offer employment opportunities, often with excellent pay and experience, for youth with an interest in the natural resource sector. In areas with high Aboriginal populations and industry presence, there are more opportunities for such employment as industry has come to realize that Aboriginal involvement in the sector makes sense from both the business and ecological viewpoints. One example of an industry program is the Manitoba Hydro Pre-placement Training Programs, of which there are three. They encourage Aboriginal people to gain the skills and competencies needed to compete in the energy sector. The three programs are the Power Supply Worker Training Program, the Line Trades Training Program, and the Power Electrician Training Program. For more information about these programs, visit


Science Camps Science camps generally raise youth awareness about science and perhaps increase their interest in science. Camps run from half-day sessions to 1- week sessions. They range from elaborate and very involved to simple and short. Most are designed to expose youth at an early age to science and technology; others promote science and math and expose youth to a variety of activities to make science and math interesting. Aboriginal Skills and Employment Partnership New Brunswick Inc. (ASEP NB Inc.) offers a science camp to First Nations in New Brunswick through a newly formed partnership between First Nations, the provincial and federal governments, and forest industry. The camp is offered to youth from kindergarten to grade 6 and provides them with hands-on experience to raise their awareness about science. Youth collect non-timber forest products to create crafts that recreate nature, for example, creating a sculpture of a moose. During the school year, the coordinator visits schools and leads activities that fit within the school curriculum. When school is out for the summer months, the coordinator offers week-long camps where students visit the forest to learn about the flora and fauna while collecting specimens for crafts. For more information on this nature camp, contact Steve Ginnish at (506) 622-4735. Actua, through many different camps and programs, strives to create and implement different yet fun aspects of science. Throughout the year in different regions of the country, youth aged between 6 and 17 can engage in activities that promote learning about science, technology, and engineering. Whether it is through a summer camp, in-a school workshop or in an after-school club, both boys and girls are offered equal opportunity to expand their knowledge and open their minds to the exciting world of science. Some past camp activities have included: designing cars, animation, learning about electricity, robotics, and space science. After-school clubs are a great way for youth to continue their learning and knowledge about science while creating new and lasting friendships. Established in 1998, the National Girls Program offers all-girl camps, clubs, career days, and community activities. The National Aboriginal Outreach Program created in 2000 promotes cultural and community-relevant activities that include teachers, elders, community leaders, and parents in the camps and programs. A National Bursary Program was also created to help underprivileged youth attend camps. Actua currently supports 27 national science camps, such as Eureka in British Columbia, Future Set in Newfoundland and Labrador, and Kids on The Net in Nunavut. For further information about programs offered by Actua. contact them at (613) 234-4137 or visit their website at for a complete listing of the science camps offered countrywide. The Canadian Aboriginal Science and Engineering Association (CASEA) aims to increase opportunities for Aboriginal youth to “participate and excel in science and engineering careers” through a suite of five programs. The association tries to instill respect for traditional ethics and environmental protection in science and engineering fields as a goal and responsibility. Some of the challenges faced by CASEA include funding for projects and resources, i.e., dedicated staff to implement programs. The association has been inactive since 2001 because of some financial difficulties, but energy is building to re-start the organization. The primary mechanism used by CASEA for reaching youth was a national career symposium held bi-annually in Ottawa. In the past, over 2000 youth attended this event. Before 2001, the association had other initiatives including: ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ

The Pre-College Program that introduced school-age children to science and technology through successful role models. The program comprised “math and science clubs, science camps, pre-college chapters, science fairs, summer academic programs and other special initiatives.” Teacher Instruction allowed teachers to “improve the quality of math and science education while maintaining Aboriginal traditions so that Aboriginal students become more qualified to pursue math and science-based college studies.” College Chapters were formed where there was demonstrated interest in the advancement of Aboriginal students studying science and engineering within colleges. Leadership Training was a program where Aboriginal students at the high school and post-secondary levels were able to develop leadership skills and learn from role models so that they could become tomorrow’s leaders and mentors.

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Job Fairs – Employment Assistance was a program where employment opportunities were offered through a placement service for summer and permanent employment.

For more information about CASEA, contact Marc Lalonde at (819) 956-4890. To address some of the challenges of Aboriginal youth not meeting entrance requirements at the University of British Columbia’s Faculty of Forestry, particularly in math and science, the Faculty decided to offer a Summer Forestry Camp for First Nations Students. The initial goal of the summer forestry camp is to encourage First Nations youth to continue their studies in high school science and math to ensure that they have the option of entering into science-based fields of study such as forestry. The camp also aims to explain the role of natural resource managers and professional foresters and to demonstrate how important the concepts of math and science are in relation to the practice of forestry and natural resource management. The program familiarizes students with campus life and exposes them to the academic environment. For the first 3 days, students are provided with instruction on biodiversity, forest ecology, and forest and wood sciences. for the remaining 3 days, they visit the Loon Lake Forestry Camp at the UBC Faculty of Forestry’s Malcolm Knapp Research Forest in Maple Ridge. They participate in field activities that include: harvesting techniques; tree planting; compass orienteering; tree species identification and measurement; a visit with the local First Nations community; and recreational hikes and swimming. For more information, contact Warren Fortier at (604) 822-0651. The Northern Alberta Institute of Technology in Alberta offers two summer camps for youth in northern Alberta: the ScienceChemistry Camp and the Get Set Camp. The camps are not specifically designed for Aboriginal youth, but they comprise a large percentage of participants. The Science-Chemistry Camp is broken into two age groups (11–12, 13–14) and runs for 2 weeks in July (different times for the different age groups). Participants explore science through hands-on experiments while learning the basics of chemistry. The chemistry camp is funded through a generous donation from DOW Chemical Canada Inc. and is operated by the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology chemical technology program. The Get Set Camp introduces 11- to 14-year-olds to science, engineering, and technology. Camps are organized into three age groups: 11–12-year-old boys and girls; 11–12-year-old girls; and 13–14-year-old boys and girls. Participants conduct experiments, take a field trip, and do other science-related activities. Both camps spend the mornings learning about science and the afternoons doing recreational activities. The camps have run smoothly with few challenges, financial or otherwise. For more information, contact Trevor Turner at (780) 471-7713 or visit their website at

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Experiential Learning There are several initiatives taking place across Canada encouraging Aboriginal youth to choose natural resources as a career through experiential learning projects. The Innu Nation’s Innu Environmental Guardians Program in Labrador is one such program where youth learn by doing. The Innu nation started this program in preparation for self-government and post-treaty land claims settlement. The program provides training and jobs for Innu people with an interest in the environment. The guardians act as the eyes and ears of the community and conduct monitoring on various activities in the environment. Guardians receive on-going training, constantly acquiring new skills or upgrading existing skills through a comprehensive training program. To date, training modules have been given through Saint Mary’s University – Gorsebrook Research Institute and sessions have been held in Labrador within Innu communities. Together, university professors and Innu Elders are the instructors for the modules. According to Sable (2004), one of the challenges facing the program is meeting the various agendas of multiple stakeholders, while at the same time maintaining and incorporating Innu values. Indigenous ecological knowledge is seen as the foundation for the program as it is vital to the well-being of the community and is the future for youth. For more information about the Innu Environmental Guardians Program, contact Valérie Courtois at (709) 497-8155. In Saskatchewan, the Department of Environment has developed a Conservation Ranger Program. The program provides Aboriginal students interested in becoming conservation officers with an opportunity to experience what it is like to work for the Saskatchewan government. Students work alongside a conservation officer, as a uniformed conservation ranger, taking part in many of the conservation officer’s activities, such as: enforcement investigations, boat safety checks, fire management, fish stocking, park work, and wildlife surveys. They gain valuable skills and knowledge over the 13 weeks of employment that can lead them to a career with the Saskatchewan Department of Environment. To qualify as a conservation ranger, students must have no criminal record, have a valid driver’s license, and have graduated or be graduating from high school. For those who show an interest in continuing beyond the program with natural resources studies, there are three seats available at the Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology's Resource and Environmental Law Program (a program designed for conservation rangers) in Prince Albert. Retaining the students who go through the program is a challenge as they are often in demand by other employers. The Department of Environment also offers a Ride Along Program where the aim is to familiarize students with the roles and responsibilities of conservation officers. A conservation officer speaks with high school students about what the career involves. Students with an interest in learning more are offered an opportunity to ride along with a conservation officer on a typical work day so that they can become more familiar with a conservation officer’s roles and responsibilities. Another element for high school students is one where student who are taking high school resource courses can Job Shadow conservation officers as a requirement for course credit to gain a better understanding of their role and responsibilities. For more information about these Saskatchewan Department of Environment initiatives, contact Dave Harvey at (306) 953-2993. In the Northwest Territories, the Trapper Training and Fire Ecology Program is a program designed for youth to learn first hand about winter survival techniques and traditional knowledge, and also to become involved in a research project that is assessing the effects of fire on local furbearer populations. The program is intended to provide an opportunity for an exchange of knowledge between elders and the Department of Resource, Wildlife & Economic Development staff, helping them to work together to teach hunting and trapping skills to youth. Activities include trapping, fire effects on trapping, firearm safety, chainsaw safety, hunting, wilderness safety, traditional knowledge, mapping and GPS, sample collection and analysis, and other survival and outdoor skills. The program provides youth from two schools and two youth correctional facilities with exposure to western science and traditional knowledge over a 4-day program. For more information, contact Danny Beaulieu at (867) 920-6103.

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The Nunavut Sivuniksavut Program is an 8-month program based in Ottawa that runs from September to May, preparing Inuit youth from Nunavut for educational, training, and career opportunities. Through the program, youth learn about their history, organizations, and land claims that are being created by the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement. The program is offered over 2 years, the first being an introduction to Inuit topics, the second continuing to expand their knowledge of Inuit history and current issues. Students are selected on a first–come, first-served basis, with the only criteria being that participants have completed high school and represent a cross-section of communities with a balance of women and men. Twenty-two students are selected for the first year. The courses they follow cover Inuit history, Inuit issues and organizations, and the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement. While learning about their culture and identity, students give presentations to various schools and public events, also developing their research and writing skills in English and Inuktitut. Students who successfully complete the first year of the program receive a Nunavut Sivuniksavut and an Algonquin College certificate. Although there are many applications for the second year, the program can only accept eight to ten students. Selection for the second year is based on the student’s academic performance in the first year and how well the student adapts to the lifestyle in Ottawa. Students continue to expand their knowledge of Inuit issues and history and to develop their research and writing skills. Courses are offered by Carleton University, Algonquin College, and the University of the Artic (on-line). At the end of the year, students participate in a cultural exchange trip, with Nunavut Sivuniksavut contributing to funding, with the remainder raised by the students in their home communities. Sponsors have included Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, The Nunavut Government’s Department of Culture, Languages, Elders and Youth, the Kitikmeot Economic Development Commission, Kivalliq Patners, Kakivak Association, and Nunavut Tunnqavik Inc. For more information, contact (613) 244-4937 or visit their website at In Saskatchewan, the Aboriginal Elder/ Outreach Program is a program delivered by Saskatchewan Learning that aims to “encourage the building and enhancement of relationships between school divisions and the Aboriginal community.” By bringing in Aboriginal Elders, cultural advisors and other Aboriginal resource people into the school, they can transfer their knowledge and cultural traditions into the curriculum, thus educating Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students. This type of program serves as a stepping stone to the development of young people’s minds and perspectives of the Aboriginal culture. This program provides cultural awareness and guidance to students, increases the involvement of Aboriginal peoples in the education of their children, improves self-esteem to help and strengthen the identity of the Aboriginal peoples, and assists in the improvement of the student’s achievement in school. For more information, contact Ted Amendt at (306) 933-7630. Funded through Alberta Human Resources and Employment (HRE), the First Nations Training to Employment Program is aimed at providing skills to unemployed or underemployed First Nations people in Alberta. The program offers projects that are economic or resource based, yet reflects a holistic approach that includes resource development in areas such as: oil and rig training, land administration, and trades in gas/meter reading, forestry, and firefighting. Training aspects of this program include life management skills, occupational skills, employment skills, and a paid work experience. Graduates of the program receive employment support and work placement. Since the start of the program in 2002, over 290 students have graduated, with 89% finding employment. For more information (within Alberta), call (310) 0000 or go online at The Forestry Training Sub-Committee (FTSC) in Saskatchewan works with various training institutions, and First Nation and Métis organizations to aid in developing a skilled forestry workforce. The committee provides financial assistance to provide training that is linked to forestry employment opportunities, and partners and collaborates with other organizations to deliver the required training. The goals of the FTSC are to maximize employment, enhance development of communities in a forest region, and develop a skilled workforce that enhances the sustainability of the forest industry. The FTSC can also provide financial assistance, and connect businesses with training programs, services, and organizations. For more information about FTSC’s programs and initiatives, contact Jim Ludwig at (306) 953-2744 or visit their website at Established in 2005, the Trades in Motion Program in Alberta is a 24-week program for remote Métis communities that delivers academic upgrading and hands-on training in trades such as electrician, pipefitter, millwright, and welder. The program is equipped to train 12 students and is in three components: classroom training, hands-on training, and a work term that get students ready for long-term employment.

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The MĂŠtis Nation of Alberta (MNA), the Northern Institute of Technology (NAIT), Keyano College, and Devon Canada Corporation worked together to develop and implement the program. The MNA provided funding and assistance in recruitment of MĂŠtis students; Keyano College delivered a classroom component, Preparation for Academic and Career Education (PACE), that included developing personal skills, safety certification, and upgrading to pass Alberta Apprenticeship entrance exams; NAIT set up its mobile education unit, which is equipped with the necessary learning tools for the students; oilsands projects that are in planning in the area are customized into the program for employment opportunities and provide on-the-job training and hiring commitments upon graduation; Devon Canada sponsors the education unit and assisted in implementing the first Trades in Motion program in Conklin, Alberta. The first year of the program was a huge success, with 10 students graduating and receiving full time employment. For more information, contact Heather Sweeney at (780) 791-4805.

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Lessons Learned Natural resources can be an attractive field for Aboriginal youth. It allows them to stay within or close to their communities, incorporate their values and worldviews into their daily work, and work in a field where there is demonstrated need for workers. In compiling the information for this report, we spoke with many people across Canada about their programs and initiatives. Many we spoke with had really good insights into why some programs do well and why others fail (see also Prince 2005). Below are several lessons that have been learned through the programs and initiatives identified in this compendium: 1. Start early. For anyone starting a new program or initiative to encourage Aboriginal youth to enter into the natural resource sector it is vital to reach youth early. Youth need to see science and math as fun subjects at an early age and efforts need to be focused on keeping their interest levels up throughout grade school. 2. Environmental Stewardship. The natural resource sector provides an opportunity for youth to enter into a field where their values and worldviews can contribute toward environmental stewardship and reshape the sector as a whole. There is much recognition of Aboriginal values and worldviews, and Aboriginal youth can bring this view with them to the workplace to ensure the sustainability of the resource sector they become involved in. 3. Core Funding. Acquiring core funding for programs and initiatives is difficult over extended periods of time. Many programs and initiatives operate from year to year and if one partner or supporter backs out, then the program or initiative suffers or disappears. This appeared to be the biggest challenge for most initiatives. 4. Community Involvement. Community involvement in the development and implementation of programs and initiatives increases the likelihood of the program or initiative being a success. The support of elders, community leaders, and youth is needed to ensure success. 5. Leader Development. Leaders are needed to move the Aboriginal agenda forward. To maximize the benefits to Aboriginal youth, Aboriginal leaders need to be created who understand the challenges the youth are facing and can demonstrate how to overcome the barriers that youth face. Some people feel that Aboriginal people should be taught by Aboriginal people because they have had similar experiences and have faced many of the same struggles. 6. For Youth By Youth. Youth need to be given the opportunity to provide input into the development of programs and initiatives, thereby having some control over their future. 7. Self-esteem. Building self esteem early will provide youth with more opportunities in the future. They will be able to face the challenges the world throws at them and take things in stride. 8. Isolation. Many Aboriginal communities are remote and offer few opportunities for youth to interact with other youth who are facing similar challenges and barriers. 9. Flexibility. Youth need to be able to adapt to new surroundings and circumstances, but programs and initiatives also need to be delivered to the communities in a culturally appropriate manner. 10. Bridging programs. Provide students with the opportunity to learn about what it is like to be at a post-secondary institution, and they offer academic/life counseling. They can reduce the stress of going from high school to university or college. They provide an opportunity to be around people who are going through the same experiences. One challenge is raising students’ awareness that they are responsible for their own learning beyond high school. Often students will enter the post-secondary institution and, with much more freedom and much more free time, they sometimes face academic problems. Academic institutions also need to adapt to meet the needs of students. 11. Responsible financial management. Ensuring responsible financial management will ensure programs and initiatives are successful; mismanagement of funds can have disastrous consequences for programs and initiatives. 12. Life skills. Providing youth with the necessary life skills is important to ensure their success. Whether students can manage their own finances responsibly while attending a post-secondary institution could be a deciding factor in whether or not they complete a program.

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13. Elder teachings. Having elders teach traditional knowledge within formal education systems helps develop meaningful curricula for Aboriginal youth by providing an opportunity for youth to learn about Aboriginal values and worldviews. 14. Culturally appropriate. Delivering culturally appropriate programs and initiatives will instill a sense of pride in youth about their culture, and will allow them to learn more about their culture. 15. Many models. Many models exist and opportunities abound, so it becomes a matter of choosing the right model for the situation or adapting a model to fit. 16. Measures of success. Very few programs establish measures of success or follow up with youth after they end their participation in the program or initiative. Long-term monitoring is needed to determine what works most effectively and efficiently.

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Conclusion The next 5 years are a time of opportunity in the natural resource sector for youth across Canada, and efforts are underway to encourage them to seek a career in the sector. Whether they do remains to be seen. In the years to come, competition for youth will increase as more and more people retire. Youth will be sought by many to fill these gaps, how you reach them and how attractive your initiative is with respect to their preferences will be deciding factors in whether if you get their attention. There are many programs and projects that are being delivered to Aboriginal youth, and this compendium takes a brief look at some of them. There are many challenges, many programs, and many opportunities for Aboriginal youth in the natural resource sector. There are still some gaps that need to be addressed, and perhaps a more concerted effort is needed to increase participation in the sector, while respecting Aboriginal worldviews and values. Initiatives needs to reach youth and to some degree directed by the youth and their interests. Each program or initiative enjoys its own level of success, and measuring this success is often difficult. If one youth involved in an initiative goes on to continue their education, either formally or informally, it can be said to be successful. Youth need to be shown what their options are and to learn about themselves so that they can make informed decisions with respect to their careers. Youth should be engaged at an early age, and it is important to include cultural aspects in a program. Providing fun interactive experiences and variety for youth often results in high success rates. It seems that if events are memorable they are likely to pursue those avenues because they are familiar and have a preference for it. Perhaps to increase the number of youth choosing natural resources we all need to “adopt� a youth, to give them advice, support and guidance in choosing a career. We need to reach more guidance councilors so that they know what the sector has to offer in terms of employment. We need to act, youth have abundant opportunities ahead of them and we should at least let them know what exists in the natural resources sector.

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References Brascoupé, S. 1999. Aboriginal community capacity: the urgent need for a dramatic increase in Aboriginal Registered Professional Foresters. National Aboriginal Forestry Association, Ottawa, Ontario. Dubois, A., N. Cataldo, and R. Parsons. 2003. First Nations Forestry Program: an innovative integrated community development partnership approach. Natural Resources Canada, Sainte-Foy, Quebec. Interim National Recruitment Strategy Steering Committee. 2006. The crisis in post-secondary enrollments in forestry programs: a call to action for Canada’s future forestry professional/technical workforce. The Forestry Chronicle 82(1): 57-62. Kapsalis, C. 2006. Occupational and skill parity of Aboriginal Canadians. Data Probe Economic Consulting Inc., Nepean, Ontario. Kirkness, V.J., and R. Branhardt. 1991. First Nations and higher education: the four Rs—respect, relevance, reciprocity, responsibility. Journal of American Indian Education 30 (3). Nordin, V., and R. Comeau. 2003. Forest resources education in Canada. The Forestry Chronicle 79(4): 799-808. Parsons, R., and G. Prest. 2003. Aboriginal forestry in Canada. The Forestry Chronicle 79(4): 779-784. Prince, B. 2005. First Nation Youth Programs in the Natural Resource Sector of British Columbia. McGregor Model Forest Association, Prince George, British Columbia. Sable, T. 2004. Labrador project: final report 2003-2004. Gorsebrook Research Institute, Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, Nova Scotia. Smallwood, D. 2005. State of forestry education and careers: a Newfoundland and Labrador perspective. Canadian Institute of Forestry - Newfoundland and Labrador Section, Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador. Smith, P. 2002. Aboriginal peoples and issues in forestry education in Canada: breaking new ground. The Forestry Chronicle 78(2): 250-254. Statistics Canada. 2006. Aboriginal peoples of Canada. Accessed on December 6, 2006 at Working Group on Aboriginal Participation in the Economy. 2001. Strengthening Aboriginal participation in the economy. Federal-Provincial/Territorial Ministers Responsible for Aboriginal Affairs and National Aboriginal Leaders. Accessed on the internet at

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Appendix A — Provincial and Territorial Government Employment Websites ƒ

British Columbia












New Brunswick


Nova Scotia


Prince Edward Island


Newfoundland and Labrador




Northwest Territories



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Appendix B — Aboriginal Scholarships and Bursaries This is not a comprehensive list, but it does provide a starting point for Aboriginal youth seeking assistance to pursue studies in the natural resource sector. ƒ

Aboriginal, First Nations, Metis, Native Awards, Bursaries and Scholarships: a resource developed for University of Victoria students.


National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation, Business, Science and General Education Scholarship and Bursary:


Millennium Scholarships-In Course Awards, Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation:


Aboriginal Education Awards, Nexen Inc.:


Fulbright Scholarship Canada-US Fulbright Graduate Program:


Awards, Bursaries and Scholarships:


First Nations Education Services/First Nations Post-Secondary Scholarships and Bursaries:


Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development:


Scholarship Websites:


Scholarship Search:


Indian and Northern Affairs Canada/Aboriginal Bursary System:


Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business/Foundation for the Advancement for Aboriginal youth:


The link found below offers a complete on-line listing of all the Universities and Colleges that offer scholarships and/or bursaries to Aboriginal students:


Canadian Aboriginal Science and Technology Society

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Appendix C — Relevant Reading There are many excellent sources of information on the state of the natural resource sector from a human resources perspective that provide some insights into how to overcome some of the challenges. Much of the literature provides good information on opportunities for Aboriginal youth. Links are provided for hose sources that are available on the internet. Alberta Chamber of Resources. 2006. Learning from experience: Aboriginal programs in the resource industries. Alberta Chamber of Resources, Edmonton, Alberta. This publication educates and informs the public on what industries have done and continue to do to strengthen Aboriginal relations in Alberta. Through project and program analysis, and discussion with people involved in programs, it is hoped that new and lasting relationships between industries and the Aboriginal people can be formed. Building Environmental Aboriginal Human Resources. 2002. Round table discussion paper. Building Environmental Aboriginal Human Resources, Calgary, Alberta. Available for download at: This document provides an outline of the Building Environmental Aboriginal Human Resources strategy for greater involvement of Aboriginal people in the environmental sector, one that aims to fill the gaps in environmental education and employment. Consulbec. 2002. Connecting the dots: a study of perceptions , expectations and career choices of Aboriginal youth. Consulbec, Kirkland, Quebec. An overview of career aspirations of Aboriginal youth who attended a National Aboriginal Career Symposium in 2001 in Ottawa, Ontario. The study tried to determine what careers were “attractive to young people, those occupations that they respect and those occupations that they actually think they will pursue as adults.” One of the findings was that youth are not well informed about their career choices: from course selection in high school, to admission requirements at post-secondary institutions, to what the demand is for jobs in the marketplace. It speaks to who influences youth career decisions and some of the steps needed to inform youth on various careers. One of the influencing factors is life experience, i.e., if youth are exposed to a particular career, they may become interested in it. There is no cookie cutter approach for career choices in Aboriginal communities. Decima Research Inc. 2002. Canadians’ attitudes towards natural resources issues, 2002. Decima Research Inc., Ottawa, Ontario. An overview of Canadians’ attitudes on natural resource issues was gathered using a survey of 1500 Canadians. The importance of the natural resource sector is declining, and it is now seen as a low-tech industry. This survey provides a good overview of Canadians’ attitudes as they relate to natural resources. Government of Canada. 2006. Aboriginal portal. This is the site is the most comprehensive source for federal government information related to Aboriginal people in Canada, e.g., available programs, initiatives, publications, and other information. Government of Canada. 2005. Youth link. Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, Gatineau, Quebec. Available for download at: This annual publication is an excellent resource for any youth looking for information on scholarships, work experiences, and summer jobs at all education levels.

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Henry, B. 2006. Aboriginal junior ranger programs in Canada: best practices and implementation. Natural Resources Canada, Ottawa, Ontario. Best practices of existing junior ranger programs across Canada are showcased. The various programs are described and lessons learned are presented, along with an outline of how to implement a new junior rangers program. Interim National Recruitment Strategy Steering Committee. 2006. The crisis in post-secondary enrollments in forestry programs: a call to action for Canada’s future forestry professional/technical workforce. The Forestry Chronicle 82(1): 57-62. The paper tells of the challenges faced by the forest sector in attracting students to forestry programs at universities and colleges across Canada. There is a short section on the role of Aboriginal people in filling the need for increasing enrollment in the forest sector as it is a good fit with values of Aboriginal communities. As in other documents it is noted that Aboriginal students are not completing high school requirements at the same rate as their non-Aboriginal counterparts. They state that the “Aboriginal people and the opportunities and challenges faced by them, will need to be an integral part of future forest recruitment efforts.” Mullens, A. 2001. Why Aboriginal students aren’t taking science. University Affairs: November, The University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba. Available for download at: Throughout the article, there is reference to the need for Aboriginal people with scientific and technical education to manage resources, especially in their own communities. The notion of why students are not taking sciences in high school is discussed and suggestions for science camps for youth are offered as one possibility, as well as bringing western science and traditional knowledge together. Natural Resources Canada. 2005. First Nations Forestry Program success stories. Natural Resources Canada, Ottawa, Ontario. Available for download at: This publication provides examples of successful projects funded through the First Nations Forestry Program in forestry across Canada. The examples provide a good starting point for forestry project development; however the publication is not focused on youth initiatives. Prince, B. 2005. First Nation youth programs in natural resource sector in British Columbia. McGregor Model Forest Association, Prince George, British Columbia. Available at: This report gives an overview of programs and initiatives in British Columbia that educate First Nation youth on how to become involved in the natural resource sector. Various programs were researched and five programs are described, discussing the main aspects of each: overall program description, factors contributing to success/failure, and conclusion. Nine recommendations are listed on how to increase First Nation youth participation in the natural resource sector. R.A. Malatest & Associates Ltd. 2004. Aboriginal peoples and post-secondary education: what educators have learned. The Canadian Millennium Scholarship Foundation, Montreal, Quebec. An overview of Aboriginal post-secondary education as educators see it. It looks at how to make post-secondary education “more accessible, relevant, and responsive to Aboriginal peoples.” There have been higher completion rates in universities and colleges when students have control of their own programs and institutions. In the conclusion, some best practices for promoting Aboriginal recruitment and retention are listed and should be reviewed by anyone who wishes to look at increasing Aboriginal participation in education and to overcome some of the barriers Aboriginal persons face. Sable, T. 2004. Labrador project: final report 2003-2004. Gorsebrook Research Institute, Saint Mary’s University, Halifax Nova Scotia.

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This report was submitted to Environment Canada describing a collaborative research project between Gorsebrook Research Institute, Environment Canada, and the Innu Nation. It describes the training program that was put in place to train the Innu Environmental Guardians in western science and traditional indigenous knowledge so that they may become the “advisors and managers of their ancestral lands.” Sub-committee of the Intergovernmental Working Group the Mineral Industry. 2001. Eleventh Annual Report on Aboriginal Participation in Mining. Available for download at: This report, made possible by the Sub-committee of the Intergovernmental Working Group on the Mineral Industry, provides detailed information on mining development in Nunavut, British Colombia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan, as well as various initiatives, and educational and training opportunities that the Aboriginal people are exposed to. Although defining the participation of Aboriginal people in employment, services by Aboriginal people and businesses, financial involvement and input of Aboriginal people into mining exploration, development, and review processes, the Sub-committee’s objective is “to share experiences to assist in the development of provincial and territorial initiatives through dialogue, building on best practices and shared understanding and knowledge”.

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