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Creating Employment Opportunities for Aboriginal Youth

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Creating Employment Opportunities for Aboriginal Youth

Ontario Celebrates Aboriginal Youth Program Graduates

Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry

Ontario has partnered with Confederation College to help 27 Aboriginal youth from 22 First Nations communities find summer jobs this year through the First Nations Natural Resources Youth Employment Program (FNNRYEP).

The two-year summer employment program provides Aboriginal youth, aged 16-19, with the opportunity to gain natural resource management experience through work projects in the forestry, mining and energy industries. Graduates of this program have gone on to rewarding careers as foresters, underground miners, heavy equipment operators and Assistant Band Managers. Youth have also pursued further education in fields such as political science, engineering and Aboriginal Law.

Since its inception in 2000, 325 youth representing 42 First Nations communities across northern Ontario have participated in the program.

Helping young people develop their talent and skills is part of the government's economic plan that is investing in people, building modern infrastructure and supporting a dynamic and innovative business climate.

Quick Facts

  • In 2014, Ontario contributed $200,000 to this program.
  • Ninety-four per cent of first year participants successfully completed their first year in the program.
  • 403 summer job placements have been created to date within the program.

Background Information

Additional Resources


“We are pleased to partner with Confederation College to offer this program to Aboriginal youth to develop practical skills and knowledge in the natural resources sector. The program will better prepare these young people for successful careers that contribute to the economic viability of their communities and Ontario.”

Bill Mauro

Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry

“Our investment in this program is one of many examples of our government’s commitment in growing the province's skilled workforce. ‎Matching youth looking for work experience with a sector looking for skilled labour is how we are making smart, strategic investments that are having positive impacts for many communities. This program is not only benefiting the youth enrolled but the sector, as a whole. I am incredibly proud of this program and the opportunities it is providing for First Nations youth.”

Michael Gravelle

Minister of Northern Development and Mines

“When Aboriginal people prosper, all of Ontario prospers — that’s why we’re working through programs like the FNNRYEP to ensure that Aboriginal youth develop the skills needed to participate in the workforce and the economy.”

David Zimmer

Minister of Aboriginal Affairs

“Our government is pleased to be helping Aboriginal youth build the valuable knowledge and skills they need to succeed. The First Nations Natural Resources Youth Employment Program is a shining example of a partnership that is preparing young people for successful careers through training and education. I commend all of the project partners for their commitment to growing Ontario’s skilled workforce.”

Reza Moridi

Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities

“The goal of the First Nations Natural Resources Youth Employment Program is to expose students to natural resources education and career paths. It empowers First Nations youth by focusing on leadership development, social skills and building self-esteem. By participating in revenue generating work projects, participants also have the unique opportunity to gain ‘real-world’ experience and contribute to the sustainability of the program.”

Jim Madder

President, Confederation College

Media Contacts

  • Media calls only: Andrew Donnachie

    Minister’s Office


  • Media calls only: Media Desk

    Communications Services Branch




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