First Nations and Inuit Skills Link Program

The First Nations and Inuit Skills Link Program supports initiatives that help young people to acquire the essential skills that will help them gain employment and function well in the workplace, and to learn about various career options. Another goal is to promote the benefits of education to labour force participation. Projects may include career fairs, co-operative education projects and other school-based work and study opportunities.

Who is eligible?

First Nations and Inuit youth ordinarily resident on-reserve or in recognized communities or on community lands.

For career promotion and science and technology activities, youth may be younger than 15 years of age.

How the program works

First Nations and Inuit governments and organizations may submit proposals that:

  • promote the benefits of education as key to youth's participation in the labour market.
  • support the development and enhancement of young people's essential employability skills, such as communication, problem solving and working with others.
  • introduce youth to a variety of career options.
  • help youth acquire skills by providing wage subsidies for mentored work experience; and/or for mentored school-based work and study opportunities.

Eligible proposals

Proposals (instructions) must:

  • be in accordance with program guidelines;
  • be gender-balanced;
  • outline the activities that support any or all of the above objectives;
  • demonstrate that the activities will provide assistance only to eligible participants;
  • provide an estimate of eligible costs to be incurred, including any share to be borne by partners; and
  • outline the results to be achieved.

Review and approval process

Proposals will be reviewed and approved by the AANDC regional office or by the First Nations or Inuit organization managing the program.

Funding arrangements

Funding will be distributed to eligible recipients according to AANDC's funding authorities.

Reporting requirements

The Skills Link Program Report is required by March 31.

The Mentored and ICT Work Placements – Youth Evaluations are to be completed by each participant and are required by March 31.

Regional Organizations, that administer the program on behalf of AANDC, are to submit the report by May 15.

If the Program Report is not submitted within 30 days of the above applicable date, the recipient will not be eligible for funding in the following fiscal year.

Support documents

These forms are to be used to gather information and feedback from the youth who participate in various activities as part of the Skills Link Program to gather the data needed by the First Nation / Community that will demonstrate that program objectives are being met.

The following forms are NOT to be submitted to AANDC but should be kept on file at the community level for evaluation purposes.

Co-operative Education – Youth Evaluation


Science and Technology Session Evaluation


Career Promotion and Awareness Session Evaluation


Data Collection Tools:

Mentored and ICT Work Placement Roll Up Spreadsheet

Co-operative Education Placement Roll Up Spreadsheet

Science and Technology Activity Roll Up Spreadsheet

Career Promotion and Awareness Activity Roll Up Spreadsheet

National Science Camps

The First Nations and Inuit Skills Link Program also supports National Science Camps. Held annually, these camps offer a great opportunity to bring together First Nations and Inuit Youth from across Canada. The week of activities is designed to foster interest in science and technology and to encourage young people to consider a career in these fields.

The first National Science Camp was held in Alberta in 2002. Since then, the science camps have been held in various AANDC regions across Canada: Ontario (2003), Manitoba (2004), Yukon (2005), Atlantic (2007), Northwest Territories (2009), Ontario (2010), Nunavut (2011), Manitoba (2012), and Quebec (2013). These camps provide youth with first-hand experience of the world of science and technology through tours, presentations and other activities, and they are exposed to professionals working in these fields.

If you would like more information about the next National Science Camp and how students are selected, please contact your First Nation or your regional AANDC office.

Additional Information