Eleven First Nations in Alberta Opt-in to Skills and Training Initiative for First Nations Youth

Personalized skills training will be delivered to First Nations youth (ages 18-24) in 11 First Nations in Alberta.

January 31, 2014 - Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada

More than 1,500 young First Nation adults in Alberta will be connected to skills training and jobs thanks to the Government of Canada's new initiative to improve on-reserve Income Assistance. These investments will provide personalized supports to First Nations youth as they secure the tools needed to find meaningful employment and reduce their reliance on income assistance.

In Alberta, the Maskwacis Employment Centre, Tribal Chief Ventures Inc., Blood Tribe, and the Paul First Nation will be implementing the new Enhanced Service Delivery in 11 First Nation communities. All of the 11 of First Nations communities are participating at the request of their local First Nations leadership. These organizations will be working with Six Independent Alberta First Nations of Hobbema, Tribal Chiefs Employment and Training Services Association, Community Futures Treaty Seven, to provide on-reserve First Nations youth ages 18-24 with personalized assessments and job training plans.

This is part of the over $19.4 million in funding being provided this year by the Government of Canada to 22 Tribal Councils, First Nations and First Nation organizations to begin work in 70 First Nation communities across the country, providing support to young First Nations income assistance clients. A total of 22 pairs of joint proposals (22 Enhanced Service Delivery and 11 First Nations Job Fund) were approved. Together these organizations will ensure that eligible income assistance clients have access to necessary training through the newly created First Nations Job Fund.

Quick facts

  • An integral component of the Enhanced Service Delivery initiative is case management. Case-workers will work with individuals to identify barriers to employment and to develop a personalized plan to address those barriers.
  • This announcement represents the next steps in the implementation of the Economic Action Plan 2013 commitment to invest $241 million over four years to connect First Nations youth between the ages of 18 and 24 to skills training and jobs.
  • This approach builds on the success of recent pilot projects and partnerships being undertaken across Canada, where the Government of Canada has been working with the provincial governments, First Nations and the private sector to link First Nations Income Assistance clients with training and jobs.
  • These initiatives will begin over the course of the coming months across the country, as First Nations communities lead the effort to work with their youth on jobs and prosperity.
  • First Nation youth will have access to a range of services and programs aimed at increasing their job prospects and supporting them as they move into the workforce, including: basic life-skills training, skills training and career counseling.


"Our Government continues to take concrete steps to create the conditions for more prosperous, self-sufficient First Nation communities. Investing in jobs and skills training will lead to greater First Nation participation in the economy, healthier First Nation communities and a stronger Canada."

- Bernard Valcourt, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development

"I am pleased that three provincial organizations (Tribal Chief Ventures Inc, Community Futures Treaty Seven and the Paul First Nation) will be delivering this new improved on-reserve Income Assistance Program. Participation in this program will translate in to increased opportunities for young First Nations income assistance recipients to overcome barriers and develop personalized career plans that will lead to jobs."

- Brian Storseth, Member of Parliament for Westlock-St Paul

"Under the improved Income Assistance program, young First Nations income assistance clients will have access to greater services and training that will increase their job prospects and support them as they find their way into the province's workforce."

- Rob Merrifield, Member of Parliament for Yellowhead

"We believe every young First Nation income assistance client deserves to have the skills and training needed to compete for and get a job. As a result of this program, young First Nations income assistance clients in 11 First Nation communities in Alberta will be able to take advantage of job readiness training skills to succeed in the job market."

- Blaine Calkins, Member of Parliament for Wetaskiwin

"Enhanced Service Delivery initiative will enable each participating First Nation to do more to help each 18- to 24-year-old income support client to become independent, and provide for themselves and their families. The goal is to help each young person to get started on either education or a good job. Through these initiatives, the Samson Cree Nation, the Ermineskin Cree Nation and the Louis Bull Tribe will build positive relationships and partnerships with business and industry, and ensure that their members 18 to 24 years of age have the right tools to support themselves."

- Maskwacis Employment Center

"The Nation now has the opportunity to ensure the future of our community through our youth by providing appropriate employment and training programs."

- Casey Bird, Chief, Paul First Nation

Related products

Associated Links


Erica Meekes
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development

Media Relations
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada


You can subscribe to receive our news releases and speeches via RSS feeds or e-mail. For more information or to subscribe, visit the AANDC Subscriptions page.