First Nation Youth Job Readiness Program: Okanagan Nation Success Stories

Youth affiliated with the Okanagan Nation are participating and succeeding in Canada's skills training programs that provide employment training and support to help them find jobs.

See other Aboriginal success stories from across Canada.

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Transcript: First Nation Youth Job Readiness Program: Okanagan Nation Success Stories


First Nation youth represent the fastest-growing segment of Canada's population. The Government of Canada is making important investments in skills training and job-readiness activities to help make sure First Nation youth have the same opportunities as all Canadians to find, keep, and enjoy the benefits of a good job.

First Nation youth from across Canada are benefitting from new opportunities....including those affiliated with the Okanagan Nation.

What are they saying about the program? Let's find out.

Erin, Penticton Indian Band:

It's actually something that I've been wanting to do for myself for quite some time. I just didn't have the motivation or the confidence in myself to do it. But with the program, I was able to think to myself: "this will work, they will help me, and I can do this."

Dixon, Okanagan Indian Band:

Right off the bat, I started going to do courses to get my tickets – my First Aid, H2S—things like that.

It's looking great now because they've helped me so much with all of my tickets. Because before that, I had no tickets. Nothing. At all. And then, I couldn't get a job in Alberta, or up north—anything like that. Or even local because they want people with First Aid, and then just like air brake endorsement and stuff like that.

Cory, Okanagan Indian Band:

I was 16, I got my license right away. They helped me get it right away instead of saying like, "Oh yeah, I'll go get it". Instead of putting it off, they kind of put it in front of me, and told me "You can do this. This is something you can achieve".

If they weren't there, I don't think I've made it to as many of the training opportunities that they had.

Dixon, Okanagan Indian Band:

It means a lot because it helps me become more independent and basically just start my life. Like I'm 20 years old. I have a lot more to learn and live, and then this just helps me out a lot because it means I can just get out there, get more experience, and just get my life started.

Erin, Penticton Indian Band:

I think It's the fact that you are not doing it alone. You're doing in with others that are trying to succeed in the exact same thing as you. And it gives you the opportunity to expand your knowledge in life.

Dixon, Okanagan Indian Band:

It builds confidence. Definitely builds confidence. And then confidence is like wildfire it just spreads. My friends see me complete the program and they see me get my life started and they want to do the same thing. They want to get their things together and just like grow up really. Become more independent.

Erin, Penticton Indian Band:

Yes it's worth it. Yeah. It's definitely worth it.


Thanks to funding from Economic Action Plan 2013 First Nation youth – ages 18 to 24 – from across the country will be participating in programs such as those taking place in Okanagan Nation affiliated communities in British Columbia.

These programs are being delivered through partnerships between Aboriginal organizations, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada and Employment and Social Development Canada.

Canada is providing job readiness support for First Nations youth so they can successfully participate in the Canadian economy. For more information on this and other programs and services, please visit Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada.

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