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Archived - Minister Valcourt Talks Skills Training and Jobs with Youth from Meadow Lake Tribal Council

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Minister Hears from Youth as They Progress Towards Employment

July 24, 2014 - Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan - Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada

Today, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Minister Bernard Valcourt and Member of Parliament for Desnethe Missinippi Churchill River, Rob Clarke met with youth from the Meadow Lake Tribal Council who are receiving personalized support so that they can secure the skills training that will help them find a job and achieve the self-sufficiency they deserve. Also participating in the discussions were several business leaders and Tribal Chief Eric Sylvester.

The Meadow Lake Tribal Council currently has close to 500 affiliated youth undertaking Enhanced Service Delivery, which supports First Nations in identifying individuals’ employment needs and establishes a plan to assist individuals in overcoming barriers to employment. The goal: connecting youth with jobs. On January 31, 2014, the Harper Government announced that nearly 4,000 First Nation youth from across Canada will participate in an effort to reduce reliance on Income Assistance by providing youth with access to a wider, more personalized, range of training, education and career counselling programs that will help them get jobs.

By investing in jobs and skills training for First Nation youth, the Government of Canada is taking concrete steps to help build more prosperous, self-sufficient First Nation communities.

Quick facts

  • The Government of Canada is investing $241 million in new funding to help First Nation youth between the ages of 18 and 24 get personalized job and skills training as part of changes to the Income Assistance program. Specifically, $132 million for Enhanced Service Delivery and $109 million for a new First Nations Job Fund.
  • Participants 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 and literacy training, skills training and career counseling.
  • Changes to the program are targeted to help First Nation youth find meaningful employment.
  • Close to 2,000 First Nation youth in Saskatchewan are participating in the improved on-reserve Income Assistance program.
  • The Meadow Lake Tribal Council has nine affiliated First Nations: Birch Narrows Dene Nation; Buffalo River Dene Nation; Canoe Lake Cree Nation; Clearwater River Dene Nation; English River; Flying Dust; Makwa Sahgaiehcan; Ministikwan Lake Cree Nation and Waterhen Lake.


“I was pleased to hear directly from youth from the Meadow Lake Tribal Council as well as from business leaders on how the job readiness support that our Government is delivering is working for them. It was insightful to hear the progress that they are making. We can all agree that Aboriginal youth should have the same opportunities as all Canadians to find, keep and enjoy the benefits of a good job.”

- Bernard Valcourt,
Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development

“Listening to the youth today we can see that our program is increasing opportunities for young First Nations to overcome barriers and develop personalized career plans that will lead to jobs.”

- Robert Clarke,
Member of Parliament for Desnethe – Missinippi – Churchill River

“I am pleased that youth from our community are taking part in a Government of Canada initiative to provide skills training and career counselling. Enabling them to find a good job is beneficial for them, and for the Municipality of Meadow Lake.”

- Gary Vidal,
Mayor of Meadow Lake

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

Media Relations
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada

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