Creating Job Opportunities for Indigenous Youth

MLFNYEP-FNNRYEP Graduation 2016
On the left (in blue) is the Mink Lake First Nations Youth Employment Program graduating class. To the right (in red) is the First Nations Natural Resources Youth Employment Program graduating class.

Ontario is continuing its support for natural resources management training and skills development programs that provide Indigenous youth with opportunities for summer jobs and rewarding careers.

The First Nations Natural Resources Youth Employment Program (FNNRYEP) and the Mink Lake First Nations Youth Employment Program (MLFNYEP) are offered through partnerships among the province, Confederation College and Lakehead University. Both two-year summer employment programs give Indigenous youth, aged 16-19, natural resource management experience through work projects in the forestry, mining and energy industries.

Nearly 50 Indigenous youth from 25 First Nations communities across the province have graduated from the programs this year. Past graduates of these programs have gone on to rewarding careers as foresters, underground miners, heavy equipment operators and Assistant Band Managers, and have also pursued further education in fields such as political science, engineering and Indigenous law.

Programs like the FNNRYEP and the MLFNYEP enable experiential learning and help build on Ontario’s world-class skills, education and training systems to prepare the current and future workforce for the technology- and knowledge-based jobs of today and into the future.

Helping young people develop their careers is part of the government’s economic plan to build Ontario up and deliver on its number-one priority to grow the economy and create jobs. The four-part plan includes helping more people get and create the jobs of the future by expanding access to high-quality college and university education. The plan is making the largest infrastructure investment in hospitals, schools, roads, bridges and transit in Ontario’s history and is investing in a low-carbon economy driven by innovative, high-growth, export-oriented businesses. The plan is also helping working Ontarians achieve a more secure retirement.

Quick Facts

  • Each program participant can obtain two high school co-op credits while working during the summer.
  • 93 per cent of first year participants successfully completed their first year in the programs.
  • 929 summer job placements have been created to date within the programs.
  • Since the inception of FNNRYEP in 2000 and MLFNYEP in 2015, more than 389 youth from 52 First Nations across Ontario have graduated.
  • In 2016, Ontario contributed $200,000 and in-kind support to both programs.
  • The FNNRYEP and MLFNYEP are offered in partnership with Confederation College and Lakehead University.

Additional Resources


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