Canada's Economic Action Plan

Canada's Economic Action Plan

January 15, 2010 11:30 ET

Government of Canada Creating New Opportunities for Aboriginal People

SASKATOON, SASKATCHEWAN--(Marketwire - Jan. 15, 2010) - The Government of Canada is helping Aboriginal people in Saskatchewan who face barriers to employment to get the training and skills development they need to obtain good jobs in existing and emerging industries.

Ms. Kelly Block, Member of Parliament for Saskatoon-Rosetown-Biggar, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, today announced two skills development projects that the Gabriel Dumont Institute of Native Studies and Applied Research will undertake.

"Our government is dedicated to creating the best educated, the most skilled and the most flexible workforce in the world," said Ms. Block. "Through the advanced training and partnerships provided by the Gabriel Dumont Institute, Metis people in Saskatchewan will gain the skills they need to participate in the labour market today and prepare for the jobs of the future."

"This innovative and exciting new project offers benefits to both parties: employers and Metis workers," said Mr. Gabe Lafond, Chair of the Gabriel Dumont Institute. "Metis individuals benefit by gaining practical work experience, exposure to the labour market, and a chance to utilize and enhance their skills. Small- to medium-sized employers will receive assistance to prepare ready workplaces for Aboriginal employees and then find and retain skilled Aboriginal workers."

The Gabriel Dumont Institute's Health Sector Aboriginal Human Resources Initiative ($4,642,325) and its Strategic Partnership Development Initiative ($439,800) will together receive more than $5 million to provide job planning assistance and training to 280 individuals. More than two-thirds of the participants will be preparing for entry-level jobs in the health sector. The others will be matched with small- and medium-sized employers across Saskatchewan.

The Ministry of Advanced Education, Employment and Labour is contributing $453,248 over two years in Provincial Training Allowances for participants of the Step into Health Careers project, a component of the Gabriel Dumont Institute's Health Sector Aboriginal Human Resources Initiative.

"Recognizing the significant role First Nations and Metis people will play, this investment by the provincial government signifies our commitment to ensuring Saskatchewan people have the opportunity to participate fully in our labour market," said the Honourable Rob Norris, Minister of Advanced Education, Employment and Labour.

These projects are funded under the Government of Canada's Aboriginal Skills and Training Strategic Investment Fund, a two-year, $75-million program. Announced in Canada's Economic Action Plan, this program aims to help Aboriginal Canadians through short-term training initiatives that enable them to benefit from current employment opportunities. The Fund will support over 80 projects, which will create 2,100 jobs across Canada.

The Aboriginal Skills and Training Strategic Investment Fund is part of a Canada's Economic Action Plan investment of $200 million over three years to provide Aboriginal Canadians with training and skills development opportunities that create jobs in their communities. In total, the Economic Action Plan has committed $1.4 billion for training, on-reserve housing, infrastructure and health.

More information about Canada's Economic Action Plan is available on the following Web site:

This news release is available online at


Aboriginal Skills and Training Strategic Investment Fund

Aboriginal Skills and Training Strategic Investment Fund projects were selected using an application process. These projects will identify and implement distinct, short-term, focused initiatives designed to help Aboriginal people get the specific skills they require to benefit from economic opportunities.

The Fund has a regional and national component. The regional component supports training-to-employment projects, skills development projects and service improvement projects on a regional basis.

The national component of the Fund will be used to support initiatives that are national in scope and partnership-based (Aboriginal organizations, governments, sector councils, and national training and employment groups, etc.), and will result in the development of tools, services or promising practices that will enhance the range of client and business services provided under the successor strategy to the Aboriginal Human Resources Development Strategy.

Projects are funded for a maximum of 18 months, and all projects must end on March 31, 2011.

Contact Information

  • Office of Minister Finley
    Michelle Bakos
    Press Secretary
    Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
    Media Relations Office