Resources for Indigenous Students

Many students have concerns about planning their careers; for some Indigenous students, there may be additional aspects to consider.  

Indigenous people are more likely than non-Indigenous people to be in lower-paying jobs such as teaching, retail or social work, according to a 2018 OECD report. An education gap also persists; data from Statistics Canada’s 2011 National Household Survey shows about half of Indigenous people between 25 and 64 in Canada had a post-secondary qualification, compared with two-thirds of non-Indigenous people. 

It is important to acknowledge such challenges given the labour market and employment outcomes for Indigenous people. According to the 2017 Aboriginal Peoples Survey, unemployment rates among First Nations people living off-reserve were at 15% (43,655 individuals) in 2016. In addition, the Aboriginal Peoples Survey included key barriers First Nations people face when navigating the labour market. Limited work experience, not knowing where to look and not having enough education and/or training were all identified.  

Many companies and organizations are dedicating themselves to being diverse and inclusive employers, and to providing resources to support Indigenous people who face barriers to employment. The following resources can guide career development professionals in supporting Indigenous students and jobseekers in finding meaningful employment and advancing their careers. 

If you would like to discuss issues related to your career decision-making, our Career Counsellors can help; please make an individual appointment by calling 905-828-5451 or coming into DV 3094. We can help you to understand what is important to you in making your career decision and how to translate that into career options and potential employers. 

Helpful Resources: 

Education and Financial Assistance 

Grand River Post-Secondary Education Office 

Provide financial education assistance to students with the Grand River Territory linage who are looking to continue their education at a post-secondary institution. 

Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation Education Department 

Provide financial assistance for post-secondary to students from MCFN.  

Indspire 

An Indigenous-led charity that invests in the education of First Nations, Inuit and Métis people for the long-term benefit of these individuals, their families and communities, and Canada. They disburse financial awards, deliver programs, and share resources with the goal of increasing graduation rates for Indigenous students. 

Southern First Nations Secretariat 

Delivers programs and services to member First Nations in the following areas: (1) Post-Secondary Funding & Support Services, (2) Technical Services, (3) Employment & Training Support Services, (4) Economic & Capacity Development, and (5) Financial Advisory Services. Member Nations include Aamjiwnaang First Nation, Caldwell First Nation, Chippewas of Kettle & Stony First Nation, Delaware Nation-Moravian of the Thames, Munsee-Delaware Nation, and Oneida Nation of the Thames.  

Animikii Scholarship 

Encourage and inspire Indigenous youth to choose entrepreneurship and technology as a career path. The Technology and Entrepreneurship Scholarships for Indigenous Youth provides Indigenous youth in a post-secondary setting with a $500 scholarship for books, tuition, supplies or any other cost-of-living expenses related to their time in school. 

Post-Secondary Student Support Program 

Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) provides financial assistance to First Nations students who are enrolled in eligible post-secondary programs. 

Indigenous Youth in STEM Program (InSTEM) 

Aimed towards students in K-12, Actua works to prepare youth to be innovators and leaders by engaging them in exciting and accessible STEM experiences that build critical skills and confidence. InSTEM is a customized, community-based approach to engaging First Nations, Métis and Inuit youth in locally and culturally relevant STEM education programs. 

Ontario Native Education Counselling Association (ONECA) 

ONECA is an organization composed of First Nation Education Counsellors. It offers scholarships, student awards and resources for teachers, holds an essay contest and hosts an annual conference. 

University of Toronto Mississauga Campus Indigenous Centre 

The Indigenous Centre at the University of Toronto Mississauga works to support Indigenous students, staff, and faculty at UTM as well as inspire future Indigenous students to a welcoming and inclusive UTM community. 

The Indigenous Network 

Opened as a Cultural Centre to provide a social setting to foster cultural awareness and education, and provide services and support to the Indigenous community in the Region of Peel. (Member of the OFIFC). 

Metis Nation of Ontario 

The Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO)’s Statement of Prime Purpose states that as one of its key objectives the MNO is to encourage academic and skills development and enable citizens of the Métis Nation to attain their educational aspirations. 

Tungasuvvingat Inuit

Tungasuvvingat Inuit is an Inuit-specific urban services provider that offers community supports for Inuit of all ages. Finding your way through the urban systems and getting the support you need is what TI does. We’re there for you as you build your life in the south and work to keep you connected to your culture in the north. 

Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami 

The National Representational Organization Protecting and Advancing the Rights and Interests of Inuit in Canada 

Employment and Training Opportunities 

Building Environmental Aboriginal Human Resources (BEAHR) 

BEAHR Indigenous training and employment programs help First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities across Canada develop local environmental skills and foster green careers. These flexible courses provide introductory training to students who want to work in the environmental sector in Canada. 

Canada World Youth 

CWY coordinates programs specifically created for Indigenous youth volunteers to help increase their leadership and employability skills. 

Skills Ontario First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Initiatives 

Skills Ontario’s First Nations, Métis and Inuit (FNMI) Initiatives aim to increase the awareness of FNMI youth in the rewarding career opportunities that exist in the skilled trades and technologies. 

Kochita 

Kochita is working to resolve the Indigenous education and employment gap. It aims to help Indigenous youth, including youth with disabilities/special needs, reach their human resource and career potential. 

NPAAMB Indigenous Youth Employment and Training 

NPAAMB provides skills development and training opportunities for urban Indigenous youth in Southern Ontario. It offers a variety of programs including its Youth Internship Program, Summer Work Experience Program and Skills Development Training Program. 

Accelerate Her Future Fellowship Circle 

10-week program designed by BIWOC for BIWOC – a tailored and highly curated experience providing small group mentorship circles, career learning labs, fireside chats, and networking with managers and leaders from top business and tech companies. Summer 2021 cohort applications close April 11, 2021.*  

*The applications are closed and a date for the summer 2022 application deadline has not been provided. Should we remove this statement? 

The Martin Family Initiative 

The Martin Family Initiative is committed to improving elementary and secondary school education outcomes for First Nations, Métis Nation and Inuit students in Canada by working in full partnership with the Indigenous people of Canada, pertinent governments and the private sector. It offers resources and programming, such as its Aboriginal Youth Entrepreneurship Program. 

Miziwe Biik Aboriginal Employment and Training 

A Toronto-based agency offering employment counseling and support with resumé and cover letter writing. 

Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB) 

CCAB delivers programs that facilitate the growth of Aboriginal business, build relationships between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal business, and ensure life-long learning for Aboriginal entrepreneurs, and other Canadian business leaders. 

RBC Indigenous  

Internship and development programs for Indigenous students and young professionals. 

APTN Internship and Work Experience 

Internship for journalism and broadcasting students. 

Indigenous Professional Association of Canada 

This association is dedicated to advancing Indigenous leadership in the private, public and social sectors. IPAC serves its members through professional skill-building, network development and the recognition of excellence. Through its mission, IPAC offers First Nations, Metis and Inuit professionals the opportunity to connect, learn and prosper as a community. 

Job Boards 

Indigenous Link 

Targeted towards Indigenous students 

Indigenous Works 

Canada’s National Indigenous job site 

Windspeaker 

Job postings specifically targeted to Indigenous people 

Equitek 

Provides job postings that encourage diversity and inclusivity 

Culture Works 

Canada’s national cultural job board 

Indigenous Professional Association of Canada 

Grand River Employment and Training