Knowledge Synthesis Report ABORIGINAL YOUTH EMPLOYMENT IN NORTHERN

Knowledge Synthesis Report ABORIGINAL YOUTH EMPLOYMENT IN NORTHERN
Carleton
Centre for
Community Innovation
Knowledge Synthesis Report
ABORIGINAL YOUTH
EMPLOYMENT IN NORTHERN
CANADA
Frances Abele and Senada Delic*
*Frances Abele is Professor, School of Public Policy and
Administration, and Academic Director, Carleton Centre for
Community Innovation (3ci), Carleton University. Senada
Delic is Research Associate, Carleton Centre for Community
Innovation (3ci), Carleton University. We are grateful to
Sheena Kennedy Dalseg, Nick Falvo, Joshua Gladstone, John
Jacobs, Francis Kiromera and Annie Miller for the excellent
research support they provided as we prepared this paper.
We are also grateful to the Social Sciences and Humanities
Research Council Canada (SSHRC) for providing funding
through the Knowledge Synthesis Grants on Skills
Development for the Future Needs of the Canadian Labour
Market.
R # 14-01 (January 2014)
Table of Contents
Main Message..............................................................................................................................2
Executive Summary.....................................................................................................................3
Introduction..................................................................................................................................6
Context.........................................................................................................................................6
Implications..................................................................................................................................7
Approach and Methodology........................................................................................................9
Results........................................................................................................................................10
Key Themes...............................................................................................................................23
Additional Resources.................................................................................................................30
Appendix A…………………………………………………………………………………....41
Appendix B……………………………………………………………………………………44
Appendix C…………………………………………………………………………………....48
Appendix D……………………………………………………………………………………51
Appendix E…………………………………………………………………………………....60
Appendix F…………………………………………………………………………………….63
Appendix G...............................................................................................................................70
1
Main Message
Observers of the northern Canadian labour market note a persistent mismatch: on the one hand,
many young northern Aboriginal people are without suitable paid employment, while on the
other, employers are struggling to develop a skilled and self-renewing local workforce. Our
synthesis of existing knowledge about this mismatch led to the following observations:
o The reasons for the labour market outcomes of young Aboriginal people in northern Canada
are not fully understood, though the existing research suggests that certain factors such as
early school leaving, early parenthood and an overemphasis on distance-limited employment
opportunities are important barriers to their full participation.
o Another important factor, incompletely investigated, is the apparent imbalance in policy
attention and program funding. These emphasize training for natural resource sector
employment over post-secondary education to prepare youth for work in the public and parapublic sectors.
o The complex opportunity structure facing northern youth is created by many interveners –all
levels of government, small and large corporations, educational facilities at the primary,
secondary and post-secondary levels, non-governmental organizations—and finally by large
scale economic forces. The net effect of all these interventions on the life prospects of
northern Aboriginal youth or the wellbeing of the northern communities where they live is
generally not comprehensively evaluated.
o Variation across northern regions, and within regions across localities, means that labour
force planning and programming must take into account the distinctive features of local as
well as regional northern labour markets so that they can contribute to sustainable and
balanced economic development and self-sufficiency. Institutional innovation and devolution
of capacities to the local level is required to empower northern communities to implement
their own long-term educational and labour force development plans in a holistic and
integrated fashion. The education system and the system for post-secondary academic and
vocational training must be linked at the local and regional level in a manner appropriate to
the conditions in each place.
o Government programming should be extended from attracting northern Aboriginal youth to
resource sector jobs to opening practical paths to sustainable public and para-public sector
jobs as well. This would not only expand the range of career options available to young
people but also support democratic development and Indigenous self-determination.
o Federal and territorial governments should continue to work to improve access to postsecondary academic education, which is generally required for careers that offer steady
employment.
2
Executive Summary
The knowledge synthesis presented in this report is based on an analysis of publicly accessible
research on northern Aboriginal youth employment. We investigated the possible sources of the
apparent mismatch between employment opportunities in northern Aboriginal communities and
the hopes and needs of the people who make up the northern Aboriginal youth labour force.
Our report outlines what is known about the sources of the mismatch, and the measures currently
being taken to address it. We comment on the quality of the available evidence. Where possible,
we have supplied missing information from primary sources. Finally, we offer recommendations
for further research.
Key Findings
What is known about the academic preparation, employment success and career aspirations of
young Aboriginal people living in the north?

As a group, young Aboriginal people in northern Canada are less likely to be part of the
labour force, and more likely to be unemployed, than either non-Aboriginal people in the
north or Canadians as a whole.

Academic preparation, especially at the postsecondary level, is seriously hindered by the
orientation of some local educational facilities and the geographical and cultural distance
between home and the southerly centres where universities are located. A significant
proportion of youth have not completed high school.

How young Aboriginal people in the North understand their own situation is unclear: we
found scant research based on young Aboriginal people's own account of their career
experiences or aspirations. A small amount of excellent and suggestive qualitative research
has been published, particular to specific locations, but to our knowledge no statistical data or
wide-coverage studies exist.
What is known about the recruitment and retention activities of employers operating in the
north?

The existing research suggests that federal programming and industry activity are heavily
focused on attracting northern Aboriginal youth to resource sector jobs.

Very little published research deals with ways to match potential young northern Aboriginal
workers with suitable employment in the public and para-public sectors that exist in their
communities and in larger centres.

There is little discussion of issues related to worker retention and turnover, although these are
matters that frequently come up for discussion in regulatory hearings. There is also scant
independent analysis of the role that publicly supported training programs play in matching
workers with long-term employment.
3
What is known about the quality of information used to portray the state of the labour markets in
the north?

Most published statistical analyses of the working age population in the North are based on
Canadian Census, related post-censal surveys and the federal Labour Force Survey. Although
useful, these data sources involve problems with counting the Aboriginal population over
time as well as some under-coverage and non-participation of some reserves.

With a very few exceptions, published research that mentions Aboriginal youth employment
relies upon descriptive statistics (mainly from federal sources) and expert opinion, generally
accumulated through a combination of key informant interviews, focus groups and
workshops. This work is helpful, but incomplete: reliance upon the collected opinions of
experts is unlikely to challenge or overturn generally held misconceptions. Also, expert
interviews rarely achieve representativeness, as “experts” are generally of a particular age
and occupational vantage point, and generally those interviewed are not drawn evenly from
all socio-economic and age groups.

We conclude that understanding is hampered by a lack of community-based quantitative
studies, and wider scope research based on interviews with northern Aboriginal youth
themselves.
What is known about the state of government intervention, including the effectiveness of public
policy and programming to assist the functioning of the labour market in the north?

Government intervention is characterized by remarkable complexity, where multiple
agencies and governments have an uncoordinated impact on the employment prospects of
Aboriginal youth, with little capacity for the communities and regions to link primary,
secondary, post-secondary and vocational training in ways that would improve the
progression of students and young adults into viable occupations.

There is no research on how the opportunity structure thus formed is understood by or used
by northern Aboriginal youth.
Policy Implications / Lessons Learned
As a group, young Aboriginal people in northern Canada are less likely to be part of the labour
force, and more likely to be unemployed, than either non-Aboriginal people in the north or
Canadians as a whole. The reasons for this are not fully understood, though it is likely that
distance-limited employment opportunities, as well as early school leaving and early parenthood
are factors. But such factors probably provide an incomplete explanation.
There may be a problem of overly constrained choice. The long-term emphasis on vocational
training for natural resource extraction in public policy and programs is not balanced by similar
emphasis on education and training for the public sector and para-public sector jobs that in fact
provide the most stable employment. Given the limitations of many community schools and the
4
availability of lower skilled but relatively highly paid resource sector jobs, students may have
incentives to leave school. At the same time, resource extraction jobs may not be attractive in the
medium or longer term, either because the work is boring and repetitive or because workers
begin to have qualms about the environmental impact of their work. Resource sector work is
definitely attractive to some individuals, but perhaps not in the numbers envisioned in federal
policy and programs.
Labour force planning and programs must take into account the distinctive features of local as
well as regional northern labour markets in order to contribute to sustainable and balanced
economic development.
Very little published research deals with ways to match potential young northern Aboriginal
workers with suitable public sector employment, preparing them to work in what might be
described as “society-building” employment in the offices of public and Aboriginal governments
and non-governmental organizations. Since such jobs, in communities and in larger centres, offer
stable (indeed, potentially life long) employment. More research and innovation is needed, to
consider how public sector jobs might be adapted to make them more attractive and more
accessible to northern Aboriginal youth, and how potential employees might be prepared for
them.
The elementary, secondary, post-secondary and vocational education systems in many parts of
the north must be better linked, so that academic and non-academic vocational paths are visible
and available to northern young people.
Variation across northern regions, and within regions across localities, suggests there is a need
for transition-to-work programs that are flexible enough to respond to local requirements. There
is a need for community-based and community-led labour force planning, and for programs that
create ample “space” (both financial and psychological) for community plans to be realized.
We found no research that focuses specifically on youth employment success: that is, what are
the circumstances and attributes that make it possible for young Aboriginal people in northern
Canada to find suitable work and to build satisfying careers? Such knowledge would improve
the capacity of employers and policy-makers to provide employment opportunities efficiently.
Multiple agencies and governments have an impact on the employment prospects of Aboriginal
youth, both directly (through labour market participation programs) and indirectly, through
numerous federal, provincial and territorial decisions. Yet there is almost no publicly available
research that assesses the overall impact of the opportunity structure thus created, or about how it
is perceived by northern youth. This in turn hampers policy and program changes to improve the
overall system.
5
ABORIGINAL YOUTH EMPLOYMENT IN NORTHERN CANADA
INTRODUCTION
Many observers of the northern labour market note a persistent mismatch: on the one hand, many
young northern Aboriginal people are without suitable paid employment, while on the other,
employers are struggling to develop a skilled and self-renewing local workforce. In this
knowledge synthesis report we address this mismatch by examining publicly accessible research
on northern Aboriginal youth employment. We describe the nature of the “mismatch” and
measures currently being taken to connect northern Aboriginal workers with the best possible
employment opportunities in the north. We comment on the quality of the available evidence on
this question. Where possible, we have supplied missing information from primary sources.
Finally, we offer recommendations for further research to address the important gaps in
knowledge.
CONTEXT
As do adults in all human societies, northerners see children and young adults as the builders of
the society of the future, those who will ensure social continuity and wellbeing. Young people’s
role is particularly important in the rapidly changing north: it is at once the site of bold initiatives
for realizing democratic development and Indigenous self-determination that have transformed
the institutional and political map of Canada, and the focus of international domestic pressure for
natural resource development. Large pressures and responsibilities bear on the relatively small
populations of the North. In these circumstances, making high quality, reliable wage
employment available to northern youth is understood by many northerners as essential to future
social wellbeing. They see that the young workers will continue to build the institutions of selfgovernment and economic self-sufficiency, while their wages will support families and stabilize
community economies. Their roles as providers will add meaning and respect to their lives.1
Young people naturally seek a fulfilling way to make a living, and many wish to do this in their
home communities or home regions. Some will choose a career path built upon a foundation of
specialized education and steady paid employment. Others, who may wish to continue primarily
as harvesters, recognize that some wage income is needed to support and complement hunting
and fishing. Waged employment is important to all.
At the same time, private and public sector employers hope that northern Aboriginal youth will
form a stable, local workforce.2 For the private sector, local employment is a practical advantage
and often, a regulatory requirement. Mines, forestry companies and other business aim to find
workers in the rapidly growing population of northern Aboriginal youth. For the public sector, it
is clear that full development of self-government requires an Aboriginal and local workforce;
democratic development of the new Aboriginal and public governments in many parts of the
north requires more skilled local Aboriginal personnel than these institutions are now able to
recruit.
Potentially matching the hopes and needs of potential employees and employers are industry and
public sector recruitment efforts, and an array of federal, territorial and provincial programs
6
aimed at creating opportunities for Aboriginal people in the workforce. There have been such
programs for over fifty years.3 Yet in many parts of the north, youth unemployment rates remain
disproportionately high, while many employers have difficulty filling positions.4
What is the source of the persistent gap between the available jobs in the north and the
potentially available Aboriginal youth work force residing there? In approaching this question,
we have taken a wide geographic focus. Given similarities in economic base and demography,
for our purposes the north is defined to include three territories and Labrador, as well as the
northern portions of Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia.5
Given the length of this paper, we are not able to cover these ten jurisdictions (comprising 2/3 of
Canada) exhaustively, but we have tried to ensure that the experience in each region is reflected
to some extent in our analysis and bibliography.6 We define youth to be individuals aged 15-24
years, following Statistics Canada and international practice. Individuals in this age group are
establishing the productive practices and relationships that will shape their adult lives. They are
often in the process of forming their attachments to the labour market, and for many occupations,
making the transition from school to work. The extent to which the people in this group are able
to build the basis for stable and productive lives will have a distinct impact on the economic and
social health of the country.
Studies based on aggregate statistics about the northern Aboriginal labour force are an essential
foundation for policy-making. However, they do not provide all of the necessary information and
certain features of the most commonly used sources of data mean that they must be used with
caution. For reasons of population size, global statistical analyses have difficulty taking into
account pronounced regional and even local differences in the labour market. For example, in
wage centres, such as the capital cities or resource boom towns, there are often ample skilled
workers, more jobs and lower unemployment rates for all ages; in most of the many smaller,
more isolated and predominantly Aboriginal communities, there are fewer skilled workers, far
fewer jobs, and higher unemployment rates – yet little uncertainty: most people living in the
smaller communities know which steady jobs are available. These tend to be public sector jobs.7
Such differences, which are important to effective program design, are obscured by aggregate
statistical indicators. Further, in different regions of the North, such non-waged productive
activities as harvesting and the commercial production of art are pursued to varying degrees;
these ways of making a living have an important effect of how people choose to allocate their
time, particularly since on-the-land activities bring more than material benefits to communities
(see Theme 2 below). Program design and labour market policy should take these dynamics into
account, so that the true base and strength of each community economy can be reinforced.
IMPLICATIONS
As a group, young Aboriginal people in northern Canada are less likely to be part of the labour
force, and more likely to be unemployed, than either non-Aboriginal people in the north or
Canadians as a whole. The reasons for this are not fully understood, though it is likely that
distance-limited employment opportunities, as well as early school leaving and early parenthood
are factors. It is clear that these do not provide a complete explanation.
7
There may be a problem of overly constrained choice. The long-term emphasis on vocational
training for natural resource extraction in public policy and programs is not balanced by similar
emphasis on education and training for the public sector and para-public sector jobs that in fact
provide the most stable employment. Nor is a similar level of policy attention and vocational
training support afforded harvesting and other traditional pursuits. Given the limitations of many
community schools and the availability of lower skilled but relatively highly paid resource sector
jobs, students may have incentives to leave school. At the same time, resource extraction jobs
may not be attractive in the medium or longer term, either because the entry level work for which
school leavers are qualified is boring and repetitive or because workers begin to have qualms
about the environmental impact of their work. Resource sector work is definitely attractive to
some individuals, but perhaps not in the numbers envisioned in federal policy and programs.
Very little published research deals with ways to match potential young northern Aboriginal
workers with suitable public sector employment, preparing them to work in “society-building”
employment in the offices of public and Aboriginal governments and non-governmental
organizations. Federal programming and industry activity emphasizes attracting northern
Aboriginal young people to resource sector jobs. Since public sector jobs exist in communities
and in larger centres, and since they tend to offer stable (indeed, potentially life long)
employment, their relative neglect in both policy and research is striking and puzzling.
More research is needed, to consider how public sector jobs might be adapted to make them
more attractive and more accessible to northern Aboriginal youth, and how potential employees
might be prepared for them. Such measures would expand the range of options available to
young people; many may simply not be suited for or interested in the employment options
provided by natural resource development, while they could find satisfying work, as many have,
in the public or para-public sector.
Some northern Aboriginal youth are constrained from finding opportunities to build a career
requiring post-secondary academic education leading to steady employment by institutional
weaknesses. For example, in smaller centres, the academic path to post-secondary (university or
college) education is limited by local educational facilities and the geographical and cultural
distance between home and the southerly centres where universities are located. There exist
some programs that mitigate these obstacles, and such programs should be supported and
replicated.
Variation across northern regions, and within regions across localities, suggests there is a need
for transition-to-work programs that are flexible enough to respond to local requirements. To
take just one example, bearing in mind the importance of harvesting in many communities,
rotational work opportunities will be suitable for some potential workers, but not all. Some may
strongly prefer steady part-time work in their communities, so that they may combine wageearning with harvesting, a strategy that would provide a stable source of high quality food and
adequate cash income. And although evidence is scarce, it appears that the various employment
related social transfers (including rent for the social housing that is common in many parts of the
north) do not readily support individual choices of such strategies. All of these factors suggest a
8
need for community-based and community-led labour force planning, and for programs that
create ample “space” (both financial and psychological) for community plans to be realized.
We found no research that focuses specifically on youth employment success: that is, what are
the circumstances and attributes that make it possible for young Aboriginal people in northern
Canada to find suitable work and to build lifelong careers? Greater systematic understanding of
the sources of "employment success" of northern Aboriginal youth would advance the capacity
of employers and policy-makers to provide employment opportunities efficiently.
Multiple agencies and governments have an impact on the employment prospects of Aboriginal
youth, both directly (through labour market participation programs) and indirectly, through
numerous federal, provincial and territorial decisions. Such decisions include, for example,
certain forms of support for natural resource development, or the federal decision not to support
the development of a northern university system. Such decisions (along with many others, some
taken long ago) create the complex opportunity structure that faces northern youth. Yet there is
almost no publicly available research that assesses the overall impact of this opportunity
structure, or captures information about how young people may be viewing it. This limits sharply
the information base available to potential employers and policy-makers who wish to attract
these young employees. To be of practical use, assessment of the overall opportunity structure
must take into account local and regional differences and avoid generalizations that obscure local
opportunities and obstacles.
APPROACH AND METHODOLOGY
The research reported here responds to one simple research question: what are the possible
sources of the apparent mismatch between employment opportunities in the northern Aboriginal
communities and the hopes and needs of the people who make up the northern Aboriginal youth
labour force? We sought an answer to this question in published academic and nonacademic
sources, guided by four more specific research questions, which asked:




What is known about the academic and vocational preparation, employment success and
career aspirations of young Aboriginal people living in the north?
What is known about the recruitment and retention activities of employers operating in
the north?
What is known about the quality of information used to portray the state of the labour
markets in the north?
What is known about the state of government intervention, including the effectiveness of
public policy and programming to assist the functioning of the labour market in the
north?
One of the challenges of synthesizing knowledge in this field is the need to bring together
knowledge from primarily qualitative and methodologically disparate studies with published
statistical analyses in a way that permits some degree of generalization. The approach we took to
this matter and the methodological considerations related to this approach are described in
Appendix C. In all cases, we selected research reports for methodological strength and
9
pertinence to the four questions listed above. Then, taking these factors as well as geographical
and temporal context into account, we identified common themes, complementary analyses and
apparent contradictions to develop answers to the four specific research questions, crosschecking empirical claims to the extent that this was possible.
Undoubtedly we have overlooked some important analyses, or failed to recognize their
pertinence in time. Fortunately, the present report is only the first instalment in a planned series
of publications on the topic of northern Aboriginal youth employment. We will be grateful for
readers’ reactions, suggestions and criticisms.
RESULTS
The results of our synthesis of available research on Aboriginal youth employment are presented
here first as answers to the four specific questions listed above. As a second step, we reflect on
the key themes that emerged from our review.
Question One: What is known about the academic preparation, employment success and
career aspirations of young Aboriginal people living in the north?
Research shows that generally in Canada, young people have more difficulty finding jobs than
older workers. Aboriginal people, as a group, are less likely to be employed than the general
population. Thus young Aboriginal people experience a kind of double disadvantage, a fact that
is reflected in employment statistics. How young Aboriginal people understand their own
situation is less clear: we found no statistical information about young Aboriginal people's career
aspirations, either in the north or in the rest of Canada. There is some published research
pertinent to this question that is particular to specific locations, generally based upon in-depth
interviews and focus groups. We have included the results of this work, but in this section we
provide, primarily, a statistical portrait of labour market engagement of northern Aboriginal
youth relative to their non-Aboriginal counterparts living in the same regions. We present the
relevant rates in terms of the gaps between these two groups.
In 2012, the unemployment rate of Canadian youth aged 15 to 24 was 14.3%, compared to a rate
of 6% for workers in the prime age category (35-54).8 Among the younger group, Aboriginal
youth are at a particular disadvantage, experiencing unemployment rates much higher than the
national average for young workers.9 In 2006, for example, the unemployment rate for all
Aboriginal youth in Canada was 22%, compared to a national average for youth of 13%.10 At the
same time, the labour force participation rates and the employment rates for Aboriginal youth
were much lower than those of the non-Aboriginal youth, with the partial exception of Métis.11
In 2009, for example, the employment rate for Aboriginal youth was 45.1%, while for nonAboriginal youth it was 55.6%.12
The comparison of Aboriginal to non-Aboriginal youth employment experience in the north is
particularly revealing. As shown in summary Figure 1, in 2006, as a group northern Aboriginal
youth were less likely to participate in the labour force than were their non-Aboriginal
counterparts. They were also less likely to be employed, as shown in Figure 2.
10
The presented figures show that there is significant regional and gender variation. For example,
from Figure 1, we can see that in Inuit Nunangat (the Inuit territories) the participation rate gap
between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal youth varies from region to region. With the exception
of Nunavut, the participation rate gap in all regions is higher among female youth than among
male youth. In Nunavut, the male youth participation gap is 28.0 percentage points compared to
26.6 points for female. Among Inuvialuit (who live in the north-western Northwest Territories)
the male youth participation rate gap is 20.4 percentage points, while female youth participation
rate gap is 36.0 percentage points. In Nunavik, the participation rate gap is 15.7 percentage
points for male and 22.4 percentage points for female. In Nunatsiavut, the participation rates for
male and female youth are 34.8% and 33.3%, respectively. Finally, the participation rate gap
between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal youth living outside of the Inuit homeland territories
amounts to 12.0 percentage points for men and 15.9 percentage points for women.13
Figure 1: Labour Force Participation Rates among Northern Youth, by Identity and Region,
Female youth labour force participation rates, by identity and region, 2006
Percent %
2006
100
80
60
40
20
0
Non-Aboriginal Youth
Aboriginal Youth
Percent %
Male youth labour force participation rates , by identity and region, 2006
100
80
60
40
20
0
Non-Aboriginal Youth
Aboriginal Youth
Source: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census.
Note: Youth age group is 15-24. No-bar for non-Aboriginal youth indicates zero population counts in the region.
Similar patterns appear in employment rates statistics. As shown in Figure 2, in each region, the
employment rates of Aboriginal youth are lower than those of their non-Aboriginal counterparts.
Employment rate gaps appear prominent in all regions, both for male and for female youth; the
only exception appears to be Yukon urban areas where the employment rate gap between
Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal female youth is negligible.14
11
In the NWT region, the employment rate gaps are much larger, especially for female youth, and
there is some variation across different Aboriginal identity groups. For the total area, the
employment rate gap for female youth is 41.6 percentage points and 34.1 percentage points for
male youth. The gaps in urban and in rural areas are not much different, although there is some
variation across Aboriginal identity groups and across gender. These details are presented in
Appendix E, Table E1.
The employment rates for Aboriginal youth living in Nunatsiavut are particularly low, 15.2% for
male youth and 25.5% for female youth. In Nunavik, the employment rate gap between
Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal youth are 32.4 percentage points for males and 34.4 percentage
points for females. Similarly, in Nunavut, the employment rate gap for male youth is 33.2
percentage points and for female youth it is 31.1 percentage points. The employment rate gaps in
Inuvialuit region amount to 28.3 percentage points for male and 35.9 percentage points for
female youth. For Inuit living outside of Inuit Nunangat, the employment rate gaps between
Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal youth are smaller, amounting to 15.8 percentage points for male
and 18.0 percentage points for female youth.
Figure 2: Employment Rates among Northern Youth, by Identity and Region, 2006
Percent %
Female youth employment rates, by identity and region, 2006
80
60
40
20
0
Non-Aboriginal Youth
Aboriginal Youth
Percent %
Male youth employment rates, by identity and region, 2006
80
60
40
20
0
Non-Aboriginal Youth
Aboriginal Youth
Source: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census.
Note: Youth age group is 15-24. No-bar for non-Aboriginal youth indicates zero population counts in the region.
12
Figure 3 presents the 2006 unemployment rates for northern youth, by region. It shows that in all
examined northern regions, the unemployment rates of Aboriginal youth are much higher from
those of their non-Aboriginal counterparts. Again, female youth living in the Yukon urban area
are an exception, with relatively negligible unemployment rate gap of 0.6 percentage points. The
unemployment rate gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal male youth living in the urban
Yukon areas is much higher, 18.5 percentage points, and the unemployment rate gap between
Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal female youth living in the rural Yukon areas is sizable,
amounting to 15.8 percentage points; the gap for male youth living in rural Yukon is 9.1
percentage points.
The unemployment rate gaps between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal youth living in the NWT
total area are large, amounting to 21.1 percentage points for male and 20.3 percentage points for
female youth. The additional information in Table E1 reveals important variations across
Aboriginal identity groups and across gender. For example, the unemployment rate gap for North
American Indian male youth in NWT is 29.3 percentage points while for Inuit male youth it is
11.7 percentage points. For female youth, the unemployment rate gap for Metis is 8.8 percentage
points while for Inuit the gap is 22.5 percentage points.
Percent %
Figure 3: Unemployment Rates among Northern Youth, by Identity and Region, 2006
Female youth unemployment rates, by identity and region, 2006
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
Non-Aboriginal Youth
Aboriginal Youth
Percent %
Male youth unemployment rates, by identity and region, 2006
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
Non-Aboriginal Youth
Aboriginal Youth
Source: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census.
Note: Youth age group is 15-24. No-bar for non-Aboriginal youth indicates zero population counts in the region.
13
Regional differences in unemployment rates are important as well. The highest unemployment
rates among northern Aboriginal youth are in Nunatsiavut, amounting to 56.2% for men and
23.5% for women. In Nunavik, the unemployment rates of Aboriginal youth are 32.7% for males
and 24.6% for females. In the other two regions, the unemployment rate gaps between
Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal youth are significantly high. In Nunavut, the unemployment rate
gap for male youth is 21.3 percentage points and for female youth it is 16.9 percentage points. In
Inuvialuit region, the unemployment rate gap for male youth is 11.6 percentage points and for
female youth it is 15.8 percentage points. The unemployment rate gaps between Aboriginal and
non-Aboriginal youth living outside of Inuit regions are somewhat smaller, amounting to 9.8
percentage points for male youth and 8.0 percentage points for female youth.
Many scholars have explored the sources of this disparity between Aboriginal and nonAboriginal labour market outcomes.15 Some emphasize the fact that young Aboriginal people are
less prepared for waged work, because as a whole they have lower education and skill levels than
the general population.16 Other factors proposed include geographic remoteness from major
employment opportunities and generally disadvantaged living conditions in Aboriginal
communities and the effects of colonialism, contributing to a possible lack of motivation and
consequent success in the labour market.17 While available statistics show a correlation of some
of these factors with lower employment success, we have found no direct investigations of young
Aboriginal people's motivations or understandings of their situation, and no studies that would
lead to firm conclusions about causes for all northern Aboriginal youth as a group.18
What are the reasons for the differences in employment among Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal
youth? We investigated three frequently offered explanations: (1) northern Aboriginal youth
have lower educational attainment; (2) young Aboriginal people in the north become parents
earlier than the general population, and there are more lone parent families; (3) young Aboriginal
people are unwilling to relocate to take a job, though many live in communities where work is
scarce.
Educational Attainment
Many stable jobs – and certainly career advancement – require at least high school graduation, or
an apprenticeship that requires senior high school levels of mathematics and English reading and
writing.
In 2006, the proportion of northern Aboriginal youth who have not graduated from high school is
much higher than the proportion of their non-Aboriginal counterparts. According to the 2006
Census, the gap between the proportions of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal youth without a high
school diploma in Yukon, was 16.9 percentage points for men and 9.6 percentage points for
women. In the NWT it was 37 percentage points for men, and 45.2 percentage points for women.
For Inuit the gaps are greater: in Nunavut, they are 46.5 percentage points for men and 45.5
percentage points for women; in Nunavik, they are 49.5 percentage points for men and 41.8
percentage points for women; and in Inuvialuit, they are 26.0 percentage points for men and 41.4
percentage points for women. Among Inuit youth in Nunatsiavut, 65.2% of men and 68.6% of
14
women have not graduated from high school.19 Table F1 and other figures in Appendix F
provide more details on variations among individual Aboriginal identity groups as well as further
geographic classification.
The importance of high school graduation for employment success is recognized in a number of
northern and northern-focused publications. The Government of the Northwest Territories 2011
Aboriginal Student Education Achievement Action Plan emphasizes the importance of literacy
and educational success, as does the report of the National Committee on Inuit Education. A
2007 study by the Nunavut Literacy Council probes the reasons for lower literacy levels about
Inuit youth in Nunavut. Each of these studies is discussed more fully in Theme One below.20
Parenthood and Employment
It is sometimes observed that single parents will face more difficulties in completing school,
relocating for employment, and remaining in employment than parents in two-parent families, or
the childless. We found little research that investigates the truth of this proposition. Some large
scale generalizations may be made. As shown in Table F1, in Yukon, the gap between the
proportions of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal female lone parents is 17.0 percentage points for
First Nations and 19.2 percentage points for Métis women. A possible consequence of this is that
Aboriginal women in Yukon are substantially more likely than non-Aboriginal women to rely
upon government transfers: according to the 2006 Census, for non-Aboriginal young women
about 9% of the total income comes from government transfers, while for Aboriginal young
women, this proportion is nearly double, at 17%.
As in Yukon, the proportions of lone parents in the NWT are higher among Aboriginal than
among non-Aboriginal youth, with a 7.6 percentage points gap for female youth. Similarly,
larger proportions of government transfers are evident in the total incomes of Aboriginal than of
non-Aboriginal youth. For example, while only 4.5% of the total income of non-Aboriginal
female youth living in the NWT comes from government transfers, for Aboriginal female youth
the proportion is 17% for the total Aboriginal identity and 22.6% for Inuit female youth. This
gap is not as pronounced among young men.
In the Inuit territories, the 2006 Census data show that the proportions of young Aboriginal
women who are lone parents ranges from a low of 7.7% in Nunatsiavut to 12.4% in Nunavik.
The data also show that there is a greater reliance upon government transfers among Inuit youth,
reaching 32% of the total income for women and about 26% of the total income for men living in
Nunatsiavut. Among the non-Aboriginal youth living in the Inuit region, the highest proportion
of government transfers in the total income is about 10%, and that is for women living in the
rural areas.
These figures are only suggestive. While it appears reasonable that young sole parents will have
more difficulty finishing school and holding a job, research that establishes that this is the case,
or assesses the magnitude of the difficulties posed, is hard to find. The disadvantages might be
mitigated for First Nations, Dene, Metis, Inuit and Inuvialuit parents because their families may
be more available, and may provide more support, for lone parents than is common in other parts
of Canada. Possibly, it is not sole parenthood that causes people to leave school, but rather,
15
people leave school because they have not been able to find personal meaning and a sense of
accomplishment there, for a variety of reasons. We found no research on these questions that
documents the degree of family support or its impact on either employment prospects or
educational attainment –or any indication of how these patterns might be changing over time.
Mobility Patterns
The northern population is widely dispersed, with many people living in communities that are
not connected by roads, and accessible by winter road, air and/or water. At the same time, larger
sites of employment tend to be localized –either at mine sites far from population centres or in
the capital cities and regional centres that are far from many of the smaller communities. In
recognition of the economic and political implications of this situation, the Government of
Nunavut adopted a decentralization policy, locating major government offices in ten
communities outside of the capital city of Iqaluit, with mixed results.21
Some employers and observers have commented that the “remoteness” of northern communities
represents a serious challenge for business development, and for the employment of Aboriginal
youth who are reluctant to relocate for work.22 Of course “remoteness” is a function of distance,
but it is also a matter of infrastructure; once transportation and communication improvements
have been made, remoteness recedes as a factor. We have found it impossible to substantiate or
disprove the impression that some have about the reluctance of Aboriginal youth to relocate for
work.23 This is a matter that bears further investigation.
Question Two: What is known about the recruitment and retention activities of employers
operating in the north?
Northern private sector employers have been very active in recruiting northern workers,
including northern Aboriginal youth. In various localities, we found a similar measures to recruit
workers and to contract with northern businesses. For example, the Diavik mine in the
Northwest Territories implemented a "communities" plan, formalized in a series of agreements
with Aboriginal communities and implemented by consultants hired to support small northern
enterprises (a good source of local employment). Many mining companies also negotiate local
and Aboriginal hiring targets, attempt to provide country food at work camps, and make special
efforts to recruit workers from northern fly-in communities. Some have collaborated with local
high schools to advise students of employment opportunities, while refusing to hire applicants
who have not completed high school, as a means of encouraging high school completion.24
While special measures are documented, we found few independent evaluations of their
effectiveness or long-term impact on either individual careers or community labour force
development.25
In many parts of the north, the relationship between northern workers and industries are partly
structured by the provisions of land claims agreements (also known as modern treaties). Since
1976, twenty of these agreements have been negotiated by Aboriginal peoples concerning their
original territories in northern Quebec, Labrador, Nunavut, Northwest Territories and Yukon.
16
The modern treaties provide Aboriginal peoples with capital compensation for lands ceded,
secure control of portions of their original territories, an array of new governance institutions -and some important levers to address matters of employment and small business development.
The agreements establish regulatory frameworks for major project decision-making, and some
mandate the negotiation of Impact Benefit Agreements between companies and local Aboriginal
authorities. Employment targets and small business preferences are often included in Impact
Benefit Agreements or included in conditions placed upon development after regulatory; for
lands not covered by modern treaties, IBAs are becoming more common as requirements of the
regulatory process and effective devices to ensure community-corporate collaboration.26
In the prairie provinces, where there are no land claim agreements, provincial governments have
encouraged the formation of multilateral partnerships, such as the All Parties Core Agreement
(APCA) among the federal, provincial and municipal governments, several oil sands industry
companies, and the First Nations in the northern Alberta district of Wood Buffalo. The
Agreement funds the establishment of Industry Relations Corporations that report to First Nation
Chiefs and Council on issues related to industrial development, including the negotiation of
socio-economic agreements (similar in many ways to Impact Benefit Agreements) that are
reported in turn to the provincial regulatory body, the Energy Resources Conservation Board.
Among other issues, the APCA is intended to address issues of employment and training. A
survey of potential workers conducted by this body identified a number of barriers to
employment: a lack of the required level of education, a lack of skills, not having a driver’s
licence, no transportation, and responsibilities of family care.27
Industry associations and corporations have shared information concerning labour force
development efforts, some of which has been published in government reports or reports from
non-governmental organizations.28 A Conference Board of Canada study published in 2011,
Building Labour Force Capacity in Canada's North, synthesizes a thorough canvas of labour
force issues from private sector employers' point of view. There is no specific focus on youth,
but most of the study's conclusions (based upon expert interviews) are pertinent. The study
highlights the need to make employment opportunities more accessible by increasing high school
graduation rates, ensuring that community high schools offer the courses necessary for students
to pursue apprenticeship or post-secondary academic education, improving infrastructure to
make training and employment more accessible, and providing adequate funding for vocational
training.29 The study advocates a process of mutual learning and adjustment in the relationship
between communities and industries: “Businesses must understand the goals and culture of the
communities where they operate, and communities must understand the working culture and
goals of their employers.” Concrete measures taken by businesses in various parts of the north in
recognition of the goals and culture of the communities where they operate include personal
support for new workers adjusting to more urban environments and flights home for family
events. Workers are enjoined to understand and adjust to “the working culture of their employers
as well as the goals of the organization.” 30
The delivery of vocational training in Canada has been restructured over the last two decades to
incorporate public-private partnerships and the administration of vocational training funding
through regional councils and agencies at arm’s length from line departments. This change in the
17
administrative arrangements led to the formation of many small, Aboriginally controlled training
delivery agencies. Over time, these arrangements also tied funding for vocational training more
tightly to employers’ needs, a shift of great consequence for northern communities.31
While there is good published information about the factors that structure northern labour force
planning, and some documentation of measures taken by employers (though few independent
assessments of these) there are gaps in the existing literature. We found little discussion of
issues related to worker retention and turnover, although these are matters that frequently come
up for discussion in regulatory hearings. There is also scant information on the role the publicly
supported training programs play in matching workers with long-term employment. While
individual programs are evaluated, it is difficult to get a clear understanding of the interaction of
various measures over the long term. There is a problem (of indeterminate magnitude) with
"revolving door" training programs: individuals who are out of work will tend to enrol in
whatever training program is on offer, in order to gain access to income, regardless of whether
they believe that the program will lead to long-term work, or to a job that they wish to keep.
Finally, we found few independent assessments of measures to prepare people for the stable,
long-term public sector jobs that exist in virtually every community in all regions of the North.
There is little analysis of even for such visible and long-standing programs as the Northern
Teacher Education Program (NTEP).32 This lack of attention is puzzling, considering the
importance of training of northern Aboriginal health and education professionals, as well as
managers, administrators and leaders for the public and Aboriginal bureaucracies that provide
the most stable employment opportunities in the North.
Question Three: What is known about the quality of information used to portray the state of
the labour markets in the north?
With a few important exceptions,33 published research that mentions Aboriginal youth
employment relies upon descriptive statistics (mainly from federal sources) and expert opinion,
generally accumulated through a combination of key informant interviews, focus groups and
workshops. Most studies thus summarize informed opinion, and then situate it in the context of
available statistical knowledge. This is helpful, but incomplete: since such an approach relies
upon aggregated opinion, in the absence of further research it is unlikely to challenge or overturn
misconceptions, at least not those held by a majority of respondents. Furthermore, expert
interviews rarely achieve representativeness, as “experts” are generally of a particular age and
occupational vantage point, and generally those interviewed are not drawn evenly from all socioeconomic groups. The large generation of young people who are the focus of this discussion are
particularly likely to be overlooked and not interviewed directly. There is also a problem of
scale: for reasons of population size, it is very difficult to find statistical information that reflects
realities at the regional or community level, while informed opinion is always specific to a
particular place and time – the place and time in which the person who is interviewed finds
herself.
Most published reports draw their information about the availability of the working age
population in the Aboriginal communities from established official data sources such as
18
Canadian Census and Labour Force Survey. Employers generally rely on these data sources
when planning to meet their labour force requirements. For this reason, in Appendix D, we offer
a detailed critical review of the main data sources that are routinely consulted to enumerate and
examine the readiness of the potential labour force in the northern Aboriginal communities: the
Canadian Census and related special surveys such as the Aboriginal Peoples Survey and the
Canadian Labour Force Survey.34 Territorial data sources are only briefly addressed here as they
will be analyzed in detail in a subsequent publication.
The Canadian Census, until recently the largest and most inclusive source of information about
the Canadian population – and the Aboriginal population in Canada – has limitations. Questions
inquiring about ethnic origin, ancestry, race or identity has been included in the Census for
decades, but these have varied over time, making it difficult to discern trends.35 There have in
addition been problems of under-coverage and non-participation of some reserves. With the 2011
replacement of the mandatory long form questionnaire with a voluntary, self-administered
questionnaire, called the National Household Survey (NHS), problems of comparability over
time, as well as under-coverage, have been made worse.
The Aboriginal Peoples Survey (APS) is a special national, post-censal survey that since 1991
has surveyed Métis, Inuit, and North American Indians, as they were identified in the Census and
by registration status under the Indian Act of Canada.36 Due to relatively large sample sizes and
measures taken to generate policy-relevant information, the APS is a rich source of information.
Being a post-censal survey, though, it is affected by the under-coverage and under-representation
that characterize the Census. These limitations are even more present in the public-use versions
of these data files, because in the public-use versions, if a question is of a sensitive nature or if it
entails a relatively small sample size, even the available indicators are suppressed to protect
confidentiality of the individual respondents.37 The survey master files, however, allow for a
more precise and detailed exploration, even if small geographic areas are involved.38 Judging the
representativeness and generalizability of research findings for any of the regions, however,
remains a challenge due to the sampling problems.
The arctic component of APS contains rich statistical information that pertains particularly to
northern Aboriginal Canadians and is published separately in the Survey of Living Conditions in
the Arctic (SLiCA). The SLiCA is a new international survey, the results of which were first
released in 2007.39 The survey contains unique and comprehensive information that can be used
to examine a range of specific issues related to Arctic lifestyles and living conditions in Arctic
Inuit and Inupiat communities of Canada, Alaska, Russia’s Chukotka region, and Greenland. It
does not include other Aboriginal peoples of the Canadian Arctic. The primary strengths of the
SLiCA lies in the relevance and the range of the variables included in the survey, allowing
comparison of living conditions across the Circumpolar North on household and harvesting
activities, personal and community wellness, and social participation.40 Because the SliCA is
based upon the post-censal APS, it incorporates the sampling and under-representation
limitations discussed above.
Statistics Canada has recently added Aboriginal identity indicators to the Canadian Labour
Force Survey (LFS), the labour market specific source of information that it produces for the
19
general population. For the general population, the LFS is a national household survey conducted
each month by Statistics Canada to provide information on major labour market trends. In 2004,
an Aboriginal identity question was added to the national file of the LFS, which permitted
Aboriginal people living off-reserve in four provinces (Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and
British Columbia) and all people living in the three territories (Yukon, Northwest Territories, and
Nunavut) to identify themselves as North American Indian, Inuit, or Métis. As of January 2007,
Statistics Canada has started collecting comprehensive information on labour market conditions
of the off-reserve Aboriginal population in all provinces and of all Aboriginal people living in
the territories.41
The LFS does not capture any aspect of non-wage labour activity, making it hard to determine
whether the low labour force participation of a particular Aboriginal group of workers indicates
poverty or heavy participation in traditional pursuits –or perhaps both. Over the past two
decades, a number of researchers have emphasized that the strong presence of a “mixed
economy” in the northern Aboriginal communities is not merely a residue of an old and fading
way of life, but a unique aspect of the adaptation process in which a subsistence economy
continues to coexist with the modern market economy.42 In this mixed economy model, the
household functions as a “micro-enterprise” and individuals move strategically between
subsistence and market activities depending on opportunities and preferences.43 In such
communities, both the income-in-kind obtained from traditional economic activities, and cash
income obtained from wages and social transfers, are readily shared among households and
community members.44 Thus, relying on this data source alone can lead researchers to make
narrow policy recommendations for different groups of Aboriginal workers.
Each of the territorial statistical agencies collects labour market relevant information through a
variety of surveys. In 2010, the Yukon Bureau of Statistics conducted the Yukon Social Inclusion
Household Survey in an attempt to collect information related to the socioeconomic wellbeing of
vulnerable groups in Yukon society. The survey targeted population aged 18 and over and
questions covered a number of social issues, including child care.45 Similarly, the Northwest
Territories Bureau of Statistics conducts a variety of community surveys that collect important
information on labour force, including information on regional employment and traditional
pursuits.46 Finally, the Nunavut Bureau of Statistics publishes its own labour force and
employment data.47
Aside from the main sources of data collected by Statistics Canada and by the territorial
statistical agencies, the Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
(AANDC) also collects a variety of statistical data, though most of it concerns only the registered
Aboriginal population. These data range from basic departmental data48 to a series of national
surveys of First Nations people living on-reserve.49 Though not labour specific, these surveys
collect useful information on general attitudes of the registered Aboriginal population towards
priorities and satisfaction with service delivery. The surveys also collect information on the
views about education of the registered Aboriginal youth, both on and off reserve.
AANDC has also developed two special tools for measuring the quality of life.50 The first tool,
the Human Development Index (HDI), relates to Inuit and to the registered Indian population. It
20
is designed to compare the average well-being of Registered Indians and Inuit with the average
well-being of other Canadians on national and regional levels. The second tool, Community
Well-Being Index (CWB), is more labour specific and applies to the Inuit population as well as to
the registered Indian population. This index is developed to help measure the quality of life of
First Nations and Inuit communities in Canada relative to other communities, over time. The four
indicators include education, labour force, income, and housing.
All of these data sources are discussed in more detail in Appendix D.
Question Four: What is known about the state of government intervention, including the
effectiveness of public policy and programming, to assist the functioning of the labour market
in the north?
Federal, territorial and provincial programs create the institutional linkages between young
people who are looking for jobs and careers, and the opportunities that are available to them.
Aboriginal people in Canada are eligible for all of the employment and training programs
available to the general population, and in addition to a number of targeted programs. The array
of institutions and purposes is complex; to supplement the overview below, see Appendix B.51
Primary and secondary schools in Canada have an important role in preparing young people for
adult life and for full citizenship. They are also the foundational institutions preparing young
people to enter the labour market. There is no single system for providing primary and secondary
education to Aboriginal people in Canada. In the territorial north, Aboriginal students attend
public schools along with other residents; targeted funding for Aboriginal education was long
ago folded into the general transfers from the federal to territorial governments. Many Aboriginal
students in the northern parts of provinces also attend public schools, while First Nations citizens
living on reserve may attend reserve schools or nearby public schools, according to local
arrangements.52
Aside from the Census and Aboriginal Peoples Survey, no single database tracks secondary
school completion in the territories and northern parts of provinces, or other aspects of
educational performance. That said, it is clear that for northern Aboriginal students as a whole,
school dropout rates are higher, and high school completion rates are lower, though for some
groups (Metis in the Northwest Territories for example) the gap is narrowing.53 While in 2006, a
relatively large proportion of the Aboriginal population (33%) reported college and trade
certificate as their highest level of educational attainment, the proportion of university degree
holders among Aboriginal populations is much smaller (8%).54
For individuals who have completed primary and secondary school, the next step in education is
often attendance at a university or college. There is one college in each northern territory, but no
publicly funded university. Each territorial college offers some university transfer programs
under arrangements with southern universities. A number of non-profit, non-governmental
organizations also offer post-secondary education, including the Dechinta Centre for Research
and Learning, Akitsiraq Law School, Nunavut Sivuniksavut, among others.55 These
arrangements, and the increasing number of distance education programs located all over Canada
and in the circumpolar region (University of the Arctic) enable territorial residents to start
university education in the north; generally, however, northern students must relocate to southern
universities to complete their degrees. Although a number of authors have commented on the
21
likely impact of this situation for the career prospects of northern students, we have not located
research that documents the impact.56
Post-secondary education is – to a variable degree – more accessible for Aboriginal students
living in the northern parts of some provinces. The University of Northern British Columbia, for
example, offers courses at the home campus in Prince George and other northern BC locations,
while Lakehead University serves Thunder Bay and a portion of northern Ontario. Each of these
universities has programs designed to attract and support Aboriginal students from the region in
which they are located. In Saskatchewan, Alberta and Manitoba, universities and colleges have
developed distance education and satellite campuses to make their programs more accessible.
For young Aboriginal people who do not choose to attend university, there are other paths. The
three colleges in the territorial north play a central role in pre-employment preparation, adult
upgrading, and vocational training, as do community colleges located in the northern portions of
provinces. Private sector employers in particular industrial sectors also provide training for entry
level and advancing employees. Much of this training is subsidized by the federal government,
with funds dispersed mainly through two federal departments. The Department of Aboriginal
Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) administers two youth-oriented proposalbased programs, the First Nations and Inuit Skills Link Program and the First Nations and Inuit
Summer Work Experience Program, each of which is delivered by First Nations and Inuit
governments and organizations. Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) delivers
one AANDC-funded program, the First Nations Job Fund, a new (2013) program that links
social assistance funding to employment. ESDC also delivers two large and longer-standing
labour force programs, the Skills and Partnership Fund and the Aboriginal Skills and
Employment Training Strategy (ASETS). ESDC also houses the Office of Literacy and
Essential Skills (OLES) that funds national projects dealing with literacy and essential skills for
work-related purposes.57 These last four are not targeted to youth, though youth are eligible.
Programs targeting youth are grouped under the Youth Employment Strategy, which includes
initiatives of eleven federal departments that provide information and various forms of
subsidized work experience to Aboriginal youth. Programs vary in focus, and some, for example
Canadian Mortgage and Housing’s Housing Internship Initiative are restricted to First Nations
and Inuit youth.58
In addition to these programs, Federal – Provincial/Territorial Labour Market Agreements
support employment training and skills programs through federal funding administered by the
federal department of Employment and Social Development Canada. These agreements seek to
increase the participation of groups, such as Aboriginal peoples, that are under-represented in the
labour market. Funded programs implement federal government labour market priorities, but are
designed and delivered by provincial and territorial governments. Thus the proportion of federal
funding under this program (a reported $3 billion during 2008-2014) directed towards young
Aboriginal workers varies with jurisdictions and it not reported. Although the program explicitly
targets Aboriginal people (along with other groups disadvantaged in the labour market, he most
recent available data (2009-10) indicates that of the 350,234 clients served via the agreement
funded services, nearly 4% self-identified as Aboriginal –a proportion approximates Aboriginal
people’s proportion of the overall Canadian population.59 The proposed federal Canada Job
22
Grant will have an important impact on federal-provincial/territorial collaboration in the support
of employment training, but at this writing its fate in unknown.60
Although we do not have space here to discuss all of them, it is important to note that each
provincial government, and some coalitions of northern governments, intervene in the labour
market to create opportunities for northern Aboriginal youth. For example, in 2010, the Northern
Development Ministers Forum focused on Aboriginal youth entrepreneurship, identifying
education, training and job experience, ease of securing business financing, business
information, mentoring, networking within the community, and community support for
entrepreneurship as important, inter-related factors affecting the success of young Aboriginal
entrepreneurs. The Ministers Forum approach recognizes the importance of taking a holistic
approach to understanding factors affecting the economic future of young people, a matter that is
also recognized from a somewhat different angle, in academic research. Taylor et al, Stern 2005,
and Davison and Hawe 2012 explore, in different ways, the range of choices and constraints
confronting young people in northern communities. The themes that emerge from this work are
discussed in the next section of our report.
KEY THEMES
In this section we present a synthesis of the key themes found in selected Canadian academic and
non-academic publications relevant to northern Aboriginal youth employment.
Theme One: Educational attainment and the school to work transition
Many observers draw a connection between overall educational attainment and the “mismatch”
between unemployed northern Aboriginal youth and unfilled northern jobs.61 School dropout
rates for northern Aboriginal people are higher than the Canadian norm, and the proportion of
northern Aboriginal people who hold high school graduation certificates or their equivalent is
lower. Most of the unfilled jobs in the north appear to be those requiring at least high school
graduation, or qualifications earned after high school graduation.62 The connection is obvious
and it has been affirmed in key public policy documents.
The Government of the Northwest Territories’ 2011 Aboriginal Student Achievement Education
Plan identifies improvements in Aboriginal education attainment as the solution to youth
unemployment and territorial labour shortages. Through a process of research, reflection and
consultation, a group of citizens and officials led by the territorial Minister of Education
identified four goals:
Early Childhood Development and Child Care: Develop early childhood programs, services and
initiatives that optimize the healthy development of Aboriginal children.
Student and Family Support: Provide a variety of support services for Aboriginal students and
families to ensure academic success.
Aboriginal Language and Culture Curriculum and Resource Development: Support Aboriginal
23
students in reaching their full potential by becoming proficient in their Aboriginal language and
strong in their culture.
Literacy: Eliminate the literacy gap between Aboriginal and other students.
A number of other publications make recommendations that reflect a similar analysis.63 For
example, the National Strategy on Inuit Education notes:64
There is a gathering storm in Inuit education. Inuit are among Canada’s youngest
citizens, with a median age of 22 — nearly half the Canadian median age of 40.The bulk
of this population is now moving through the education system, yet too few are
graduating. Although data on graduation rates is limited and education outcomes by
community vary widely, the stark reality of Inuit education today is that roughly 75% of
children are not completing high school, and many who do find that their skills and
knowledge don’t compare to those of non-Aboriginal graduates.
Low educational outcomes are associated with adverse social implications, including
greater unemployment, greater numbers of youth entering the criminal justice system and
greater incidences of illness and poverty. Existing socio-economic conditions will worsen
unless more Inuit children graduate from high school with opportunities to succeed in
post-secondary education.
These observations appear in a National Strategy report prepared by a committee of all
provincial, territorial and Aboriginal education authorities, chaired by Inuit leader Mary Simon.
The National Strategy identifies specific goals in three “core” areas: (1) supporting children to
help them stay in school; (2) providing a bilingual curriculum to achieve literacy in the Inuit
language and at least one of Canada’s official languages, and learning resources that are relevant
to the Inuit culture, history and worldview, and (3) increasing the number of education leaders
and bilingual educators in our schools and early childhood programs.
Clearly these two policy documents that address northern Aboriginal educational attainment see
education in broader terms than simply a means to provide young people with better jobs, though
each document recognizes the central importance of paid employment for individual and social
wellbeing. Interestingly, each makes a connection between the incorporation of a significant
cultural component (such as Aboriginal language instruction in addition to English and French;
history from an Aboriginal perspective) and academic success, based upon the contribution that
the former makes to individual self-esteem and confidence.
There is surprisingly little empirical research that assesses this analysis, though it is intuitively
persuasive and appears to reflect a convergence of expert opinion and the experience of
educators.65 For example, the Nunavut Literacy Council reports the results of a careful and
thorough sequence of focus groups and expert interviews, identifying the impact of colonization
and resulting community “wellness” and a lack of individual self-esteem as key factors in high
dropout rates and low academic achievement.
Another strong theme in the literature is the importance of recognizing the special circumstances
24
of many young Aboriginal students. For example, while early childhood programs are likely to
benefit all children, they are perhaps particularly important for families in which parents are very
young and/or in situations where there is only one parent. Research has showed that lone
parenthood is more prevalent among Aboriginal than non-Aboriginal women.66 In 2006, 18% of
Aboriginal identity women in Canada aged 15 and over were lone parents, compared with 8% of
non-Aboriginal women. For individual Aboriginal identity groups, these proportions were 20%
for First Nations women, 17% for Inuit women, and 14% for Métis women. In addition, the
single parent households headed by Aboriginal single parent women in Canada tend to be larger
than those headed by non-Aboriginal single parent women; in 2006, 22% of Aboriginal single
parent women had three or more children, compared to 10% of non-Aboriginal single parent
women. For individual Aboriginal identity groups, these proportions were 25% among First
Nations, 23% among Inuit, and 16% among Métis single parent women.67
Early parenthood is particularly pronounced among Aboriginal teenage girls, aged 15-19 years.
According to the 2006 Census, 8% of Aboriginal teenage girls were parents, compared to 1.3%
of non-Aboriginal teenage girls; among individual Aboriginal identity groups, First Nations and
Inuit teenage girls are more affected (9% for each group) than Metis teenage girls (4%).
However, the highest proportion of teenage girls who were parents (12%) was found on reserves
among First Nations teenage girls.68
A Canada-wide study of Aboriginal education reports findings that converge with these
recommendations. Noting that most Aboriginal children in Canada attend provincially run
public schools, Richards and Scott recommend the introduction of early childhood education
programs, changes to curriculum and hiring of teachers that build a stronger Aboriginal presence
in the school system, and the engagement of local Aboriginal organizations in educational
governance.69 For First Nation students living on reserve (as is the case for many in the northern
provinces) there are some other barriers arising from the institutional context, including
inadequate funding and consequent difficulties in recruiting and retaining experienced teachers.
One of the few reported surveys of student opinion was published by the Association of
Canadian Community Colleges in 2010. This study, which includes but is not specific to the
north, reports a number of factors that students identify as creating barriers to their education:





lack of financial assistance for students in adult upgrading
amounts that do not recognize the costs of the diverse range of support services and
upgrading needed by Aboriginal students before starting post-secondary programs;
project-based funding for Aboriginal program development and delivery;
of funding for student supports in community-based programs;
insufficient coordination among federal funding agencies.
Colleges identified lessons learned related to four main themes:


community engagement is fundamental for the effective delivery of Aboriginal programs
and services.
Aboriginal voice must be heard within and across institutions through Aboriginal
25




representation at the governance and senior administrative levels;
curriculum which is culturally relevant and embeds Aboriginal world views and
traditional knowledge;
purposeful hiring practices to increase Aboriginal faculty and staff recruitment;
intercultural training for college faculty and staff; and
providing Aboriginal students with a welcoming environment that allows them to
celebrate their culture.
services are key for Aboriginal student retention and success as they address the barriers
many Aboriginal students must overcome to succeed. These services are pivotal in
creating a culturally-appropriate, welcoming and supportive learning environment.
Theme Two: Building policies that “see” and understand the mixed economy
and community social systems
A substantial proportion of young northern Aboriginal people live in communities that are small
by southern standards (fewer than 3000 residents), and also relatively homogeneous, with
Aboriginal people being by the far largest proportion of the population. Many of these
predominantly Aboriginal communities are not connected by all-weather roads, relying upon
winter roads, water and air transportation. They have a strong harvesting sector, and limited
opportunities for wage employment. Many of these communities have a distinctive economic
base and social structure that requires a different approach to labour force development.
An academic literature of long duration has established the main characteristics of the northern
‘mixed economy.’70 In mixed economy communities, it is helpful to think of the household as a
basic unit of production where cash income, harvested food and materials, and artistic and craft
labour is combined. Individual members of the household pool their resources and their labour.
There is customarily exchange, cooperation and sharing among households in the community.
The essence of the mixed economy is that the individuals and households within it do not rely
upon a single source of income for their livelihood, but rather upon several. These may include
small business activity, wage employment, gathering, hunting, and trapping, domestic care of
others, service to the community, and other activities. Because sources of cash and in-kind
income and resources are plural, and because risk is shared among members of the household,
the mixed economy provides protection from the discipline of the market, and —a notable
feature given the modern structure of the northern economy—from the boom and bust cycles of
the resource frontier. Faced with unemployment, within the framework of the extended family
and the community, individuals may undertake essential non-waged activities, such as child and
elder care, hunting, fishing, gathering, food preservation, and making products based on the gifts
of the land. These are not only satisfying activities, but they provide families with high quality
food and an opportunity to make their living in a manner that has continuity with their heritage.
The mixed economy emerged with the earliest opportunities for exchange and wage employment
in the North. It has proven to be enduring and resilient, surviving fluctuations in the fur market,
the changes in living conditions that came with the establishment of permanent northern
communities, and increasing if cyclical wage economy opportunities.
26
The dynamics of community economies are thus quite different from those of more urban
centres. There is an essential role for wage employment, not only as a source of income and
satisfaction for individuals but also as an aspect of the mixed economy that provides stability and
resilience to northern families. This reality brings an important policy and program challenge.
All employers and all education and training programs can have a role to play in supporting the
stable economies of the North’s smaller, predominantly Aboriginal communities. This goes
beyond accommodating “cultural” differences until workers adapt to the new regime of wage
employment; rather it opens the prospect that employment opportunities and the education and
training systems can be structured to support and develop the skills and social practices
necessary to maintenance of the mixed economy. This, in turn, probably requires that
communities have more control over the programs and terms of employment that affect them.
There is a strong body of research, now covering several decades, that empirically demonstrates
the persistence and the dynamics of the northern mixed economy. There is much less research on
how the policy and program environment could adjust to take the mixed economy into account,
to reinforce its protective features, and to make it possible for communities to develop education
and labour force strategies that build on the strengths of their economies. It is known that some
adjustments are made in territorial policies, that some land claim agreements include harvesting
supports, and that at the community level there are customary informal practices that support the
viability of the mixed economy. Generally, though, these are not documented or studied and so
they tend to be invisible to policy and decision-makers.
Theme Three: Getting the role of the natural resources sector right
The expansion of Canada’s resource extraction industries is central to the federal government’s
northern economic development strategy, and also to the economic futures of most provinces. In
a context where the federal government has identified a shortage in skilled workers as “the
biggest challenge our country faces” for Canada’s future economic growth,71 this sector is surely
a promising source of employment for Aboriginal youth. A recent report claims that labour
market indicators point to a “crisis” in the mining industry forecasting a shortage of 4,816 skilled
workers by 2018 and 16, 060 workers by 2023. According to the Mining Industry Human
Resources Council, Aboriginal people “represent the greatest potential as a source of future
labour supply for the industry”.72
To what extent is this a realistic aspiration? There are reasons to expect the natural resources
sector to play an important role in the future of northern Aboriginal youth. Employment in the
natural resources sector is well paid and relatively accessible in terms of entry level job
requirements; overall the sector relies upon a range of skill levels, making entry and then
advancement within the sector over time feasible.73 The expansion of natural resource
development which has accompanied rising commodity prices contributed to a significant
increase in employment of Aboriginal workers.74 Currently, Canada-wide, the sector provides a
disproportionate number of jobs to Aboriginal workers.75 So far, however, these workers are
generally employed in the less skilled and lower paid positions relative to the non-Aboriginal
population.76 There are also indications that work in this field is not attractive to all. In
interviews with workers, former workers and others in the Wood Buffalo area, for example,
27
Taylor, Freidel and Edge found a signficant degree of ambivalence, concluding that for some,
"while dependency and economic underdevelopment are unacceptable, a future characterized by
unfettered resource extraction is also unacceptable." As one of their interviewees put it, "We
have to move forward, but do we have to move forward at the expense of our planet?"77
Several federal Aboriginal employment development programs are focused on increasing the
opportunities in the energy and mining sector. For example, the Skills and Partnership Fund,
discussed above, is specifically tied to preparing Aboriginal workers for employment in the
energy and mining sectors.78
The opportunities associated with resource extraction have been posed as a solution to the
economic challenges facing Aboriginal peoples79 but tying employment opportunities for youth
to meeting the labour market demands in support of the expansion of the energy and mining
industries raise a number of issues for policy makers and Aboriginal communities.
Recent reports have questioned the premise that Canada is indeed facing a shortage of skilled
workers, concluding that the shortages that do exist are regional, temporary and related to the
cyclical nature of resource extraction booms as indicated by the current surplus of resource
sector workers relative to employment opportunities.80 Employment in the energy and mining
sectors is also subject to the volatility of commodity prices and the finite nature of nonrenewable resource extraction – mining employment fluctuates with commodity prices81 and
only lasts until a mineral deposit is depleted.
Forecasting employment opportunities in resource extraction is difficult and subject to overly
optimistic projections given the need for the extractive industries to forecast employment
benefits for First Nations communities at the project appraisal stage to overcome opposition
based on the social and ecological disruption associated with the expansion of energy and mining
exploration, extraction and transportation on Ancestral lands. The capacity of Aboriginal
communities to take advantage of potential employment opportunities is also contingent upon
first addressing deficiencies in, for example, educational infrastructure and broader systemic
challenges faced by Aboriginal peoples. For example, an internal federal government document
recently questioned the capacity of First Nations communities to fulfil the employment
opportunities being promoted as benefits to Aboriginal communities should they accept the
development of the “Ring of Fire’s” vast mineral deposits in Northern Ontario. As many have
argued, improvements to primary, secondary and post-secondary education systems and their
effectiveness should come before the expansion of mining if Aboriginal communities are to
benefit.82
An additional complication concerns transferable skills. Aboriginal workers are
disproportionately in sectors such as energy and mining, in which many of the skills developed
are not directly transferable to other sectors of the economy;83 thus as a recent report noted,
while income levels can be quite high ... one could argue that this degree of concentration
[on employment in this sector] is not necessarily the most sustainable outcome. These
industries can be quite cyclical in nature, following resource … boom-bust cycles. Thus,
28
any gains made in closing the gap relative to non-Aboriginals could be lost quickly …
commodity prices pullback significantly. Furthermore, during economic downtimes,
Aboriginal peoples might have increased difficulty finding jobs in other sectors given
their lower education and skill levels.84
This poses a problem for policy makers seeking to balance specific training and skills for the
mining sector with the need to develop a well-educated workforce supportive of the development
of diversified and sustainable northern economies.
In many Northern communities, natural resource extraction is a mainstay in the local economy.
Among Aboriginal communities, there has been a variety of responses to the prospect of
resource development. Some communities have been eager to partner with industry to provide
much needed jobs to community members and additional revenue for chief and council. Some of
these relationships have been mutually beneficial and allowed many community members to
acquire well-paying jobs, for others, such as the James Bay Cree, although jobs were promised,
these positions never appeared. In the context of resource development, it is important to
mention, that in the majority of cases, employment opportunities are short term in nature; the
boom and bust cycle endemic to natural resource development creates a particular problem for
communities whose young labour force requires both versatility and stable economic prospects.
In this regard, the resource industry development model that characterizes the Canadian
economy creates a particular problem for communities seeking to establish a stable economic
base. Projects are proposed and pass through the regulatory process one at a time, encouraging
decisions that fail to take into account cumulative and longer term impacts, be they positive or
negative.85 This is mirrored in the way that training and education programs are funded, with the
funding “tap” turned off and on depending upon projected local demand for labour associated
with particular projects or industries. This in turn creates an imbalance in the overall educational
system, and one that creates important vulnerabilities to the cycles of the global resource
economy.
Theme Four: “Remoteness” and the Infrastructure Deficit
“Remoteness” is often cited as a prominent feature of northern communities, one that has to be
taken into account in planning for their labour force development. The term refers to the distance
of many northern communities from southern markets, from sites of potential employment, and
from sources of supply. A 2010 briefing paper prepared for the Northern Development Ministers
Forum asserts that “it is well-documented that economic development in northern communities
will always be very difficult because of the inherent challenges of the North’s geography,
remoteness, small dispersed population, poor infrastructure and high living costs.” While the
conditions that are referred to here obviously exist, the report actually provides no
“documentation” for the view that these conditions must necessarily last forever, or even for a
long time. As some of the studies we reviewed implicitly recognize, remoteness is not simply a
matter of distance; rather it is a function of infrastructure and public expenditure.86 To take an
example from Canadian history, the construction of a transcontinental railway in the nineteenth
century reduced the travel time between the capital in Ottawa and British Columbia from a
29
matter of months, to a matter of days, rendering the Pacific coast much less "remote." Similar
principles would seem to prevail in northern Canada, so that improved transportation and
communication infrastructure could be expected to have an important impact on the remoteness
of particular communities and therefore on the educational and vocational opportunities available
to their workforces. With strategic improvements in transportation and communication
infrastructure, remoteness of northern communities will diminish.
Another way to consider the interaction of remoteness and infrastructure is through the lens of
labour force mobility. It is a fact that for great portions of northern Canada, employment
opportunities are localized at natural resource extraction sites or in the capital cities and regional
administrative centres, while the northern population lives in well over one hundred dispersed
predominantly Aboriginal communities, distant from sites of employment and sometimes
accessible only by air or winter road. Sometimes it is observed that even in the face of this
reality, northern Aboriginal workers are reluctant to relocate for employment. Whether this
generalization is true for most potential Aboriginal workers is not known.
Some research suggests that caution is warranted because there may be other factors at play
besides a reluctance to move or a readiness to bail out of vocational experiments. One factor may
be the tension that many Aboriginal workers feel about the nature of the work they are being
asked to do. As Taylor, Freidel and Edge explained: “while dependency and economic
development are unacceptable, a future characterized by unfettered resource extraction is also
unacceptable.” In the words of one of their interviewees, who had experimented with work in
the Alberta oil sands: “We have to move forward, but do we have to move forward at the
expense of our planet.”87 While few forms of natural resource exploitation have a footprint and
impact as large as the Alberta oil sands, it is plausible that similar tensions exist for members of
Aboriginal communities where harvesting and life on the land is highly valued.88 This should
draw attention to the importance of research that listens carefully to the reasoning of young
Aboriginal workers themselves. It also suggests that work opportunities that offer alternatives to
natural resource extraction should be welcome.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
The research synthesis reported here includes published quantitative analyses as well as research
that combines quantitative information with knowledge gathered using other methods. We assess
the adequacy with which this body of work takes into account regional and other diversities in
the northern labour force and economy, all potential employment opportunities, gender
differences, patterns of educational attainment, vocational training, apprenticeship and postsecondary educational opportunities and effects. Besides the present report, we have prepared a
publicly accessible database (Zotero) of pertinent research resources. The Zotero (open access)
bibliography has been created and is operating now. The bibliography is listed under the group
named, Aboriginal Youth Employment Northern Canada, and can be accessed at:
https://www.zotero.org/groups/aboriginal_youth_employment_northern_canada/items
We are completing a series of short papers that deal with specific aspects of northern youth
employment in more depth, and a website (still under construction) that will provide ready
30
access to this and future work on northern labour issues conducted at the Carleton Centre for
Community Innovation.
FURTHER RESEARCH
1. What do the young potential workers think?
With one or two important exceptions, there is a surprising dearth of information about how
young Aboriginal people themselves understand their situations, and what their aspirations are
for the future. No doubt there will be important regional and local variations on these matters;
the variations as well as the common themes are important to all employers and policy-makers.
2. How is the overall system working?
Taken together, the educational, vocational and employment programs offered by all orders of
government, along with employment opportunities themselves, create the opportunity structure
facing northern youth. There is a need for a panoptic assessment of the opportunity structures
facing northern Aboriginal youth in various provinces and territories, to enable cross-regional
learning and comparison. Included in ‘the system’ should be the many programs directed toward
youth that may not have an immediate and obvious labour market linkage, such as recreational
sport or artistic expression.
3. How can we better educate people for the permanent stable jobs?
Most of the permanent jobs in northern Canada are found in the public or para-public sector, yet
neither government programs nor independent research has focused on these. This should be
remedied. For the portions of the population who wish to make their lives in one of the over one
hundred dispersed, predominantly Aboriginal communities, there is a need to consider education,
training and the structuring of jobs to understand how the jobs in the communities and the
individuals who might seek them be best matched. Here too there is a great opportunity for interregional mutual learning, and for developing a better understanding of the interaction of
available training funds and the mixed economy, to maximize benefits accruing from each.
SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY
Abele, Frances. 2005. The Smartest Steward? Aboriginal People and Petroleum-Based Economic
Development in Canada’s North. In G. Bruce Doern, ed. Canadian Energy Policy and the
Struggle for Sustainable Development. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, pp.223-245.
Conference Board of Canada. 2011. Building Labour Force Capacity in Canada’s North. Ottawa:
Centre for the North.
31
Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency. 2012. Northern economic index 2011-12.
Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor). Last modified 2012-11-16.
Accessed April 29, 2013 at: http://www.north.gc.ca/aa/nei1112/nei1112-eng.asp#chp2b
Centre for the Study of Living Standards. 2012. Aboriginal labour market performance in
Canada: 2007-2011. Ottawa: CSLS Research Report 2012-04.
Government of the Northwest Territories. 2011. Aboriginal Student Achievement Action Plan.
Yellowknife.
Government of the Northwest Territories. 2013. Aboriginal Student Achievement Action Plan
Update. Yellowknife.
Martin, Heidi. 2011. Building Labour Force Capacity in Canada’s North. Ottawa: Conference
Board of Canada.
Nunavut Literacy Council. 2007. Barriers to Youth Employment in Nunavut: A Research Report
and Action Plan. Cambridge Bay.
Slowey, G. 2008. Navigating Neoliberalism: Self-Determination and the Mikisew Cree.
Vancouver: UBC Press.
Taylor, Alison, Tracy L. Friedel, and Lois Edge. 2006. Pathways for First Nations and Metis
Youth in the Oil Sands. Ottawa: Canadian Policy Research Networks.
32
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1
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Institute for Research on Public Policy.
Inuvialuit Regional Corporation (2012). The economic life of Inuvialuit households in Paulatuk.
Kennedy, S. & Abele, F. (2011) Socio-economic Baseline Study. Hamlet of Igloolik, NU.
Kuhn, P. & Sweetman, A. (2002). Aboriginals as unwilling immigrants; Contact, assimilation and labour market
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2
Sturk (2009; 2013). Mining Industry Human Resource Council (2013). Canadian mining industry employment,
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See also related publications on the MiHR’s website: http://www.mihr.ca/en/publications/Publications_AZ.asp
3
Rea, Kenneth. (1968) The Political Economy of the Canadian North. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
Delic, S. & Abele, F. (2010). The recession and Aboriginal workers. In B. Doern & C. Stoney (Eds.), How Ottawa
Spends 2010-2011. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, pp. 187-2016, 2010.
4
Abele (2009).
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Report of the MLA Committee on the First Nations, Métis and Inuit Workforce Planning Initiative.
5
We use a combined physical/sociological definition of the boundary between northern and southern Canada, as in
Hamelin, L-E. (1975) Nordicité Canadienne. Montreal: Hurbubise.
6
We do not have space here to include an account of relevant international experience, although there is some. A
short paper on this theme will be available on the project website in late spring 2014.
7
Abele, F. (2006). Education, training, employment and procurement. Paper submitted to the Joint Review Panel for
the Mackenzie Gas Project, Northwest Territories. Yellowknife: Alternatives North.
Delic, S. (2013). Measuriement of labour market attachment in the northern Canadian context: Conceptual and
methodological issues. Revue Interventions économiques/Papers in Political Economy, Issue 47.
33
8
OECD (2008). Jobs for Youth/Des emplois pour les jeunes Canada. OECD Multilingual Sumamries, ISBN-97892-64-046498.
Bernard, A. (2013). Unemployment dynamics among Canada’s youth. Analytical Paper, Economic Insights,
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9
Hull, J. (2008). Aboriginal youth in the Canadian labour market. Research Brief, Policy Research Initiative.
Horizons, 10(1), 40-44.
OECD (2008).
10
OECD (2008).
11
Centre for the Study of Living Standards (2012). Aboriginal labour market performance in Canada: 2007-2011.
CSLS Research Report 2012-04, Prepared for the Metis National Council by the Centre of the Study of Living
Standards, June 2012.
12
Statistics Canada (2011). Canada Year Book: Aboriginal peoples, Chapter 1.
13
See Table E1 in Appendix E for details about the other northern peoples and regions.
14
The additional information provided in Table E1, however, suggests that this gap is higher when individual
Aboriginal identity groups are examined; for North American Indian the gap is 12.0 percentage points and for Inuit
it is 6.7 percentage points. Table E1also reveals that in the Yukon urban areas, the employment rate of Metis female
youth (85.7%) is in fact much higher from that of non-Aboriginal female youth (62.3%). This variation is not as
incongruent for male youth living in Yukon urban areas, but the employment rate gap is sizable, 24.8 percentage
points. In rural Yukon area, the employment rate gap for male youth is 13.5 percentage points and for female youth
it is 33.2 percentage points.
15
Human Resources and Social Development Canada (2007). Looking-ahead: A 10-year outlook for the Canadian
labour market (2006-2015) report. Human Resources and Social Development Canada, Strategic Policy Research
Directorate, Labour Market and Skills Forecasting and Analysis Unit. SP-615-10-06E
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authority of Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status
Indians. Ottawa: Public Works and Government Services Canada. ISBN: 978-1-100-50004-1.
Government of Canada (2008). Toward a new federal framework for Aboriginal economic development: Discussion
guide. Published under the authority of Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal
Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians. Ottawa: Public Works and Government Services Canada. ISBN: 9781-100-10324-2.
16
Drost, H. (1994). Schooling, vocational training and unemployment: The case of Canadian Aboriginals. Canadian
Public Policy, 20(1), 52-65.
Biswal, B. (2008). Literacy performance of working-age Aboriginal people in Canada: Findings based on the
International Adult Literacy and Skills Survey (IALSS) 2003. Research report prepared for the Human Resources
and Social Development Canada, Learning Policy Directorate, Strategic Policy and Research, July 2008, Catalogue
no.: HS28-147/2008E-PDF.
Maxim, P. & White, J. (2006). School completion and workforce transition among urban Aboriginal youth. In
White, J. P., S. Wingert, D. Beavon and P. Maxim (Eds.). Aboriginal Policy Research: Moving Forward, Making a
Difference. Volume 3, (pp. 33-52). Toronto: Thompson Educational Publishing.
Mendelson, M. (2006). Aboriginal Peoples and postsecondary education in Canada. Ottawa: Caledon Institute of
Social Policy.
34
Walters, D., White, J., & Maxim, P. (2004). Does postsecondary education benefit Aboriginal Canadians? An
examination of earnings and employment outcomes of recent Aboriginal graduates. Canadian Public Policy, 30(3),
283-301.
17
Kuhn, P. & Sweetman, A. (2002). Aboriginals as unwilling immigrants; Contact, assimilation and labour market
outcomes. Journal of Population Economics, 15(1), 331-355.
White, J., Maxim, P., & Gyimah, S. O. (2003). Labour force activity of women in Canada: A comparative analysis
of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal women. The Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology, 40(4), 391-415.
Gee, E., Kobayashi, K. & Prus, S. (2006). Ethnic inequality in Canada: Economic and health dimensions. In D. A.
Green & J. R. Kesselman (Eds.), Dimensions of inequality in Canada (pp. 249-271). Vancouver: University of
British Columbia Press.
Disant M, Hebert C, Bergeron O, Bruneau S. (2008). Aboriginal youth and social inequalities in health. Quebec
Population Health Research Network, Quebec: November 2008. Accessed on January 7, 2014 at:
http://www.santepop.qc.ca/fichier.php/114/
18
Delic (2013) addresses an aspect of this (labour force participation and unemployment rates) for the total working
age population in the north, though from a methodological point of view. Delic also addresses other aspects of this,
though for all three Aboriginal identity groups of workers in Canada, in her unpublished doctoral dissertation, Delic,
S. (2012). Three essays in labour economics: An application of mixed methods research to understanding of the
employment status of Aboriginal workers in Canada. Carleton University. To our knowledge, there are no published
studies examining separately the experience of northern Aboriginal youth.
19
The tabulated 2006 Census data counts for the non-Aboriginal youth-category 15-24 in Nunatsiavut is zero, hence
no gap figures for this region.
20
Research on this question for Aboriginal people in Canada as a whole is usefully rolled up in Government of
Canada, Policy Horizons Canada at http://www.horizons.gc.ca/eng/content/i-setting-medium-term-research-agendakey-pressures-and-emerging-issues.
21
Hicks, Jack and Graham White (2005) Building Nunavut through Decentralization or Carpet-Bombing into NearTotal Dysfunction? A Case Study in Organizational Engineering. Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Canadian
Political Science Association. London: University of Western Ontario.
22
Northern Development Ministers Forum (2010) Aboriginal Youth Entrepreneurship: Success Factors and
Challenges. Briefing Paper.
23
There is statistical evidence about mobility available, but given the age of the population we are focused on, we
are unable to distinguish between choices made by youth, and choices made by their parents.
24
Hoeffer, Tom (2009) Diamond Mining in the Northwest Territories: An Industry Perspective on Making the Most
of Northern Development. In Frances Abele, Thomas J. Courchene, F. Leslie Seidle, and France St-Hilaire, eds.
Northern Exposure: Peoples, Powers and Prospects in the Canadian North. Montreal: Institute for Research on
Public Policy. Some information in this list by personal communication.
25
Hodgkins, Andrew (2013) Regulation of Vocational Education and Training Fields in Northern Canada. Doctoral
dissertation. Department of Educational Policy Studies. University of Alberta; Taylor, Alison, Tracy L. Friedel, and
Lois Edge (2006) Pathways for First Nations and Metis Youth in the Oil Sands. Ottawa: Canadian Policy Research
Networks.
35
26
Knotsch, C and J. Warda (2009) Impact Benefit Agreements: A Tool for Healthy Inuit Communities? Ottawa:
National Aboriginal Health Organization; Sosa, I., & Keenan, K. 2001. Impact benefit agreements between
aboriginal communities and mining companies: Their use in Canada. Ottawa: Canadian Environmental Law
Association; Hitch, M., & Fidler, C. (2007). Impact and benefit agreements: A contentious issue for environmental
and aboriginal justice. Environments Journal, 35(2), 45-69.
27
The information in this paragraph is drawn from Taylor, Alison, Tracy L. Friedel, and Lois Edge (2006)
Pathways for First Nations and Metis Youth in the Oil Sands. Ottawa: Canadian Policy Research Networks. See also
Alison Taylor, Tracy L. Freidel, and Lois Edge (2010) First Nations and Metis Youth in Northern Alberta: Toward a
More Expansive View of Transitions. Ottawa: Institute on Governance.
28
Canada, Natural Resources Canada (2009) First Nations Forestry Program Success Stories. Ottawa. Canadian
Forestry Service; Conference Board of Canada (2011) Building Labour Force Capacity in Canada's North. Ottawa:
Centre for the North.
29
Conference Board of Canada (2011) Pp 4-14.
30
Conference Board of Canada (2011) p 18.
31
Slowey, Gabriele (2008) Navigating Neoliberalism: Self-Determination and the Mikisew Cree. Vancouver: UBC
Press; Andrew Hodgkins (2013) Regulation of Vocational Education and Training Fields in Northern Canada.
Doctoral dissertation. Department of Educational Policy Studies. University of Alberta; Alison Taylor and Tracy
Freidel. 2011. Enduring Neoliberalism in Alberta’s Oil Sands: The Troubling Effects of Private-Public Partnerships
for First Nations and Metis Communities. Citizenship Studies. 15 (6-7) pp 815-835.
32
This program is discussed in Cram, J. (1985) Northern Teachers for Northern Schools: An Inuit Teacher-training
Program. McGill Journal of Education/Revue des sciences de l'éducation de McGill, 20(002).
33
Such as the various publications of Taylor, Freidel, Edge and Hodgkins cited in our report.
34
We report our assessment of the other important data sources in a short paper available on our project website.
35
Statistics Canada. (2008). Aboriginal Peoples in Canada in 2006: Inuit, Métis and First Nations, 2006 Census. The
Daily, Tuesday, January 15, 2008.
36
Statistics Canada. (1993). Aboriginal Peoples Survey 1991: Data Quality Statements. Statistical Data
Documentation System, Reference No. 3250.
Statistics Canada. (2003). Aboriginal Peoples Survey 2001: Concepts and Methods Guide. Minister of Industry,
Ottawa. Catalogue No. 89-591-XIE.
37
Statistics Canada (2003).
38
Keyes, S., Newcombe-Welch, P., & Warriner, K.G. (2006). DLI and RDC program: Valuable research resources
for WIHIR researchers. Retrieved May, 2008 from: http://hi.uwaterloo.ca/hitalks/research/2005-2006/03-082006/default.pdf
39
Poppel, B., Kruise, J. Duhaime, G., & Abryutina, L. (2007). SLiCA results. Anchorage: Institute of Social and
Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage.
40
Poppel et al. (2007); Kruse et al. (2008); Tait (2008).
41
Statistics Canada. (2007b). Guide to the Labour Force Survey 2007. Statistics Canada, Catalogue No. 71-543GIE.
36
Usalcas, J. (2011). Aboriginal People and the Labour Market: Estimates from the Labour Force Survey, 2008-2010.
Minister of Industry, Statistics Canada, Catalogue No. 71-588-X, no. 3.
42
Lautard, E.H. (1982). Occupational segregation and inequality between Native and Non-native Canadians. The
Canadian Journal of Native Studies, 2(2), 303–320.
Stabler, J.C. (1989). Dualism and development in the Northwest Territories. Economic Development and Cultural
Change, 37(4), 805–839.
Elias, P.D. (1995). Northern economies. In Elias, P.D. (ed.), Northern Aboriginal communities: Economies and
development (pp. 3–32). Captus Press.
Usher, P., Duhaime, G. & Searles, E. (2003). The household as an economic unit in Arctic Aboriginal communities,
and its measurement by means of a comprehensive survey. Social Indicators Research, 61(1), 175–202.
Abele, F. (2006). Education, training, employment and procurement. Paper submitted to the Joint Review Panel for
the Mackenzie Gas Project, Northwest Territories. Yellowknife: Alternatives North.
43
Usher et al. (2003, p. 177).
44
Abele (2006).
45
Yukon Bureau of Statistics. (2010). Yukon Social Inclusion Household Survey. Government of Yukon.
http://science.gov.yk.ca/Activity/47
46
Northwest Territories Bureau of Statistics. (2010). Recent Surveys. Government of the Northwest Territories.
http://www.statsnwt.ca/recent_surveys
47
Nunavut Bureau of Statistics. (2010). Labour Force and Employment Data. Government of Nunavut.
http://www.stats.gov.nu.ca/en/Labour%20and%20employment.aspx
48
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada. (2000). Basic departmental data, 1999. First Nations and Northern Statistics
Section, Corporate Information Management Directorate, Information Management Branch.
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada. (2002a). Indian and Northern Affairs Canada and Canadian Polar Commission:
DPR 2001-2002, Section IV—Consolidated Reporting.
49
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada. (2002b). Fall 2002 survey of First Nations people living on reserve – Final
Report. Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada, Ottawa.
50
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada. (2006). Measuring Inuit well-being. Strategic Research and Analysis
Directorate–Inuit Relations Secretariat, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada. Catalogue No. R2-440/2006.
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada. (2004). Measuring First Nations well-being. Strategic Research and Analysis
Directorate, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, Catalogue No. R2-248/2004.
51
Most of the information presented in this section is primary research, drawn from government documents and
websites. There is scant current independent academic analysis of any aspects of educational, vocational or labour
market programming serving Aboriginal people; what we found, we have cited.
52
Basic information about primary, secondary and post-secondary funding arrangements for Aboriginal people in
the north is provided in Appendix A.
53
Statistics Canada and the Council of Ministers of Education (2010) Federal Data Scan: Aboriginal Data in
Statistics Canada’s Education Data Sources. Toronto: Council of Ministers of Education; Friesen, Jane and Brian
Krauth. 2012. Key Policy Issues in Aboriginal Education: An Evidence-Based Approach. Toronto: Council of
Ministers of Education. On method and evidence, see also Yukon Bureau of Statistics. 2011. Public School
Enrolment. Whitehorse: Government of Yukon, and on policy, see Government of the Northwest Territories. 2010.
Aboriginal Student Achievement Education Plan. Yellowknife.
54
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (2014). Indicators of Well-being in Canada: Learning –
Educational Attainment. Employment and Social Development Canada. Last modified: 2014-01-19. Accessed on
January 19, 2014 at: http://www4.hrsdc.gc.ca/[email protected]?iid=29
37
55
B. Stevenson (2011) Dialogue Towards a University in Canada’s Far North. Environmental Scan. Toronto:
Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation; http://dechinta.ca/; http://www.nstraining.ca/; http://www.akitsiraq.ca/.
56
Poelzer, Greg (2009) Education: A Critical Foundation for a Sustainable North. In Frances Abele, Tom
Courchene, France St-Hilaire and F. Leslie Seidle, eds. Northern Exposure: Peoples, Powers and Prospects in
Canada's North. Montreal: Institute for Research on Public Policy.
57
Hayes, Brigid (2013) Shifting Priorities: Federal Literacy Policy Since 2006. Northern Public Affairs 2 (2): 38-43.
58
http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/epb/yi/yep/newprog/general.shtml
59
Government of Canada (2013). Labour Market Agreements. Human Resources and Skills Development Canada.
April 6.
60
http://actionplan.gc.ca/en/initiative/canada-job-grant
61
For example, Canada, House of Commons (2008) Employability in Canada: Preparing for the Future. Reports of
the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities.
Chair: Dean Allison. April. 39th Parliament, 2nd Session.
62
We deduce this from the various publications and efforts of employers who are actively seeking workers.
63
See for example, Canada, Employment and Social Development Canada (2009) Formative Evaluation of the
Aboriginal Human Resources Development Agreements, April 2009. Ottawa.
http://www.esdc.gc.ca/eng/publications/evaluations/skills_and_employment/2009/04-1/april.shtml
64
National Committee on Inuit Education (2011) First Canadians, Canadians First: National Strategy on Inuit
Education. Quotations are from the Executive Summary, pp 7 and 9.
65
The importance of cultural affirmation is explored in Morley Hanson (2003) Inuit Youth and Ethnic Identity
Change: The Nunavut Sivuniksavut Experience. Master of Arts Thesis. University of Ottawa; see also People for
Education. 2013. First Nations, Metis and Inuit Education: Overcoming Gaps in Provincially Funded Schools.
Toronto.
66
White, J., Maxim, P., & Gyimah, S. O. (2003). Labour force activity of women in Canada: A comparative analysis
of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal women. The Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology, 40(4), 391-415.
Tait, H. (2008). Aboriginal Peoples Survey, 2006: Inuit health and social conditions. Statistics Canada, Social and
Aboriginal Statistics Division, Analytical paper, Catalogue Number 89-637-X – No. 001.
67
O’Donnell, V. & Wallace, S. (2011). First Nations, Metis and Inuit women. Statistics Canada.Women in Canada:
A gender-based Statistical Report. Component of Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 89-503-X.
68
Guimond, E. & Robitaille (2008). When teenage girls have children: Trends and consequences. In Hope or
Heartbreak: Aboriginal Youth and Canada’s Future, Horizons, Volume 10, Number 1. Ottawa: Policy Research
Initiative. O’Donnell & Wallace (2011).
69
Richards, John and Meghan Scott. (2009) Aboriginal Education: Strengthening the Foundations. Canadian Policy
Research Networks Report. Ottawa.
70
A sample of key sources includes Usher, P., Duhaime, G. & Searles, E. (2003). The household as an economic
unit in Arctic Aboriginal communities, and its measurement by means of a comprehensive survey. Social Indicators
Research, 61(1), 175-202.Condon, Richard G., Peter Collings, and George Wenzel. 1995. "The best part of life:
subsistence hunting, ethnicity, and economic adaptation among young adult Inuit males." Arctic (1995): 31-46; and
several chapters in Natcher, David C., Lawrence Felt, Andrea Procter, eds. 2012. Settlement, Subsistence and
38
Change Among the Labrador Inuit. Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press; Hawkes, Kristen, et al. "Why HunterGatherers Work: An Ancient Version of the Problem of Public Goods [and Comments and Reply]." Current
Anthropology 34.4 (1993): 341-361; Bird-David, Nurit, et al. "Beyond" The Original Affluent Society": A
Culturalist Reformulation [and Comments and Reply]." Current Anthropology 33.1 (1992): 25-47; Condon, Richard
G., Peter Collings, and George Wenzel. "The best part of life: subsistence hunting, ethnicity, and economic
adaptation among young adult Inuit males." Arctic (1995): 31-46.
71
Whittington, L. (2012). Producing More Skilled Trades, Scientists and Engineers Is the Key to Canada’s Future
Prosperity, Harper Tells Business Group. The Toronto Star, November 19.
72
Mining Industry Human Resources Council. (2013). Canadian Mining Industry Employment, Hiring
Requirements and Available Talent 10-Year Outlook 2013, pp. 4-6. Kanata, Ontario: Mining Industry Human
Resources Council.
73
Capeluck, E., and A. Sharpe. (2013). Labour Market Prospects for the Métis in the Canadian Mining Industry.
Ottawa: Centre for the Study of Living Standards. http://www.csls.ca/reports/csls2013-02.pdf.
74
Natural Resources Canada. (2010). Mining Sector Performance Report 1998-2008. Ottawa: Natural Resources
Canada. http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/node/8770#soc-per3.
75
TD Economics. (2013a). Employment and Education among Aboriginal Peoples: A New Perspective from the
2011 National Household Survey. Toronto: TD Bank.
http://www.td.com/document/PDF/economics/special/EmploymentAndEducationAmongAboriginalPeoples.pdf.
76
Natural Resources Canada (2010) p.26; TD Economics (2013a) p. 2.
77
Taylor, Freidel and Edge (2006) p. 7.
78
Government of Canada, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada. (2013). Skills and Partnership Fund
(Aboriginal) | HRSDC. April 6.
79
Edge, J., Howard, A. and D. Watt. (2012). Understanding the Value, Challenges, and Opportunities of Engaging
Métis, Inuit, and First Nations Workers. Ottawa: Conference Board of Canada.
Capeluck & Sharpe (2013).
80
See for example BMO. (2013). Skills Shortages? We’ve Seen Worse…Much Worse. Toronto: Bank of Montreal.
www.bmonesbittburns.com/economics/amcharts/apr0213.pdf. and Halliwell, C. (2013). No Shortage of Opportunity
Policy Ideas to Strengthen Canada’s Labour Market in the Coming Decade. Montreal: Institute for Research on
Public Policy (IRPP). A recent TD Economics study indicates that “job conditions for resource workers have
remained relatively loose compared to the heydays of the pre-recession” (TD Economics 2013b, p. 32).
81
Capeluck & Sharpe (2013, p. 64).
82
McKie, D. (2013). Ring of Fire Mining May Not Benefit First Nations as Hoped. June 27.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/ring-of-fire-mining-may-not-benefit-first-nations-as-hoped-1.1374849/. The
challenge is to ensure that the education infrastructure is in place before the mine is developed to ensure that
Aboriginal youth have the general education skills in advance of the development of the mines so that they are able
to take advantage of the opportunities (McKie, 2013).
83
Natural Resources Canada (2010) p. 26).
84
TD Economics (2013a, p. 2).
85
Environment Canada (2009) Foundation for a Sustainable Future. Final Report of the Joint Review Panel for the
Mackenzie Gas Project. Ottawa.
86
87
See for example, Martin 2011.
Taylor, Alison, Tracy L. Friedel, and Lois Edge (2006) Pathways for First Nations and Metis Youth in the Oil
39
Sands. Ottawa: Canadian Policy Research Networks. p. 7.
8888
See for example Zacharias Kunuk (2012) My Father’s Land. http://www.isuma.tv/en/DID/MyFathersLand
40
APPENDIX A
Education Funding for Aboriginal People
For most Canadian citizens, primary and secondary education is provided through provincial and
territorial governments. For many Aboriginal people, different arrangements prevail. First
Nations reserve governments receive primary and secondary education funding through the
federal department of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development (AANDC), through often
delivery takes place through arrangements with provincial governments (see the Education
Partnership Program). 1 Primary and secondary education funding for parties to the modern
treaties (comprehensive land claims agreements) is provided under the specific terms of each
treaty. In the case of Nunavut, the Northwest Territories and Yukon, education funding for
Aboriginal people is blended into the global budget that is transferred to each territory annually
under Territorial Formula Financing.
Post-secondary funding is provided to individuals by Aboriginal governments and treaty-holding
organizations, and by territorial and some provincial governments. None of the modern treaties
include provisions for funding employment training or post-secondary education, though the
Nunavut Agreement, in Article 23, includes a requirement that parties to the agreement employ
Inuit in the proportion with which they are found in the Nunavut population. Aboriginal Affairs
and Northern Development Canada delivers special purpose post-secondary education programs
for First Nations and (in some cases) Inuit; these programs, which expended $316,435,636 in
2010-11,2 are often seen as longer term measures to support labour market integration through
improved access to post-secondary education. These include:
University College Entrance Preparations Program (UCEPP):
The UCEP program is a program that is only available to Status Indians and Inuit Students. It is
designed to assist them in the development of the skills necessary to enter into University.
According to the program description provided on the website the program “help[s] them
achieve the academic level required to enter a degree or diploma program”3. Students must
provide proof that a particular educational institution is prepared to offer the necessary courses to
prepare them for university entrance.4 In essence this program allows for funds to be released to
degree granting institutions that devise the courses that will enable students to prepare
themselves for university or college but it also provides financial assistance for the students
attending in the form of: tuition support, travel support, as well as living expenses.
The Post-Secondary Student Support Program (PSSSP):
The post-secondary Student Support program serves “Treaty/registered First Nation and eligible
Inuit”5 Contrary to what is the case for the UCEP program funding for this program “may go
from AANDC directly to band councils or to First Nation organizations designated by band
councils (bands/settlements, tribal councils, education organizations, political/Treaty
organizations;6 these organizations determine who receives funding, and at what level.
First Nation Student Support Program (FNSSP)
Launched in late 2009, the FNSSP is targeted at First Nation educators on reserve. It provides
supports for K-12 programs that are aimed at improving educational attainments of First Nation
41
APPENDIX A
students on reserve and bring them in line with national standards. The program is geared at
improving outcomes in literacy, numeracy and student retention and is “aligned with the
Government’s long term-term goal of providing First Nation youth on-reserve with the access to
a quality education that encourages them to stay in school and graduate with skills they need to
enter the labour market in order to pursue their career aspirations.”7 This program is of particular
interest as it explicitly links itself to the labour market access for First Nation youth and as such a
review of the results from this program may be able to provide some insight into the success of
this approach for increasing labour market participation for aboriginal youth. The program
requires schools to submit success plans clearly outlining the goals and priorities for activities
that they will engage in as well as the provision of student learning assessment to determine the
impact and progress made. The duration of each program is over the course of three years and
once recipients are approved for funding, through a national selection committee they are
required to provide yearly reports to determine the release of future funding and make
adjustments in the program where necessary. Only recipients who “commit to undertaking all
three components of the FNSSP within a three year period”8 are eligible for funding. No
evaluation or interim report on the success of this program was located.
First Nation Education Act
The First Nation Education Act is a proposed changed by AANDC to the overall policy
architecture that dictates the way the First Nation education is delivered in Canada. The Act aims
to streamline education funding by encouraging aggregation of First Nation Education
Organizations and ensuring stable and predictable patterns of funding. This has met with
objections. The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) has denounced the “unilateral development of
legislation on First Nation Education”9 In a the Discussion Guide created by AANDC the First
Nation Education Act is described as seeking to “develop strong and accountable First Nation
Education system by establishing mandatory standards for all First Nation schools […]
permit[ing] the same degree of local flexibility that currently exists throughout provincial
systems [and supporting] options for educational governance.”10 AFN National Chief Shawn
Atleo has expressed concerns citing the plan as “unacceptable”,11 stating that the development of
the Act needs to meet 5 necessary conditions: “there must be a guarantee of adequate funding;
there must be a commitment to promote First Nations languages and education; the government
cannot assume it will provide unilateral oversight and there must be meaningful engagement
going forward.”12 One of the main points of contention is oversight function that the Federal
Government seeks to maintain in the development of this First Nation Education Act. This is
likely to pose a problem going forward as the Federal government is unlikely to commit to
predictable and stable funding without the oversight function that the current proposed
legislation calls for. As we write the outcome of this dispute in unknown, but should the
legislation be passed over First Nations objections, it is likely to have a large impact on the way
in which education is delivered to First Nation students. The Education Partnership Program,
which currently enables primary and post-secondary education arrangements, is set to sunset in
2015, in order to pave the way for the new First Nation Education Act. The overall policy
architecture for First Nation education has the potential to change dramatically.13
42
APPENDIX A
References Appendix A
1
EPP program description on AANDC website: (http://www.aadncaandc.gc.ca/eng/1320335380835/1320335427045)
2
This figure is provided in the most recent (2012) summative evaluation of AANDC post-secondary education
funding programs; no per capita breakdown is available, given the reporting system that was then in place.
http://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/eng/1365456454696/1365456526014
3
UCEP program description on AANDC website: (http://www.aadncaandc.gc.ca/eng/1100100033688/1100100033689)
4
UCEP program Description on AANDC Website: (http://www.aadncaandc.gc.ca/eng/1100100033688/1100100033689)
5
PSSP program description on AANDC website: (http://www.aadncaandc.gc.ca/eng/1100100033679/1100100033680)
6
PSSP program description on AANDC website: (http://www.aadncaandc.gc.ca/eng/1100100033679/1100100033680)
7
FNSSP program description on AANDC website: (http://www.aadncaandc.gc.ca/eng/1321986321129/1321986390052)
8
FNSSP program description on AANDC website: (http://www.aadncaandc.gc.ca/eng/1321986321129/1321986390052)
9
Assembly of First Nation Website. Education. (http://www.afn.ca/index.php/en/policy-areas/education)
10
Developing a First Nation Education Act: Discussion Guide. AANDC Departmental Website: (http://www.aadncaandc.gc.ca/eng/1355150229225/1355150442776)
11
Galloway, Gloria. (2013). Ottawa’s First Nation education plan ‘unacceptable’ AFN Chief Says. Globe and Mail.
Accessed via: (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/afn-chief-rejects-federal-proposals-for-aboriginalchildrens-education/article15589813/)
12
Ibid.
43
APPENDIX B
Federal Programs in Support of Aboriginal Employment Training
Federal funding for employment and skills development for Aboriginal people in Canada is
provided through programs of general application, and through targeted programs. The largest
portion of targeted programs are funded and administered through the department of Aboriginal
Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) and Employment and Social Development
Canada (ESDC):
•
First Nations and Inuit Skills Link Program (through AANDC)
•
First Nations and Inuit Summer Work Experience Program (AANDC)
•
First Nations Job Fund (funded by AANDC and delivered by ESDC)
•
Skills and Partnership Fund (through ESDC)
•
Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training Strategy (ASETS) (ESDC)
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada Programs
AANDC programs are specifically designed to provide services to Aboriginal communities. The
funding is administered through regional offices and the specific programs are designed and
delivered in partnership with First Nations and Inuit governments and organizations. First
Nations and Inuit governments and organizations submit proposals in response to call with set
out objectives and eligibility criteria. The First Nations and Inuit Skills Link program seeks to:
promote the benefits of education as key to youth’s participation in the labour market; to support
the development and enhancement of young people’s essential employability skills such as
communication, problem solving and working with others; introduce you to a variety of career
options” and “provides wage subsidies for mentored work experience” and “mentored schoolbased work and study opportunities”.1
The First Nations and Inuit Summer Work Experience Program seeks to “help youth acquire
skills by proving wage subsidies for the their summer work experience”; assists secondary and
post-secondary students to obtain summer employment in preparation for future entry into the
job market; and enable youth “earn wages to help finance their post-secondary education.” 2
Both programs are delivered by First Nations and Inuit governments and organizations based on
proposals submitted in response to AANDC proposal calls. Organizations whose proposals are
successful may enter into agreements with private sector partners to provide opportunities for
First Nations and Inuit youth living on reserve.
First Nations Job Fund
The First Nations Job Fund is the most recent federal initiative in employment skills
development and training and implements a “new approach” to funding employment training for
First Nations youth. The Fund is jointly funded by AANDC and ESDC. It focuses on First
Nations youth between 18 and 24 years old and works with First Nations communities in
44
APPENDIX B
developing new skills and training opportunities. The program allocates $109 million over 4
years (commencing in 2013) to support activities which “lead directly to jobs including: skills
assessments; personalized training; coaching; and other supports for young Income Assistance
recipients living on-reserve”.3
Central to the Fund’s approach is the linkage of income assistance receipt with participation in
training programs for First Nations youth who are able to work (see box Income Assistance and
Training for First Nations Youth). “Income Assistance benefits [will] depend on participation in
training according to the current practices in the province of residence”.4 Budget documents
announcing the program stipulate that “funding will be accessible only to those reserve
communities that choose to implement mandatory participation in training for young Income
Assistance recipients.”5
The program is administered by the ESDC and being implemented through a phased-in
approach. The Fund while separate from ESDC’s Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training
Strategy (ASETS) will be implemented through ASETS’ infrastructure of over 80 Aboriginal
organizations in Canada.
Training and Income Assistance for First Nations Youth: A “New Approach”
The federal government’s 2013 Budget announced a new approach to funding for training for
First Nations youth based on a shift to “active income assistance measures.” These measures
will be delivered through the First Nations Jobs Fund which ties income assistance to
participation in training programs. Funds are provided to First Nations governments and
organizations that agree to facilitate the transition to the new approach. This support for
participating communities will, according to the federal government, “help First Nations and
First Nation service providers move service delivery away from the current model, which
focuses solely on assessment of eligibility for Income Assistance and arrangement of payment of
benefits, towards a proactive approach that will focus on identifying clients' individual
employment readiness and overcoming current barriers to employability.”6
Federal Budget documents for 2013 state that “the Government will work with First Nations to
improve the on-reserve Income Assistance Program to ensure that young recipients who can
work have the incentives to participate in the training necessary for them to gain employment.
The new First Nations Job Fund, totaling $109 million over five years, will fund the provision of
personalized job training to these recipients, and their Income Assistance benefits will depend on
participation in training as per current practice in their province of residence. In addition, $132
million over five years will be provided to First Nations communities to create the service
delivery infrastructure necessary, including counselling support, to effectively support and
ensure compliance among on-reserve Income Assistance recipients. Funding will be accessible
only to those reserve communities that choose to implement mandatory participation in training
for young Income Assistance recipients.”7
Programs funded by Employment and Social Development Canada (formerly HRSDC)
The Skills and Partnership Fund (SPF) is described as “a demand-driven, partnership-based
program that supports government priorities (federal/provincial/territorial) and strategic
45
APPENDIX B
partnerships.”8 The program, launched in 2010, is not youth specific but youth are one of the
targeted populations.
The calls for proposals focus on submissions from Aboriginal organizations for employment and
training projects in the energy and mining sectors and funding for training-to-employment, skills
development, and Aboriginal organization labour market services. “Partnership contributions
(whether cash or in-kind) must account for a minimum of 50% of the total project value.” and
call for proposals also notes that “applicants are strongly encouraged to engage the provincial or
territorial government (including provincial or territorial ministries and publicly funded colleges
and universities) as a partner for the project.”9
Only Aboriginal organizations are eligible, including: incorporated for-profit and not-for-profit
Aboriginal-controlled organizations; Aboriginal-controlled unincorporated organizations; Indian
Act bands; Band or tribal councils; and Aboriginal self-government entities.10
Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training Strategy (ASETS) funding is provided to Aboriginal
agreement holders who design and deliver employment programs and services to meet the needs
of their clients, focusing on “supporting demand-driven skills development and fostering
partnerships with the private sector and the provinces and territories.”
All Aboriginal people, regardless of status or location, may access its programs and services”
which include: skills development, training for high-demand jobs; job finding programs for
youth, programs for urban and Aboriginal people with disabilities, and access to child care.”11
The services are delivered by Aboriginal Agreement Holders also known as Aboriginal
employment centres located across Canada.12
Federal – Provincial/Territorial Labour Market Agreements
Federal Labour Market Agreements with provincial and territorial governments support
employment training and skills programs through federal funding administered by the federal
department of Employment and Social Development Canada. These agreements seek to increase
the participation of groups, such as Aboriginal peoples, that are under-represented in the labour
market, providing
“skills and employment supports for unemployed individuals who are not eligible for
supports through the Employment Insurance program, for workers who are low-skilled,
or for employers who wish to provide training to their low-skilled employees. The
training offered ranges from basic to advanced, and may include language, literacy and
essential skills, apprenticeships, and diploma programs.”13
These programs implement federal government labour market priorities and are designed and
delivered by provincial and territorial governments and supported through $3 billion in federal
funding over 6 years (2008/09 to 2013/14).
The degree to which programs are Aboriginal youth/worker specific varies between individual
provinces and territories, with some provinces focusing on targeted programs, for which only
Aboriginal peoples are eligible, such as British Columbia’s Aboriginal Training for Employment
and Aboriginal Community-Based Delivery Partnerships Programs14 while other jurisdictions,
46
APPENDIX B
such as Ontario, rely on more generic programs in which in which they seek to ensure the
participation of qualified Aboriginal youth.15
In 2009/2010 (most recent available data), the Labour Market Agreements across Canada
“targeted Aboriginal people, persons with disabilities, immigrants, youth, older workers and
women” and of the 350,234 clients served via the agreement funded services, 13,778 participants
self-identified as Aboriginal.16
References
1
Canada; Government of Canada; Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development. (2013a). National Program
Guidelines 2013-2014 - First Nations and Inuit Youth Employment Strategy Skills Link Program. Guide. March 4.
http://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/eng/1362412372960/1362412430135.
2
Canada; Government of Canada; Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development. 2013b. ‘National Program
Guidelines 2013-2014 - First Nations and Inuit Youth Employment Strategy Summer Work Experience Program’.
Guide. March 8. http://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/eng/1362755467040/1362755537084.
3
First Nations Job Fund | HRSDC. (2013). Accessed October 27.
http://www.hrsdc.gc.ca/eng/jobs/aboriginal/asets/job_fund.shtml.
4
First Nations Job Fund | HRSDC (2013).
5
Government of Canada. (2013). Training for On-Reserve Income Assistance Recipients | Canada’s Economic
Action Plan. Accessed December 3.
6
Government of Canada; Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development (2013).
7
Government of Canada. (2013).
8
Government of Canada (2012, p. 3).
9
Government of Canada (2012, p. 5).
10
Government of Canada (2012, p. 20)
11
Government of Canada (2013).
12
For information on agreement holders see: http://www8.hrsdc.gc.ca/sfcea-asets/Ententes-Agreements-eng.asp
(Human Resources and Skills Development Canada 2013).
13
Employment and Social Development Canada, Government of Canada. 2013. “Canada’s Labour Market
Agreements: A National Report for 2008/09 and 2009/10.” April 6.
http://www.hrsdc.gc.ca/eng/jobs/training_agreements/lma/national-report.shtml.
14
Ministry of Advanced Education, British Columbia. (2013). Aboriginal Post-Secondary Education and Training Province of B.C. Advanced Education. Accessed October 15. http://www.aved.gov.bc.ca/aboriginal/programs.htm.
15
Government of Ontario. n.d. Ontario Labour Market Agreement: Activity Plan 2013-14.
http://www.tcu.gov.on.ca/eng/training/labmark/LMA2013_14Table.pdf.
Government of Ontario. (2013). Youth Employment Fund. Accessed December 26.
http://www.tcu.gov.on.ca/eng/employmentontario/youthfund/.
For example the Ontario’s Youth Employment Fund notes that it makes “special effort to help youth facing barriers
to work, including Aboriginal youth” (Government of Ontario, 2013). The Province’s Labour Market Agreement
plan for 2013-14 indicates it will “introduce targeted strategies and pilot projects to address barriers to entry and
increase success in apprenticeship for key groups, including youth, Aboriginal Peoples and women.” (Government
of Ontario, n.d., p. 5).
16
Government of Canada (2013). Labour Market Agreements. Human Resources and Skills Development Canada.
April 6.
47
APPENDIX C
Approach and Methodology
Approach
The knowledge about Aboriginal youth employment in northern Canada synthesized in this
report responds to one simple research question: what are the possible sources of the apparent
mismatch between employment opportunities in the northern Aboriginal communities and the
hopes and needs of the people who make up the northern Aboriginal youth labour force?
We sought an answer to this question in published academic and non-academic sources, guided
by four more specific research questions, which asked:
(1) what is known about the preparation and aspirations of young Aboriginal people living in
the north?
(2) what is known about the activities of employers operating in the north?
(3) what is known about the quality of information used to portray the state of the labour markets
in the north?
(4) what is known about the state of government intervention, including the effectiveness of
public policy and programming to assist the functioning of the labour market in the north?
One of the challenges of synthesizing knowledge in this field is the need to bring together
knowledge from primarily qualitative and methodologically disparate studies with published
statistical analyses in a way that permits some degree of generalization. The approach we took to
this matter and the methodological constraints of the approach are described in this appendix.
In all cases, we assessed research reports for methodological strength, and pertinence to the four
questions listed above. Then, taking these factors as well as geographical and temporal context
into account, we identified common themes, complementary analyses and apparent
contradictions to develop answers to the four specific research questions, cross-checking
empirical claims to the extent that this was possible. The steps involved the following:
1. Research assistants conducted guided searches of the secondary literature. They were provided
with key words and methodological guidance to use on-line resources (ranging from Google
Scholar to the Arctic Scientific Information System - ASTIS), university library data bases and
journals, and surviving resource centres of government departments. (Unfortunately the resource
centre of the former Human Resources and Skills Development Canada has closed.) The results
of this work were bibliographies. The bibliographies were reviewed by the senior researchers.
The selected references were posted to the Zotero reference manager database, which is public.
The full studies were stored as pdf. files in a project-specific Dropbox folder to facilitate
repeated review by all members of the study team.
2. A research assistant and the senior researchers conducted a qualitative meta-analysis of
selected studies using criteria developed inductively by the research team, based upon a
48
APPENDIX C
preliminary review of the accumulated secondary literature. Criteria included measures of
relevance, methodological strength and scope.
3. Quantitative studies addressing the issue were examined, primarily from the perspective of the
data sources used in the analysis. Attention was drawn to the strengths and limitation of different
data sources in accurately identifying the issue and permitting an examination of the variations in
geographic and other scopes. Also, the aptness of the data sources for comparisons over time was
assessed in order to evaluate the claims made in relevant published reports. Both, the demand for
labour and supply of labour were considered in this assessment.
4. The senior researchers conducted a second synthesis of quantitative and qualitative research,
performing their own (1) assessment of methodological strength and scope; and (2) analysis of
the findings of these selected studies in institutional, social and temporal context. These results
were cross-checked against the work completed by research assistants. For idiographic research,
where contexts can be explicitly matched on key elements, and where methodologies are
sufficiently similar or complementary, both comparison and generalization are possible. Bringing
qualitative and quantitative findings together requires a similar process. Meta-inferences were
derived using mixed methods research, contrasting and combining findings from different studies
so as to identify patterns and sources of disagreement and other compelling relationships that
may surface in the context of combined quantitative and qualitative studies review.
5. Research assistants inventoried federal, territorial and provincial programs for post-secondary
education and employment training, and where available consulted public evaluations of these
programs. This information was included in the report, since in most cases government-funded
education and training programs provide the linkages between potential workers and their chosen
form of employment.
6. The senior researchers then considered all of this work in overview. Assessing both
methodology and implications of existing research, they selected the key themes that are
discussed in this report. Other work was 'tabled' for consideration in subsequent, more focused,
publications. http://www6.carleton.ca/3ci/
Methodological Constraints
A knowledge synthesis is not a literature review. We have completed a literature review, but that
was only the first step; the essential next step was the selection of studies to synthesize on the
basis of methodological suitability. Given the very small number of studies that focus directly on
Aboriginal youth employment, we have drawn on tangentially related research, where this
seemed advisable. We have attempted to asses empirical generalizations against available
statistics, although this has not always been possible.
It is important to note that we have synthesized research that was not prepared for the uses we
are making of it, and so we have had to be extraordinarily attentive not only to the strength of the
methodology, but also to its distinctive features. Most of the statistical information that we found
repeated in the policy literature on Aboriginal youth employment is drawn from the federal
sources discussed earlier in this paper, with the limitations we identify. We found that it is quite
49
APPENDIX C
rare for studies to rely upon data provided by territorial statistical offices or other northern
agencies (such as wildlife management boards) despite the richness of these sources. Where
possible we have introduced information found in these other sources, because it would be
misleading to ignore it, but time did not permit us to realize this strategy fully.
Many studies, especially those prepared for direct use by policy-makers, depend in whole or in
part upon interviews with knowledgeable observers and practitioners. There are limitations to
this research strategy. In the absence of other evidence, collections of informed opinion risk
perpetuating commonly held misconceptions – especially when the conclusions are removed
from the context in which they were expressed, and combined with other views derived in other
situations – as we must do to prepare a synthesis. We have used these sources with caution.
Government or other public policy documents are included, where we know these to be based
upon research and public dialogue, even if the methodologies are not explicitly described.
Some studies rely heavily upon expert interviews. While expert perspectives are always valuable,
interviewees chosen for their expertise are not always truly representative of relevant opinion;
for example, on the topic of this paper, most panels of key informant interviews have a bias
towards older working people, as opposed to youth or particularly unemployed youth. It is
indeed the case that with one or two important exceptions, the research we have relied upon does
not proceed from the perspective, or in light of a systematic accounting of, the viewpoints of
Aboriginal youth. We have leaned hard on the expressions of young people’s ideas that are
available.
A final complication is that normally researchers rely upon secondary sources. Sometimes those
sources do not include a clear explanation of their own methodology, and sometimes the
limitations on generalizability of specific sources are obscured in quotation.
With these considerations in mind, we have tried to incorporate cross-comparisons
(triangulation) to confirm particular points; given an option we relied upon studies that appeared
also to have done this. Many conclusions and observations in the literature, however, appear to
be based mainly upon interviews of one type or another – and so they are vulnerable to
confirmation bias or reliance upon “common sense” or “received wisdom” which may be
inaccurate or not generalizable (across different geographic regions, for example). In preparing
our synthesis we have taken care to respect the temporal and spatial context of each piece of
research, sometimes leading us to omit mention of (some or all) its conclusions. This should not
be understood as dismissal of a particular piece of research which might in and of itself be
illuminating; rather the omission is a consequence of the discipline imposed by synthesis and
meta-analysis.
50
APPENDIX D
Assessment of Data Sources
Purpose and Objectives of the Assessment
This appendix presents an assessment of most commonly used statistical data sources pertinent
to northern Aboriginal youth employment. The assessment is intended to assist policy-makers in
understanding the bases behind published figures that relate to potential and actual labour force
in northern Aboriginal communities. Most of the published research reports draw their
information about the availability of the working age population in the Aboriginal communities
from the established official data sources such as Canadian Census and Labour Force Survey.
For most part, employers also rely on these data sources when planning to meet their labour
force requirements. For this reason, we have undertaken a critical review of the main data
sources that are routinely consulted to enumerate and examine the readiness of the potential
labour force in the northern Aboriginal communities. Our goal is to assess the strengths and
limitations of these sources for understanding the apparent mismatch between the available
labour force and the available job opportunities in the north.1 We discuss here our assessment of
the most frequently used sources, which include Canadian Census and related special surveys
such as the Aboriginal Peoples Survey, as well as the Canadian Labour Force Survey.2 We also
discuss labour force data sources provided by each of the three territorial governments and by
federal government departments responsible for Aboriginal public policy-related matters.
Canadian Census
Until recently, the largest and most inclusive source of information about the Canadian
population – and the Aboriginal population in Canada – have been Canadian censuses. As a
mandatory survey, the Census was historically conducted on a regular basis, most recently every
five years, to collect detailed information on demographic, social, and economic conditions of
the entire population, including the Aboriginal population. As such, the Census was deemed by
the most reliable source of insights on the economic, social, and demographic conditions and
trends occurring over time and was consulted for insights and decision-making by all levels of
government, business, industry, associations, academics, and other researchers. Census data was
deemed valuable especially for comparisons on various dimensions as it was the only reliable
source of detailed data on small geographic areas such as remote communities, city
neighbourhoods, or specific industrial and occupational categories.3
Over the course of enumeration, Canadian censuses have used different methods to determine
Aboriginal population, resulting in some inconsistencies in the reports summarizing the socioeconomic makeup of the population. For many decades, a question inquiring either about ethnic
origin, ancestry, race or identity was included on the long form questionnaire and distributed to
all participating reserves and all households in northern Canada (except in Whitehorse and
Yellowknife) and to one in five households elsewhere in Canada.4 This mandatory long form
questionnaire was eliminated in 2011 and replaced with a voluntary questionnaire, called
National Household Survey (NHS). The NHS is self-administered and collects social and
economic data from population living on and off reserve, including the data on labour force.5
Notwithstanding its value in terms of scope and inclusiveness, as a data source on Aboriginal
population, the Canadian census has important limitations that both researchers and policy51
APPENDIX D
makers using the research based on this data source need to be aware of. The main limitation
relates to the historic volatility of the definition of Aboriginality, both from the perspective of the
enumerators and from the perspective of the enumerated population. The enumerators of the
early censuses were generally asked to inquire only about ethnicity, thus the question involving
terms such as ancestry and race was phrased inconsistently from census to census, reflecting
political and other conditions of the time.6 More recent censuses included a more precise
question in which the enumerated population was given a choice to self-identify as Aboriginal
and to provide more specific details such their band membership and their legal status under the
Indian Act. While addressing the precision challenge, from a research point, this introduction of
self-identification is not necessarily a good thing since the question now introduces subjectivity,
resulting in erratic increases in population counts and less stable and reliable socioeconomic
profile of a group.7 This possess a particular challenge for and sometimes precludes research that
requires a comparison over time.8
Another main limitation of Canadian census data on Aboriginal people relates to the population
coverage. Since its inception, Canadian census has historically had difficulties enumerating the
registered and on-reserve Aboriginal population. Thus on many Indian reserves and settlements,
incomplete enumeration and undercoverage have historically been a problem; in spite of census
being mandatory survey, some reserves have deliberately and consistently refused to participate.
In the 1986 Census, for example, 136 Indian reserves, some of which were known to be the most
populated reserves in Canada at that time, did not participate or were incompletely enumerated.
In the 1991 Census, a total of seventy-eight reserves were not enumerated and the 1996 Census
did not include information on seventy-seven Indian reserves and settlements. The 2001 and the
2006 censuses did not provide information on thirty and twenty-two Indian reserves and
settlements, respectively.9 Given that some undercoverage was detected even on Indian reserves
where census enumeration was successfully completed10 census data on the whole registered
Indian population, and in particular on the registered Indian population living on-reserve, most
likely involves sample representation issues, creating a generalizability problem for researchers
synthesizing different research findings.11 The replacement of the long form questionnaire with
the NHS created further problems; the main one being that the survey is now voluntary, which
further exacerbates the concern for representation. The data derived from this source are also, of
course, not comparable to the previous census data.12
Special Post-censal Surveys: Aboriginal Peoples Survey (APS)
The Aboriginal Peoples Survey (APS) is a special national, post-censal survey. It surveys Métis,
Inuit, and North American Indians, as identified in the Census and registration status under the
Indian Act of Canada.13 The survey was first introduced by Statistics Canada in 1991 and
repeated shortly after the 2001 Census, covering First Nations peoples living both on-reserve and
off-reserve, Inuit, and Métis. The third APS was carried out in the fall of 2006, covering only the
off-reserve population. The on-reserve population was scheduled to be surveyed in a progressive
fashion.14 In 2011, Statistics Canada continued surveying in the established manner Inuit, Metis
and First Nations population living off-reserve; the First Nations population living on-reserve
and in northern communities was surveyed by the Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development
Canada (AANDC), in partnership with the First Nation Information Governance Centre
(FNIGC).15
52
APPENDIX D
The content of the APS was developed jointly by a number of representatives from the national
Aboriginal organizations, as well as by representatives of the federal, provincial, and territorial
governments, and a number of research organizations. The survey’s purpose was to identify the
needs of different groups of Aboriginal people, focusing in particular on the socio-economic
issues such as employment, income, schooling, housing, health, language, and mobility. 16 The
latest APS focuses in particular on education and employment, although it covers other areas of
interest as in the previous surveys. The survey involves relatively large sample sizes as it targets
both children and adult populations; as such, the survey provides rich data on lifestyles and
living conditions of various demographic groups of Aboriginal people, including the youth. The
survey’s content is regularly updated according to the needs of relevant stakeholders. Thus, in
addition to the core questionnaire, the 2001, 2006 and 2011 versions of the APS contain
supplementary questionnaires for Métis and the Arctic adult population.17
Being a post-censal survey, however, the APS entails the same limitations identified in the
Canadian censuses. Thus, the undercoverage and under-representation as well as other census
weaknesses of the Aboriginal population counts mention above remain in the APS data.18 These
limitations are even more present in the public-use versions of these data files, because in the
public-use versions, if a question is of a sensitive nature or if it entails a relatively small sample
size, even the available indicators are suppressed to protect confidentiality of the individual
respondents.19 The survey master files, however, allow for a more precise and detailed
exploration, even if small geographic areas are involved.20 Judging the representativeness and
generalizability of research findings for any of the regions, however, remains a challenge due to
the sampling problems.
Special Post-censal Surveys: Survey of Living Conditions in the Arctic (SLiCA)
The arctic component of APS contains rich statistical information that pertains particularly to
northern Aboriginal Canadians and is published separately in the Survey of Living Conditions in
the Arctic (SLiCA). The SLiCA is a new international survey, the results of which were first
released in 2007.21 The survey contains unique and comprehensive information that can be used
to examine a range of specific issues related to Arctic lifestyles and living conditions. The
survey’s uniqueness stems from the fact that the collected information pertains to the quality of
life as perceived by the northern residents, including Arctic Inuit and Inupiat communities of
Canada, Alaska, Russia’s Chukotka region, and Greenland. The survey design and the content of
an international questionnaire was developed jointly by Indigenous people and Arctic social
scientists from Greenland, Canada, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia, and the United States over
a one-decade time period.22
The first reported SLiCA findings are based on 7250 interviews, generalizable to all Inuit,
Inuvialuit and Inupiat adults (age fifteen and over in Greenland and Canada, and sixteen and over
elsewhere) living in the three Inupiat settlement regions of Alaska (North Slope, Northwest
Arctic, Bering Straits census areas), the four Inuit settlement regions of Canada (Inuvialuit,
Nunavik, Nunavut, Labrador Inuit land claims regions), all regions of Greenland, and ten
districts of Chukotka, Russia (Anadyrskij, Anadyr, Shmidtovs, Beringovskij, Chukotskij,
Iujl’tinskij, Bilibinskij, Chaunskij, Providenskij, Uel’Kal’ districts). In Canada, the first SliCA
questionnaire was integrated into the 2001 APS and covered 11,000 Inuit adults and children.
The interviewers collected a range of information on language use, education, access to
information technology, paid and unpaid labour activity, housing, mobility, and income. This
53
APPENDIX D
information was organized around five socio-economic themes that included: (1) importance of a
mixed cash-and-harvest or herding-based economy to living in the Arctic; (2) importance of
social relationships and the standard of living to settlement patterns; (3) relationships between
social problems and other dimensions of living conditions; (4) the influence of educators and
missionaries; and (5) the influence of policies on living conditions.23
The primary strengths of the SLiCA lies in the relevance and the range of the variables included
in the survey. In addition to informing, the SLiCA data allow for a comparison of living
conditions across the Circumpolar North on a range of dimensions such as household and
harvesting activities, personal and community wellness, and social participation.24 Thus, the
richness of the relevant variables in this data source, relative to other data sources, is invaluable
for examining issues that are specific to the residents of the circumpolar communities.
Despite the relative richness of relevant information in the SLiCA, researchers and policy makers
still need to be aware that the range of the socio-economic conditions comparison for Canada is
likely to be both smaller and less precise than for the other participating countries since the
Canadian component of this survey entails important constraints, both in terms of the survey
sampling method and the variable content. The Canadian component of the 2001 SLiCA, for
example, involves a large gap in terms of the number of variables that can be derived relative to
the number derived from the questionnaires of other participating countries.25
The second, and perhaps more important, point is that being a component of the APS, the
Canadian SLiCA, by design, maintains all of the representation and the population count issues
mention above. It is very likely that only some communities within each listed region were
included in the survey sampling frame.26 In the case of Canada, for instance, the SLiCA’s
definition of Canada’s North excluded a number of important northern Indigenous communities
such as the Dene in the Northwest Territories, the Cree in Northern Quebec, and the Innu Nation
people from Northern Quebec and Labrador.27 The sample composition of the Canadian
component of the SLiCA is also not as precise in terms of ethnicity or identity as one is led to
believe in the description of the survey. While it is true that a large majority of those interviewed
in the 2001 Canadian SLiCA were Inuit, some First Nations and Métis people were also included
in this survey sample.28
Canadian Labour Force Survey
In addition to the post-censal surveys that focus exclusively on the Aboriginal segment of the
Canadian population, Statistics Canada has also recently added Aboriginal identity indicators to
the Canadian Labour Force Survey (LFS), the labour market specific source of information that
it produces for the general population. For the general population, the LFS is a national
household survey conducted each month by Statistics Canada to provide information on major
labour market trends. In 2004, an Aboriginal identity question was added to the national file of
the LFS, which permitted Aboriginal people living off-reserve in four provinces (Manitoba,
Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia) and all people living in the three territories
(Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut) to identify themselves as North American Indian,
Inuit, or Métis. As of January 2007, Statistics Canada has started collecting comprehensive
information on labour market conditions of the off-reserve Aboriginal population in all provinces
and of all Aboriginal people living in the territories.29 Because of the methodological and other
important differences, the collected information is compiled in two separate files, the national
54
APPENDIX D
file, which contains the survey results for the ten provinces, and the territorial file, which
contains the survey results from the territories.
The LFS does not capture any aspect of non-wage labour activity, which makes it hard to
conclude, for example, whether the low labour force participation of a particular Aboriginal
group of workers indicates poverty or heavy participation in traditional pursuits. This aspect is
very important, particularly for Aboriginal workers living in the territories. Over the past two
decades, a number of researchers have emphasized that the strong presence of a “mixed
economy” in the northern Aboriginal communities is not merely a residue of an old and fading
way of life, but a unique aspect of the adaptation process in which a subsistence economy
continues to coexist with the modern market economy.30 In this mixed economy model, the
household functions as a “micro-enterprise” and individuals move strategically between
subsistence and market activities depending on opportunities and preferences.31 In such
communities, both the income-in-kind obtained from traditional economic activities, and cash
income obtained from wages and social transfers, are readily shared among households and
community members.32 Thus, relying on this data source alone can lead researchers to make
narrow policy recommendations for different groups of Aboriginal workers.
Another important limitation of the LFS lies in the survey coverage, as it includes only people
living off-reserve. Also, the LFS is likely to involve fundamental sample size issues that might
preclude any detailed analysis and essentially render any generalization impossible, especially
for the North American Indian identity workers.33 Small sample sizes, in addition to the other
challenges in identifying the samples that were discussed earlier in this article, are likely to cause
large sampling errors and thus reduce the confidence in the empirical analysis, regardless of the
level of statistical sophistication employed.34
Territorial Statistical Data and Other Relevant Surveys
Aside from the LFS, each of the territorial statistical agencies collects labour market relevant
information through a variety of surveys. In 2010, the Yukon Bureau of Statistics conducted the
Yukon Social Inclusion Household Survey in an attempt to collect information related to the
socioeconomic wellbeing of vulnerable groups in Yukon society. The survey targeted population
aged 18 and over and questions covered a number of social issues, including child care.35
Similarly, the Northwest Territories Bureau of Statistics conducts a variety of community
surveys that collect important information on labour force, including information on regional
employment and traditional pursuits.36 Finally, the Nunavut Bureau of Statistics publishes its
own labour force and employment data.37
There are also special databases that relate to statistical information on northern Aboriginal
people collected from different sources. Data concerning the labour force and other
socioeconomic conditions of Nunavik, for example, are hosted at University of Laval, the
Nunivaat database. The data included in the database are tabulated and they come from several
different sources, including Statistics Canada, the Institut de la statistique du Québec as well as
various government databanks and special studies carried out under the Nunivaat program.38
University of Laval also hosts a special database concerning the socioeconomic conditions of the
people living in different regions of the Arctic. Data from national statistical agencies of each
country and region are compiled and organized by social indicators in the ArcticStat
socioeconomic circumpolar database. This database is particularly useful for comparative
55
APPENDIX D
research on the socioeconomic conditions of the peoples of the Arctic. Like the Nunivaat data,
the ArcticStat data, however, are also made available only in a tabulated form, which limits the
use for a more detailed analysis.39
Aside from the main sources of data collected by Statistics Canada and by the territorial
statistical agencies, the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) also collects
a variety of statistical data, though most of it concerns only the registered Aboriginal population.
These data range from basic departmental data40 to a series of national surveys of First Nations
people living on-reserve.41 Though not labour specific, these surveys collect useful information
on general attitudes of the registered Aboriginal population towards priorities, and views about
performance, of the Government of Canada, satisfaction with service delivery. The surveys also
collect information on the views about education of the registered Aboriginal youth, both on and
off reserve.
The INAC has also developed two special tools for measuring the quality of life.42 The first tool,
the Human Development Index (HDI), relates to Inuit and to the registered Indian population and
is fairly general in scope. This index is designed to compare the average well-being of Registered
Indians and Inuit with the average well-being of other Canadians on national and regional levels.
The index relies on the Canadian census data and on life expectancy estimates and it measures
three specific dimensions of well-being over time: (1) a long and healthy life; (2) knowledge;
and (3) a decent standard of living. The second tool, Community Well-Being Index (CWB), is
more labour specific and applies to Inuit population as well as to the registered Indian
population. This index is developed to help measure the quality of life of First Nations and Inuit
communities in Canada relative to other communities, over time. The four indicators include
education, labour force, income, and housing.
The two quality of life measures, the HDI and the CWB, developed by the INAC are deficient in
the sense that they are based on the non-comparable and imperfect Canadian census data. For
instance, the existing HDIs that focus on the 1991–2001 time period (for Inuit people) and on the
1981–2001 time period (for Registered Indians) relay on non-comparable census data files. The
existing CWB indexes are less problematic since they use only the comparable Census data;
nevertheless, as indicated earlier, these data still involve serious limitations.
56
APPENDIX D
References
1
See also the excellent discussion of statistical evidence in Stephanie Merrill, David Bruce and Amanda Marlin.
(2010). Considerations for Successful Transitions between Post-Secondary Education and the Labour Market for
Aboriginal Youth in Canada. Final Report. Rural and Small Town Programme. Mount Allison University. Pp 3-4.
2
We report our assessment of the other important data sources in a short paper available on our project website.
3
Statistics Canada. (2001). History of the Census of Canada. Statistics Canada. http://www12.statcan.gc.ca/censusrecensement/2011/ref/about-apropos/history-histoire-eng.cfm
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7
Mendelson, M. (2004). Aboriginal people in Canada’s labour market: Work and unemployment, today and
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8
For the 1986-2006 period in particular, Statistics Canada has issued warnings to researchers to exercise caution
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9
Statistics Canada (2008).
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12
Statistics Canada. (2013a). 2011 National Household Survey: Aboriginal Peoples in Canada: First Nations People,
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13
Statistics Canada. (1993). Aboriginal Peoples Survey 1991: Data Quality Statements. Statistical Data
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Ottawa. Catalogue No. 89-591-XIE.
14
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Catalogue No. 12-592-XIE.
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15
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Métis and Inuit. The Daily, Wednesday, May 8, 2013.
16
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17
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18
Statistics Canada. (2003). Aboriginal Peoples Survey 2001: Concepts and Methods Guide. Minister of Industry,
Ottawa. Catalogue No. 89-591-XIE.
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19
Statistics Canada (2003).
20
Keyes, S., Newcombe-Welch, P., & Warriner, K.G. (2006). DLI and RDC program: Valuable research resources
for WIHIR researchers. Retrieved May, 2008 from: http://hi.uwaterloo.ca/hitalks/research/2005-2006/03-082006/default.pdf
21
Poppel, B., Kruise, J. Duhaime, G., & Abryutina, L. (2007). SLiCA results. Anchorage: Institute of Social and
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22
Usher, P., Duhaime, G. & Searles, E. (2003). The household as an economic unit in Arctic Aboriginal
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202.
SLiCA. (2007). Survey of Living Conditions in the Arctic: Inuit, Saami, and the Indigenous Peoples of Chukotka.
Project Report Available at: http://www. arcticlivingconditions.org
Kruse, J., Poppel, B., Abryutina, L., Duhaime, G., Martin, S., Poppel, M., Kruse, M., Ward, E., Cochran, P., Hanna,
V. (2008). Survey of Living Conditions in the Arctic, SLiCA. In V. Møller, D. Huschka, and A. C. Michalos (Eds.),
Barometers of quality of life around the globe (pp. 107–134). Social Indicators Research Series, Volume 33.
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23
Statistics Canada. (2006a). Harvesting and community well-being among Inuit in the Canadian Arctic:
Preliminary findings from the 2001 Aboriginal Peoples Survey – Survey of Living Conditions in the Arctic.
Catalogue No. 89-619-XIE. Social and Aboriginal Statistics Division.
Poppel et al. (2007).
24
Poppel et al. (2007); Kruse et al. (2008); Tait (2008).
25
SLiCA (2007).
26
Kruse et al. (2008).
27
SLiCA (2007).
28
Statistics Canada (2006a).
29
Statistics Canada. (2007b). Guide to the Labour Force Survey 2007. Statistics Canada, Catalogue No. 71-543GIE.
Usalcas, J. (2011). Aboriginal People and the Labour Market: Estimates from the Labour Force Survey, 2008-2010.
Minister of Industry, Statistics Canada, Catalogue No. 71-588-X, no. 3.
30
Lautard, E.H. (1982). Occupational segregation and inequality between Native and Non-native Canadians. The
Canadian Journal of Native Studies, 2(2), 303–320.
Stabler, J.C. (1989). Dualism and development in the Northwest Territories. Economic Development and Cultural
Change, 37(4), 805–839.
Elias, P.D. (1995). Northern economies. In Elias, P.D. (ed.), Northern Aboriginal communities: Economies and
development (pp. 3–32). Captus Press.
Usher, P., Duhaime, G. & Searles, E. (2003). The household as an economic unit in Arctic Aboriginal communities,
and its measurement by means of a comprehensive survey. Social Indicators Research, 61(1), 175–202.
Abele, F. (2006). Education, training, employment and procurement. Paper submitted to the Joint Review Panel for
the Mackenzie Gas Project, Northwest Territories. Yellowknife: Alternatives North.
31
Usher et al. (2003, p. 177).
32
Abele (2006).
33
Rowe, G. & Nguyen, H. (2004). Longitudinal analysis of Labour Force Survey data. Statistics Canada.
Proceedings of Statistics Canada Symposium 2002: Modeling Survey Data for Social and Economic Research.
34
Berg (2005).
35
Yukon Bureau of Statistics. (2010). Yukon Social Inclusion Household Survey. Government of Yukon.
http://science.gov.yk.ca/Activity/47
58
APPENDIX D
36
Northwest Territories Bureau of Statistics. (2010). Recent Surveys. Government of the Northwest Territories.
http://www.statsnwt.ca/recent_surveys
37
Nunavut Bureau of Statistics. (2010). Labour Force and Employment Data. Government of Nunavut.
http://www.stats.gov.nu.ca/en/Labour%20and%20employment.aspx
38
Nunivaat (2014). Nunavik Statistics Program. Accessed on January 4, 2014 at: http://www.nunivaat.org/
39
ArcticStat (2014). ArcticStat Socioeconomic Circumpolar Database. Accessed January 4, 2014 at:
http://www.arcticstat.org/about.aspx
40
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada. (2000). Basic departmental data, 1999. First Nations and Northern Statistics
Section, Corporate Information Management Directorate, Information Management Branch.
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada. (2002a). Indian and Northern Affairs Canada and Canadian Polar Commission:
DPR 2001-2002, Section IV—Consolidated Reporting.
41
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada. (2002b). Fall 2002 survey of First Nations people living on reserve – Final
Report. Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada, Ottawa.
42
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada. (2006). Measuring Inuit well-being. Strategic Research and Analysis
Directorate–Inuit Relations Secretariat, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada. Catalogue No. R2-440/2006.
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada. (2004). Measuring First Nations well-being. Strategic Research and Analysis
Directorate, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, Catalogue No. R2-248/2004.
59
APPENDIX E
Labour Force Activity among Northern Youth
Table E1: A Summary of Labour Force Activity for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Youth in the North
Key indicators (%)
Table E1
Participation rate
women
Employment rate
men
women
Unemployment rate
men
women
73.3
56.3
57.1
61.5
42.9
73.4
59.1
56.8
100.0
60.0
63.5
37.8
34.8
46.2
42.9
66.1
49.6
45.3
88.9
50.0
13.3
34.2
37.5
0.0
0.0
10.6
14.7
16.7
0.0
0.0
75.0
58.4
59.6
54.5
42.9
69.9
60.7
54.5
100.0
66.7
65.1
40.3
38.6
45.5
42.9
62.3
61.1
50.0
85.7
55.6
12.6
31.1
38.2
33.3
0.0
10.9
10.3
8.3
0.0
0.0
71.6
53.3
51.9
n/a
n/a
82.3
58.6
55.6
n/a
n/a
60.2
36.7
37.0
n/a
n/a
74.6
41.4
40.7
n/a
n/a
15.9
25.0
28.6
n/a
n/a
7.7
23.5
26.7
n/a
n/a
78.0
51.9
47.3
61.4
56.5
78.6
44.5
42.9
53.6
41.6
69.1
35.0
28.0
47.1
42.4
75.0
33.4
31.2
46.4
30.3
11.4
32.5
40.7
23.3
23.1
4.5
24.8
26.0
13.3
27.0
79.9
66.7
60.3
70.0
71.7
79.2
51.1
57.4
55.2
43.5
70.1
48.7
39.7
47.5
58.7
75.9
39.7
44.4
44.8
30.4
11.8
27.0
34.2
28.6
18.2
3.6
22.4
22.6
18.8
30.0
62.5
48.4
50.0
77.8
39.0
82.4
45.2
57.1
50.0
35.9
58.3
35.9
42.9
77.8
24.4
70.6
35.5
50.0
50.0
25.6
0.0
29.0
28.6
28.6
37.5
14.3
21.4
0.0
0.0
35.7
men
YUKON TERRITORY
Total area
Non-Aboriginal youth
Total Aboriginal youth
North American Indian
Metis
Inuit
Total Urban area
Non-Aboriginal youth
Total Aboriginal youth
North American Indian
Metis
Inuit
Rural area
Non-Aboriginal youth
Total Aboriginal youth
North American Indian
Metis
Inuit
NORTHWEST TERRITORIES
Total area
Non-Aboriginal youth
Total Aboriginal youth
North American Indian
Metis
Inuit
Total Urban area
Non-Aboriginal youth
Total Aboriginal youth
North American Indian
Metis
Inuit
Rural area
Non-Aboriginal youth
Total Aboriginal youth
North American Indian
Metis
Inuit
…continued
60
APPENDIX E
Key indicators (%)
Table E1 (continued)
Participation rate
women
men
Employment rate
men
women
Unemployment rate
men
women
Inuit
n/a
34.8
34.8
n/a
33.3
32.0
n/a
15.2
13.0
n/a
25.5
26.0
n/a
56.2
56.2
n/a
23.5
25.0
Inuit
66.7
51.0
51.2
75.0
52.6
52.9
66.7
34.3
34.3
75.0
40.6
40.8
0.0
32.7
33.0
0.0
22.8
22.8
Inuit
66.7
38.7
38.8
66.7
40.1
39.9
59.5
26.3
26.1
61.5
30.4
30.1
10.7
32.0
32.7
7.7
24.6
24.5
Inuit
66.7
46.3
47.0
80.0
44.0
43.5
60.0
31.7
31.8
66.7
30.8
27.5
20.0
31.6
29.0
16.7
32.5
33.3
Inuit
66.0
62.0
69.3
66.7
58.5
54.1
57.4
50.3
59.1
58.9
48.5
43.8
13.1
18.9
14.8
11.8
17.1
19.0
Inuit
67.2
44.0
55.8
64.4
38.6
46.8
59.0
30.9
40.4
56.4
28.5
40.4
12.1
29.7
31.0
12.5
26.1
18.2
INUIT AREA OF RESIDENCE
NUNATSIAVUT
Non-Aboriginal youth
Total Aboriginal youth
NUNAVIK
Non-Aboriginal youth
Total Aboriginal youth
NUNAVUT
Non-Aboriginal youth
Total Aboriginal youth
INUVIALUIT
Non-Aboriginal youth
Total Aboriginal youth
Total Urban area
Non-Aboriginal youth
Total Aboriginal youth
Rural area
Non-Aboriginal youth
Total Aboriginal youth
Outside Inuit Nunangat
Non-Aboriginal youth
Total Aboriginal youth
66.2
66.3
57.7
58.4
12.9
11.9
54.2
50.4
41.9
40.4
22.7
19.9
Inuit 66.5
52.8
54.6
42.9
17.9
18.0
Source: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census of Population, with Aboriginal counts adjusted for incompletely enumerated
Indian reserves and settlements.
Notes: Youth age group is 15-24. The “Total Aboriginal youth” category refers to the total Aboriginal identity
population aged 15 to 24 years. The “non-Aboriginal youth” category refers to non-Aboriginal identity population
aged 15 to 24 years. Definitions of the labour force activity indicators are as per Statistics Canada. Sample sizes for
Inuit and Metis youth in Yukon Territory are very small and thus warrant extra caution. The n/a notations refer to
too small sample sizes that preclude information release.
61
APPENDIX E
References:
Statistics Canada (2011a). Topic-based tabulations. Labour Force Activity (8), Aboriginal
Identity (8B), Age Groups (13A), Sex (3) and Area of Residence (6A) for the Population 15
Years and Over of Canada, Provinces and Territories, 2001 and 2006 Censuses - 20% Sample
Data. Date modified: 2011-07-04. Accessed on January 5, 2014 at:
http://www12.statcan.gc.ca/census-recensement/2006/dp-pd/tbt/Rpeng.cfm?LANG=E&APATH=3&DETAIL=0&DIM=0&FL=A&FREE=0&GC=0&GID=0&GK
=0&GRP=1&PID=92101&PRID=0&PTYPE=88971,97154&S=0&SHOWALL=0&SUB=738&
Temporal=2006&THEME=73&VID=0&VNAMEE=&VNAMEF=
Statistics Canada (2011b). Topic-based tabulations. Inuit area of residence (11), Aboriginal
identity (5), Age Groups (8), Sex (3) and Selected Demographic, Labour Force, Educational and
Income Characteristics (218), for the Total Population of Canada, Provinces and Territories,
2006 Census - 20% Sample Data. Date modified: 2011-07-04. Accessed on January 6, 2014 at:
http://www12.statcan.gc.ca/census-recensement/2006/dp-pd/tbt/Rpeng.cfm?TABID=1&LANG=E&APATH=3&DETAIL=0&DIM=0&FL=A&FREE=0&GC=0&
GK=0&GRP=1&PID=97449&PRID=0&PTYPE=88971,97154&S=0&SHOWALL=0&SUB=0
&Temporal=2006&THEME=73&VID=0&VNAMEE=&VNAMEF=
62
APPENDIX F
Selected Socio-demographic Attributes of the Youth in the North
Table F1: Selected Socio-demographic attributes of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Youth in the North
Selected Attributes (proportions of youth %)
Table F1
YUKON TERRITORY
Total area
Non-Aboriginal youth
Total Aboriginal youth
North American Indian
Metis
Inuit
Total Urban area
Non-Aboriginal youth
Total Aboriginal youth
North American Indian
Metis
Inuit
Rural area
Non-Aboriginal youth
Total Aboriginal youth
North American Indian
Metis
Inuit
NORTHWEST TERRITORIES
Total area
Non-Aboriginal youth
Total Aboriginal youth
North American Indian
Metis
Inuit
Total Urban area
Non-Aboriginal youth
Total Aboriginal youth
North American Indian
Metis
Inuit
Rural area
Non-Aboriginal youth
Total Aboriginal youth
North American Indian
Metis
Inuit
No education
High School
Diploma
men women
men
women
44.3
61.2
62.5
53.8
85.7
38.2
47.8
47.9
44.4
50.0
38.4
24.6
24.1
30.8
-
43.9
61.8
63.1
54.5
71.4
39.9
39.3
34.1
57.1
50.0
43.2
62.1
63.0
-
Lone parent
Government
Transfers
men
women
men
women
45.9
34.8
37.5
22.2
30.0
0.7
1.5
1.8
-
3.0
7.0
5.3
22.2
20.0
6.4
9.3
10.2
-
9.2
17.0
16.0
17.6
17.5
38.2
25.0
24.6
27.3
28.6
44.3
41.0
50.0
30.0
-
3.8
10.0
9.3
-
6.8
9.6
10.7
-
11.5
16.8
15.4
19.7
19.8
34.2
58.6
60.7
-
40.9
24.1
22.2
-
49.4
31.0
25.0
-
-
2.6
6.9
6.9
-
5.5
8.2
9.0
-
4.2
14.1
14.1
-
39.2
76.2
77.8
70.0
78.0
29.2
74.4
77.1
61.4
76.4
35.7
14.6
14.2
14.3
15.4
47.3
17.5
15.7
24.6
16.8
3.0
3.8
4.4
1.8
9.4
8.5
8.9
13.6
4.4
6.8
7.7
4.0
7.8
4.5
17.0
19.5
6.7
22.6
38.1
73.3
74.6
70.0
73.9
28.2
68.7
69.1
58.6
73.3
36.5
17.3
20.6
12.5
15.2
49.0
21.4
21.8
31.0
17.8
4.0
4.8
6.5
1.2
11.5
5.5
10.3
19.6
4.3
4.7
5.0
4.3
5.3
4.3
12.7
10.7
7.0
23.0
54.2
79.7
71.4
66.7
82.9
47.0
75.8
60.0
75.0
82.0
25.0
14.1
14.3
22.2
12.2
35.3
19.3
26.7
25.0
12.8
3.1
14.3
-
11.8
6.4
13.3
7.7
5.8
9.5
10.9
1.2
16.1
5.8
14.6
11.0
2.7
25.3
… continued
63
APPENDIX F
Selected Attributes (proportions of youth %)
Table F1 (continued)
No education
High School
Diploma
men women
men
women
Inuit
n/a
65.2
66.7
n/a
68.6
66.7
n/a
19.6
20.0
Inuit
33.3
82.8
80.2
40.0
81.8
81.7
Inuit
38.1
84.6
84.7
Lone parent
Government
Transfers
men
women
men
women
n/a
19.6
21.6
n/a
-
n/a
7.7
7.8
n/a
26.4
24.9
n/a
32.0
31.5
10.3
9.9
13.5
13.1
3.9
4.0
12.4
12.6
4.7
15.1
15.4
3.5
25.1
25.2
35.9
81.4
81.7
35.7
10.7
10.8
35.9
13.0
12.7
4.1
4.2
10.1
10.2
3.0
16.9
17.1
5.6
30.4
30.7
Inuit
53.3
79.3
81.5
33.3
74.7
75.4
26.7
13.4
12.3
33.3
18.7
15.9
2.4
-
14.3
10.0
11.8
4.9
8.4
9.7
8.1
18.3
23.5
Inuit
39.5
59.3
56.0
34.4
53.0
55.1
38.0
28.5
26.3
12.5
31.3
27.6
0.3
1.5
2.3
2.4
10.5
7.1
5.6
9.8
9.5
9.2
24.5
19.8
Inuit
49.0
71.4
61.5
44.3
67.9
59.6
32.6
19.8
26.9
33.3
23.0
22.5
0.3
3.0
-
1.7
10.1
4.2
7.2
16.6
8.9
10.2
35.8
11.1
INUIT AREA OF RESIDENCE
NUNATSIAVUT
Non-Aboriginal youth
Total Aboriginal youth
NUNAVIK
Non-Aboriginal youth
Total Aboriginal youth
NUNAVUT
Non-Aboriginal youth
Total Aboriginal youth
INUVIALUIT
Non-Aboriginal youth
Total Aboriginal youth
Total Urban area
Non-Aboriginal youth
Total Aboriginal youth
Rural area
Non-Aboriginal youth
Total Aboriginal youth
Outside Inuit Nunangat
Non-Aboriginal youth
Total Aboriginal youth
41.2
36.1
37.1
36.7
0.3
2.3
5.9
9.3
64.5
59.0
24.8
28.0
2.2
11.9
12.1
27.9
Inuit 57.3
56.3
26.4
27.9
2.2
6.5
9.4
18.6
Source: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census of Population, with Aboriginal counts adjusted for incompletely enumerated
Indian reserves and settlements.
Notes: Youth age group is 15-24. The “Total Aboriginal youth” category refers to the total Aboriginal identity
population aged 15 to 24 years. The “non-Aboriginal youth” category refers to non-Aboriginal identity population
aged 15 to 24 years.
64
APPENDIX F
Percent %
Chart F1: Proportions (%) of female youth with less than high school education, by
identity and region, 2006
90
80
70
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
Non-Aboriginal Youth
Aboriginal Youth
Source: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census.
Note: Youth age group is 15-24. No-bar for non-Aboriginal youth indicates zero population counts in the region.
Percent %
Chart F2: Proportions (%) of male youth with less than high school education, by
identity and region, 2006
90
80
70
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
Non-Aboriginal Youth
Aboriginal Youth
Source: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census.
Note: Youth age group is 15-24. No-bar for non-Aboriginal youth indicates zero population counts in the region.
65
APPENDIX F
Percent %
Chart F3: Proportions (%) of female youth with a completed high school diploma or
equivalent, by identity and region, 2006
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
Non-Aboriginal Youth
Aboriginal Youth
Source: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census.
Note: Youth age group is 15-24. No-bar for non-Aboriginal youth indicates zero population counts in the region.
Chart F4: Proportions (%) of male youth with a completed high school diploma or
equivalent, by identity and region, 2006
60
Percent %
50
40
30
20
10
0
Non-Aboriginal Youth
Aboriginal Youth
Source: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census.
Note: Youth age group is 15-24. No-bar for non-Aboriginal youth indicates zero population counts in the region.
66
APPENDIX F
Percent %
Chart F5: Proportions (%) of lone parents among female youth, by identity and region,
2006
16
14
12
10
8
6
4
2
0
Non-Aboriginal Youth
Aboriginal Youth
Source: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census.
Note: Youth age group is 15-24. No-bar for non-Aboriginal youth indicates zero population counts in the region.
Percent %
Chart F6: Proportions (%) of lone parents among male youth, by identity and region,
2006
16
14
12
10
8
6
4
2
0
Non-Aboriginal Youth
Aboriginal Youth
Source: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census.
Note: Youth age group is 15-24. No-bar for non-Aboriginal youth indicates zero population counts in the region.
67
APPENDIX F
Chart F7: Proportions (%) of governemnt transfers in the total income of female youth
, by region, 2006
35
Percent %
30
25
20
15
10
5
0
Non-Aboriginal Youth
Aboriginal Youth
Source: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census.
Note: Youth age group is 15-24. No-bar for non-Aboriginal youth indicates zero population counts in the region.
Chart F8: Proportions (%) of governemnt transfers in the total income of male youth ,
by region, 2006
35
30
Percent %
25
20
15
10
5
0
Non-Aboriginal Youth
Aboriginal Youth
Source: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census.
Note: Youth age group is 15-24. No-bar for non-Aboriginal youth indicates zero population counts in the region.
68
APPENDIX F
References Appendix F
Statistics Canada (2011a). Topic-based tabulations. Labour Force Activity (8), Aboriginal
Identity (8B), Age Groups (13A), Sex (3) and Area of Residence (6A) for the Population 15
Years and Over of Canada, Provinces and Territories, 2001 and 2006 Censuses - 20% Sample
Data. Date modified: 2011-07-04. Accessed on January 5, 2014 at:
http://www12.statcan.gc.ca/census-recensement/2006/dp-pd/tbt/Rpeng.cfm?LANG=E&APATH=3&DETAIL=0&DIM=0&FL=A&FREE=0&GC=0&GID=0&GK
=0&GRP=1&PID=92101&PRID=0&PTYPE=88971,97154&S=0&SHOWALL=0&SUB=738&
Temporal=2006&THEME=73&VID=0&VNAMEE=&VNAMEF=
Statistics Canada (2011b). Topic-based tabulations. Inuit area of residence (11), Aboriginal
identity (5), Age Groups (8), Sex (3) and Selected Demographic, Labour Force, Educational and
Income Characteristics (218), for the Total Population of Canada, Provinces and Territories,
2006 Census - 20% Sample Data. Date modified: 2011-07-04. Accessed on January 6, 2014 at:
http://www12.statcan.gc.ca/census-recensement/2006/dp-pd/tbt/Rpeng.cfm?TABID=1&LANG=E&APATH=3&DETAIL=0&DIM=0&FL=A&FREE=0&GC=0&
GK=0&GRP=1&PID=97449&PRID=0&PTYPE=88971,97154&S=0&SHOWALL=0&SUB=0
&Temporal=2006&THEME=73&VID=0&VNAMEE=&VNAMEF=
Statistics Canada (2010). The 2006 Census of Canada: Special Interest Profile. Aboriginal
Identity (8), Age Groups (8), Area of Residence (6), Sex (3) and Selected Demographic,
Cultural, Labour Force, Educational and Income Characteristics (233), for the Total Population
of Canada, Provinces and Territories, 2006 Census - 20% Sample Data. Date Modified: 2010-0107. Accessed January 8, 2014 at: http://www12.statcan.gc.ca/census-recensement/2006/dppd/prof/sip/Rpeng.cfm?TABID=1&LANG=E&APATH=3&DETAIL=0&DIM=0&FL=A&FRE
E=0&GC=0&GK=0&GRP=1&PID=97446&PRID=0&PTYPE=97154&S=0&SHOWALL=0&S
UB=0&Temporal=2006&THEME=73&VID=0&VNAMEE=&VNAMEF=
69
APPENDIX G
Mobility Status of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Youth in the North
Table G1: Proportions of Movers and Stayers among Northern Youth, for 1 year and for 5 year time period
Place of Residence 1 year ago
Residence Area
YUKON TERRITORY
Non-Aboriginal youth
Total Aboriginal youth
North American Indian
Métis
Inuit
NORTHWEST TERRITORIES
Non-Aboriginal youth
Total Aboriginal youth
North American Indian
Métis
Inuit
INUIT AREA OF RESIDENCE
Non-Aboriginal youth
Total Aboriginal youth
INUIT REGIONS
NUNATSIAVUT Aboriginal youth
NUNAVIK Aboriginal youth
NUNAVUT Aboriginal youth
INUVIALUIT Aboriginal youth
OUTSIDE INUIT REGIONS
Non-Aboriginal youth
Total Aboriginal youth
Place of residence 5 years ago
Same
address
as
1 year ago
Different
address,
but
same
municipality
Different
address,
but
same
territory
Different
address,
and
different
territory /
province
Same
address
as
5 years ago
Different
address,
but
same
municipality
Different
address,
but
same
territory
Different
address,
and
different
territory /
province
75.2
73.2
73.1
72.1
76.5
16.6
18.4
18.3
18.2
23.5
1.7
4.8
4.8
9.1
-
6.2
4.0
3.8
9.1
-
52.5
45.6
48.5
45.4
11.8
29.4
32.4
32.2
22.7
52.9
4.7
9.6
10.6
-
11.6
12.4
8.2
31.8
35.3
64.8
78.6
79.9
76.4
76.2
18.5
15.7
14.7
18.1
16.6
1.1
3.3
3.5
1.6
5.0
14.0
2.3
1.9
3.9
1.6
40.3
58.2
62.4
48.4
54.4
23.4
26.2
23.5
30.1
30.0
2.1
9.0
9.5
7.1
10.0
29.3
6.4
4.5
15.1
5.0
79.5
74.8
11.8
15.3
5.6
7.6
1.5
2.2
55.5
51.6
22.6
27.1
13.2
16.0
3.4
5.0
87.6
90.7
85.7
76.3
8.2
7.0
9.7
19.1
3.1
2.5
3.3
4.0
0.5
1.6
1.1
77.3
76.3
62.3
50.6
17.5
18.4
27.7
33.9
6.2
5.0
7.5
10.9
0.5
2.3
4.0
79.5
74.3
11.8
15.5
5.6
7.8
1.5
2.3
55.5
51.1
22.6
27.1
13.2
16.4
3.4
5.1
Source: Statistics Canada, the 2006 Census, with Aboriginal counts adjusted for incompletely enumerated Indian reserves and settlements. Youth age 15-24
70
APPENDIX G
Chart G1: Mobility Status, proportions (%) of non-movers in relation
to place of residence 1 year ago, 2006
Outside Inuit Regions
Inuit Area of Residence
NWT total
Yukon total
0
10
20
30
Aboriginal Youth
40
50
60
70
80
90
Non-Aboriginal Youth
Source: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census. Youth age group is 15-24.
Chart G2: Mobility Status, proportions (%) of non-movers in relation
to place of residence 5 years ago, 2006
Outside Inuit Regions
Inuit Area of Residence
NWT total
Yukon total
0
10
20
Aboriginal Youth
30
40
50
60
70
80
90
Non-Aboriginal Youth
Source: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census. Youth age group is 15-24.
71
APPENDIX G
Chart G3: Mobility Status, proportions (%) of youth who moved in from
another territory or province 1 year ago
Outside Inuit Regions
Inuit Area of Residence
NWT total
Yukon total
0
5
10
Aboriginal Youth
15
20
25
30
35
30
35
Non-Aboriginal Youth
Source: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census. Youth age group is 15-24.
Chart G4: Mobility Status, proportions (%) of youth who moved in from
another territory or province 5 years ago
Outside Inuit Regions
Inuit Area of Residence
NWT total
Yukon total
0
5
10
Aboriginal Youth
15
20
25
Non-Aboriginal Youth
Source: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census. Youth age group is 15-24.
72
APPENDIX G
Chart G5: Mobility Status, proportions (%) of youth who moved within
same terrtory 1 year ago
Outside Inuit Regions
Inuit Area of Residence
NWT total
Yukon total
0
2
4
6
Aboriginal Youth
8
10
12
14
16
18
Non-Aboriginal Youth
Source: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census. Youth age group is 15-24.
Chart G6: Mobility Status, proportions (%) of youth who moved within
same territory 5 years ago
Outside Inuit Regions
Inuit Area of Residence
NWT total
Yukon total
0
2
4
Aboriginal Youth
6
8
10
12
14
16
18
Non-Aboriginal Youth
Source: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census. Youth age group is 15-24.
73
APPENDIX G
Chart G7: Mobility Status, proportions (%) of youth who moved within
same municipality 1 year ago
Outside Inuit Regions
Inuit Area of Residence
NWT total
Yukon total
0
5
10
Aboriginal Youth
15
20
25
30
35
Non-Aboriginal Youth
Source: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census. Youth age group is 15-24.
Chart G8: Mobility Status, proportions (%) of youth who moved within
same municipality 5 years ago
Outside Inuit Regions
Inuit Area of Residence
NWT total
Yukon total
0
5
10
Aboriginal Youth
15
20
25
30
35
Non-Aboriginal Youth
Source: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census. Youth age group is 15-24.
74
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