THUNDER BAY – Forty-five participants of the First Nations Natural Resources Youth Employment Program (FNNRYEP) and Outland Youth Employment Program (OYEP) graduated today at the program’s closing ceremonies held at Confederation College. “The goal of the First Nations Natural Resources Youth Employment Program is to educate students about natural resources and other career paths. It empowers Indigenous youth by focusing on leadership development, social skills and building self-esteem. We are proud to be an ongoing partner of this valuable program,” says Don Bernosky, Vice President, Workforce Development, Confederation College.
Participants received certificates and two high school co-op credits earned during six weeks of work and training. The program is designed to educate about natural resources career paths and help prepare participants for postsecondary education in the field. Certifications were earned in numerous disciplines including:
- S102 Forest Firefighting
- Chainsaw (OFSWA standard)
- Brush saw operation
- Bear Aware
- First aid
- ORCKA Level 1 and 2
- Tree planting
- G1 Driver’s License (if aged 16+)
- Environmental Management Systems
Since 2000, Outland Camps has partnered with Confederation College and Lakehead University to offer land-based education training and employment programs for Indigenous youth in Ontario. To date, the partnership has supported over 430 participants from 55 communities to complete the program, launching numerous careers in the natural resources sector.
FNNRYEP/OYEP focuses on developing work skills, life skills and encouraging youth to achieve an adult life of prosperity, self-sufficiency and personal growth. The program boasts many social, economic and educational benefits for youth including competitive wages, relationship development, team building, increased confidence, strong work ethic, healthy habits and experiential learning.
“Outland and all program partners are proud to celebrate the accomplishments of the 2018 OYEP and FNNRYEP graduating classes. Over the course of six short weeks, these youth have gone from inexperienced trainees to vibrant and confident employees. The 45 graduates have gained the knowledge and skills to pursue their desired career or educational path. They have built lasting friendships and a sense of community that can only develop from the challenging common experience offered through these programs,” states Sarah Ambroziak, Program Coordinator, Outland Camps.
“The Aboriginal Mentorship Program is delighted to have worked once again with the Outland Youth Employment Program. During Science Week we worked to provide each youth with a learning environment grounded in both Indigenous and conventional science and encouraged the youth to explore a wide variety of postsecondary educational subject areas and career options. Every year the Outland youth equally inspire us at Lakehead. This is a group of hard-working and very intelligent Indigenous youth who all have an incredibly bright future ahead of them. We hope to see many of them in our hallways and lecture halls one day soon,” Lisa Harris, Coordinator, Lakehead University Aboriginal Mentorship Program, Office of Aboriginal Initiatives.