A national business group says there needs to be better supports for Aboriginal workers leaving remote communities.
The suggestion is contained in a new report by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.
It says the transition might be easier for those reserve-residents leaving for the big city if they were given services similar to migrants entering Canada, namely housing assistance and links to cultural connections.
Susanna Cluff-Klyburn explains the government also needs to offer more flexible program opportunities for those people still on-reserve while keeping its regular commitments in place:
“The government also needs to try to be a bit more rigorous in not changing deadlines or the parameters of training programs.”
Cluff-Klyburn notes many reserves are in isolated locations so the government needs to take that into account when designing the measures.
She notes the Mosquito First Nation is just one example of a band that is working to give its young people more support.
It recently began reinvesting its child benefit investment to secondary school education.
“That has been such a positive experience that the community college in the area is donating its instructors Time Gratis so students can achieve grade 10 and then grade 12 equivalency and then move on to post-secondary education.”
In 2020 it also started basic adult education with 15 students.
All but three of those students have marks in the 80’s or higher.
The chamber is also calling for the government to lift or increase the 2% cap on First Nations Education, and to look at programs that gives able-bodied people who have just finished high-school but don’t know what to do, a sense of place and pride.