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Minister Boissonnault announces funding to support skills training for Indigenous people

Press Release

From: Employment and Social Development Canada

January 18, 2024

A strong economy and healthy communities are created when everyone has a real and fair chance to succeed. When First Nations, Inuit and Métis are supported, not only are they developing their own skills and competencies, they are also helping their communities, now and into the future.

Today, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Official Languages, Randy Boissonnault, announced up to $25 million in funding for the First Nations Human Resources Development Commission of Quebec for their project, Global Strategy for Indigenous Employability. This project aims to increase the number of Indigenous people in employment or vocational training in communities and urban areas.

The Global Strategy for Indigenous Employability project was selected after an open call for proposals (CFP) held in spring 2022, under the Skills and Partnership Fund (SPF). SPF projects support partnerships between Indigenous organizations and industry employers to provide targeted skills training for Indigenous people for in-demand jobs at the local, regional and national level. Projects focus mainly on five priority sectors: green economy, information and communications technology, infrastructure, blue economy, and the Indigenous public sector.

The SPF project-based program is one of two complementary Indigenous labour market programs delivered by Employment and Social Development Canada, the other one being the distinctions-based Indigenous Employment and Skills Training Program. Both of these programs, in partnership with Indigenous partners, are ensuring First Nations, Inuit and Métis can fully contribute and share in Canada’s economic success, which is a critical part of advancing reconciliation and self-determination.


“Everyone benefits when Indigenous people are provided with the opportunities they need to fully participate in the workforce. The Skills and Partnership Fund empowers more Indigenous people with the training and resources they need to shape their own career path .”

– Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Official Languages

“Every professional success in our communities gives hope and inspires the current generation as well as future generations—because a job is not just a job, it’s a path to cultural pride and pride in your identity.”

– Richard Jalbert, Executive Director, First Nations Human Resources Development Commission of Quebec

“The commitment of the First Nations Human Resources Development Commission of Quebec goes far beyond material assistance; they transform lives. They helped me find my way and establish a rewarding career path, and for that I’ll be forever grateful.”

– Karl G. Picard, Communications Officer, First Nations Human Resources Development Commission of Quebec

Quick facts

  • The 2021 Census counted 1.8 million Indigenous people, accounting for 5.0% of the total population in Canada.
  • According to Statistics Canada’s November 2023 Labour Market Survey, the employment rate of Indigenous people was 58.3%.
  • Since 2010, the Skills and Partnership Fund has funded 130 projects, serving more than 52,500 Indigenous clients with over 19,300 employed and over 2,900 returning to school.
  • The Government is providing an ongoing investment through the SPF of $50 million per year, starting in 2022-2023.
  • SPF supports the Government of Canada’s commitment to reconciliation and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action #7, which calls on the Government to work with Indigenous groups on a joint strategy to eliminate the education and employment gaps that exist between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.
  • SPF also supports Canada’s commitment to Sustainable Development Goal #10 of reducing inequalities by promoting the participation of Indigenous people in economic opportunities.
  • The Government of Canada recently demonstrated its support of reconciliation with Indigenous people through the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act Action Plan, released on June 21, 2023. The plan includes measures to break down barriers, combat systemic racism and discrimination, close socio-economic gaps, and promote greater equality and prosperity for Indigenous Peoples.

Associated links


For media enquiries, please contact:

Mathis Denis
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Official Languages

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada



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