Reader’s Guide

Building on the policy experience analysed over the past decades, the OECD has worked with member countries to elaborate a project to identify comparative best practices and programme principles, which can help guide employment and skills policies, as well as the design of local strategies targeted to Indigenous People, and integrate them with stronger economic development and entrepreneurship initiatives.

Each country report reviews policy actions in the following key areas:

  • Developing the skills of Indigenous People to better link them to jobs: In many OECD countries, the overall educational attainment of Indigenous People falls significantly behind the non-Indigenous population. Skills are a key route out of poverty and provide a solid foundation for Indigenous People to participate in the labour market. The project considers how best to design skills development programmes, which better link Indigenous People to jobs;

  • Boosting the job creation potential of Indigenous People: Attracting inward investments into Indigenous communities require a clear investment environment as well as incentives for businesses to locate in a region. This requires many communities to encourage entrepreneurship and provide business development support services. The project considers how to better encourage endogenous growth within Indigenous communities through stronger entrepreneurship opportunities as well as Indigenous SMEs development programmes;

  • Better designing programmes, which mutually reinforce Indigenous employment and economic development: High levels of unemployment among Indigenous People can be addressed through better active labour market programmes which are customised to local labour market needs. The project considers the optimal role of employment services in matching Indigenous People to quality jobs, and

  • Getting local governance right: The success of any programme or policy depends on having optimal governance frameworks and coordination at the national and local level, which provides incentives for policy innovation. The project considers how best to design national policies in a manner which rewards local innovation in Indigenous employment and economic development.

Project approach for Canada

This study and report presents a range of employment, skills, entrepreneurship and economic development indicators to show the economic and social outcomes of Indigenous People in Canada. The report also focuses on key programmes and policies. In-depth interviews and analysis were undertaken across four case study areas:

  • Centre for Aboriginal Human Resource Development (CAHRD), based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, provides employment, adult and post-secondary education, trades training, day care facilities, and student transitional housing services to prepare Indigenous People to be self-reliant and adaptable to the labour market and employment, serving all Indigenous People in Winnipeg, Manitoba;

  • Community Futures Treaty 7 (CFT7), based in the province of Alberta, supports all First Nation individuals to obtain and maintain meaningful employment based on community needs through the provision of training in the Treaty Seven catchment area;

  • MAWIW Council in Elsipogtog First Nation, New Brunswick supports and promotes the empowerment of First Nation's People residing within the organisation's service area, providing the appropriate training to HR staff to ensure proper delivery of services to achieve self-sufficiency and independence through counseling, training, and employment, providing resources to its communities, and

  • Kiikenomaga Kikenjigewen Employment and Training Services (KKETS), in Thunder Bay, Ontario, assists Indigenous People prepare for, acquire and maintain successful employment by providing demand-driven education, training and employment opportunities through partnerships with community, education institutions, business/industry and government.

It is important to note that three of these case studies focus mostly on First Nations communities. In Canada, the realities of Indigenous Peoples have to be examined along four distinct groupings for analytical purposes. These include: First Nations on-reserve, First Nations off-reserve, Inuit, and Metis. They are four very distinct realities. As such, these case studies do provide valuable best practices and useful insights that can inform policy making, recognizing however, they may not reflect the results for all Indigenous communities in Canada.