Upskill and certify Indigenous child and youth practitioners

The project

Indigenous youth workers in remote communities bring knowledge, skills and passion to their work with young people. They have significant influence in helping them build resilience and life skills that support positive development into adulthood.

However, many youth workers cannot access post-secondary education or effective upskilling opportunities from their home communities. Given the crucial role these workers play within Indigenous communities, it is vital that they can access and receive culturally relevant certifications that enable them to learn and upskill in ways that enhance their current practice and future career mobility. 

This project connects education to direct employment in the Indigenous learners’ home community and features in-person, experiential training, along tailored remote and in-person coaching. It will ensure learners can attain a post-secondary certification, while remaining connected to their community, family, and culture. Right To Play, the School of Child and Youth Care, and the Chang School of Continuing Education at Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson University) are leading this innovative project. 

The Future Skills Centre is investing $687,599 in this project, following an earlier investment of $1.1 million.  

Overhead view of group of Indigenous people smiling

Skills training/learning provided

This successful joint certificate builds the capacity of Indigenous youth workers to improve outcomes for young people in their communities through the creation and implementation of high-quality programming. The project has been specifically designed to address the most significant barriers to education facing Indigenous learners by connecting education to direct employment from their home.

Early results

The first cohort of this certificate program are expected to complete the course at the end of December 2022. 

Next phase

The program is expanding to a second cohort, learning and evolving from the first experience to an additional 25 community mentors across the country. This aims to deepen the learning impact, monitor and evaluate the certificate program, offering the most valuable and current content. Organizers will work with project partners and supporters to apply critical feedback to ensure participant and program growth, particularly to enhance the array of blended courses to Indigenous individuals and those living in remote communities. It also aims to generate more rigorous evidence using Right To Play projects that align with Indigenous methodologies, partnering with experts in the field. 

Evaluation Strategy

This project will be evaluated using tools and approaches aligned with its goals, context, and stage of development. The evaluation will focus on generating the right evidence at the right moment to move the intervention forward. Read more about our evaluation strategy.

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