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Getting Beyond Non-Standard Employment: Sustainable livelihoods for Indigenous communities in Northern Canada

Understanding how to support Indigenous workers in Canada’s North to achieve more sustainable livelihoods.

Natural resource development presents important opportunities for Canada’s northern Indigenous peoples. In northern Canada, there are also increasing expectations that territorial, regional, and Indigenous public service organisations will hire and retain staff from surrounding northern Indigenous communities. Yet despite these opportunities, Indigenous workers across northern public and private sectors tend to be concentrated in non-standard forms of employment, characterized by part-year and part-time positions with limited career prospects.

An image of the northern lights.

This project will examine the major push and pull factors that create non-standard employment conditions for Indigenous labour in northern Canada. It will also identify career pathways and supports that have helped northern Indigenous workers achieve sustainable livelihoods. The project will apply a mixed methods approach including a review, survey and interview research, and labour market modeling. The resulting research will illustrate how Indigenous workers across northern Canada navigate non-standard employment conditions. This project will therefore produce insights of immediate and long-term relevance to the economic self-determination of Indigenous workers in northern Canada.

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Riding a snowmobile in Northern Canada

Career Pathways in the Northexternal link icon

An examination of career pathways and resources for Indigenous workers in Canada’s North. This project will examine the major push and pull factors that create non-standard employment conditions for Indigenous labour in Canada’s North. It will also identify pathways and resources that have helped northern Indigenous workers establish careers for themselves.
Child playing with molecule

Cross-Cultural STEMexternal link icon

An examination of the role of cross-cultural STEM curricula and related supports in helping First Nation, Metis, and Inuit students successfully graduate to post-secondary STEM fields and successfully graduate from post-secondary STEM fields to relevant employment opportunities. This project will identify best practices for designing, teaching, and supporting cross-cultural Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) curricula for Indigenous learners in secondary and post-secondary fields of study.
Writing in a book

Indigenous Institutesexternal link icon

Fifty years on, many forms of Indigenous-centred post-secondary education (PSE) exist in Canada. All of them aspire to help Indigenous students succeed. But to date, no one has done a comprehensive study of Indigenous-centred post-secondary education in Canada.
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The Future Skills Centre is a forward-thinking centre for research and collaboration dedicated to preparing Canadians for employment success and meeting the emerging talent needs of employers. As a pan-Canadian community, we bring together experts and organizations across sectors to rigorously identify, assess, and share innovative approaches to develop the skills and work environments to drive prosperity and inclusion.