THERE ARE MANY PROGRAMS ACROSS CANADA designed specifically to introduce Indigenous Canadians to career opportunities through apprenticeship.

To explore training programs near you, visit the Aboriginal Construction Careers website – scroll down to “Locate a training program” and enter your postal code, or you can click on the interactive map and zoom in to explore areas across Canada.

In addition to the programs below, check out your local construction association, colleges/technical institutes/universities and unions in your area for other programs focused on Indigenous people.

You might also want to check out these organizations:

“It’s the fact that we’re Native and brothers working together … breaking down the stereotype that we aren't hard workers. It's nice to know that people recognize us for doing something great and challenging.”
Jobriath Berbour, Ironworker, Haida Cree, MB

British Columbia

The Industry Training Authority (ITA) sponsors a number of training programs through the Aboriginal People in Trades Training (AITT) initiative. These programs can include education, training, counselling, support and even financial services. Check out the ITA website to learn about the various programs and to see if you’re eligible. They have already helped more than 2,300 people to pursue their dreams. Check out the video below to learn more from Devin Cassidy, a heavy equipment operator, who went through the program.

Alberta

The Alberta Aboriginal Apprenticeship Initiative helps those who qualify to enter and complete an apprenticeship program. Visit the Alberta Department of Innovation and Advanced Education’s website to learn more about the program and to see if you qualify.

The Trade Winds to Success program offers pre-apprenticeship training programs in a number of trades. Check out the Trade Winds to Success Training Society’s website for more information.

Saskatchewan

Saskatchewan’s Aboriginal Apprenticeship Initiative helps residents to enter into apprenticeship training and gain work experience close to their communities. Contact them at 1-877-363-0536 or apprenticeship@gov.sk.ca for information on programs in your area.

The Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies (SIIT) helps First Nations people to more easily enter into a skilled trade apprenticeship and helps graduates to find jobs. Check out the SIIT website to learn more about the construction trades programs available to you and to find your nearest career centre. They also have a Women in Trades program.

Manitoba

The Government of Manitoba offers an Aboriginal Apprenticeship Training program that provides community-based training in First Nations and Métis communities. Visit the Manitoba government’s Apprenticeship Branch website for more information.

The Hydro Northern Training Initiative (HNTI) helps northern Indigenous residents find construction work at the Wuskwatim and Keeyask generating stations. Visit the Hydro Northern Training Initiative website to find out how you can access training.

The Aboriginal Construction Technology Program, offered through the Indigenous Leadership Development Institute, helps you learn skills that are relevant to the construction trades, as well as an understanding of a safe work site, life skills, resume writing, cultural awareness and tools to successfully pursue a career in your chosen construction field.

Ontario

Canadore College offers a 12-week Aboriginal Women in the Trades program, intended as an introduction to help women find the path best suited to them. Enrolment is free, with training costs, books, personal protective equipment, bus passes and health and safety considerations all covered.

“It's doing a job that almost no one else can do, and that really means a lot to Aboriginal people.”
John Henhawk, Journeyperson Ironworker, Six Nations of the Grand River, ON

Videos

ITA Aboriginal Initiatives
Learn more about the ITA program and about Devin Cassidy’s experience in the program.
VanAsep / Aboriginal Skills Group
Aboriginal Construction Technology Program
Learn more about the Aboriginal Construction Technology Program in Winnipeg.
VIU's Aboriginal Construction Program
Vancouver Island University offers a unique Aboriginal Construction Program that incorporates coastal First Nations construction history and methods into the curriculum.
BC’s Industry Training Authority Program
Rivers Stonechild talks about his great experience with BC’s Industry Training Authority program.
VanAsep Native Education College
Rodney Cook talks about his experience in the VanASEP Native Education College 1st year apprenticeship program.