THERE ARE MANY PROGRAMS ACROSS CANADA that introduce Indigenous career seekers to opportunities in construction.
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:
If you're a woman, in addition to the resources listed below, check out our page, Organizations that help women to get started in the construction trades.
– Jobriath Berbour, Ironworker, Haida Cree, MB
The Industry Training Authority (ITA) sponsors a number of pre-apprenticeship trades training programs that provide a range of individualized and group services and supports, hands-on trades exploration training, entry level (pre-apprenticeship) technical training, industry certification training, mentorship, job coaching and employment placement services. Check out the ITA website for a full list of their training programs.
The Alberta Indigenous Construction Career Centres (AICCC) connects prospective Indigenous workers with employers recruiting for construction-related careers. It is a partnership with NorQuest College, the Government of Alberta, First Nation communities, and industry organizations. Check out their video below.
The North East Alberta Apprentice Initiative supports and encourages candidates to enter and complete an apprenticeship program. Visit the Alberta Ministry of Advanced Education’s website to learn about resources and supports for Indigenous students in Alberta’s adult learning system.
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.
Women Building Futures (WBF) is a leader in trades training for women, with extensive experience in recruiting women into the heavy industrial workforce. Its employment placement rate is 90%! The great thing about this program is that you get to try a variety of trades before deciding which one you’d like to pursue further. Check out their video below.
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.
The Government of Manitoba offers an Indigenous Apprenticeship Training program that provides community-based training in First Nations and Métis communities. Visit Apprenticeship Manitoba for more information.
The City of Winnipeg’s Indigenous Youth Strategy, Oshki Annishinabe Nigaaniwak, provides Indigenous youth access to training and employment initiatives within the construction and skilled trades sector.
The Hydro Northern Training Initiative (HNTI) helps northern Indigenous residents find construction work at the Wuskwatim and Keeyask generating stations. Find out more about hydroelectric construction jobs and related training.
The Indigenous Leadership Development Institute can help you learn skills that are relevant to the construction trades, and also offers a women's program.
The Aboriginal Apprenticeship Board of Ontario aims to increase the number of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit people working in the trades through improved access and opportunity to apprenticeship and long-term gainful employment.
Canadore College offers a General Carpenter Pre-Apprenticeship for Women program where you will be guided and supported in culturally inclusive strategies during training and placement, with continued support as you transition into the workplace or futher education.
Created by the Central Ontario Building Trades, the Hammer Heads Program is a skill and employment-based training program that offers apprenticeship career opportunities to Indigenous youth and youth in under-resourced neighbourhoods in Ontario’s Greater Toronto Area. As a community-based initiative, Hammer Heads takes pride in giving back to their communities by delivering meaningful careers, not temporary jobs, focusing on 100% success and retention strategies.
NPAAMB provides skills development and training opportunities for urban Indigenous youth in Southern Ontario. Their Building Futures for Indigenous Youth program provides on-the-job skills training to create pathways to careers in building and construction trades.
Collège Communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick (CCNB) offers an Introduction to Trades program designed to assist Aboriginal learners to overcome their employment barriers. The program will look to build on the experience that community members have in renovation projects going on currently.
First in Trades (FIT) is a 5 year pilot project funded by the Government of Canada's (ESDC) Union Training and Innovation Program (UTIP), and in partnership with the New Brunswick Building Trades Unions (NBBTU) and the Joint Economic Development Initiative (JEDI), to provide a meaningful training and employment experience to Indigenous peoples and increase the participation of Indigenous apprentices among the affiliate unions of the NB Building Trades. The program provides support, problem solving, training and connections to the resources you need to be successful in a chosen Red Seal construction trade.
The Aboriginal Trades Project provides opportunities for off-reserve Aboriginal Peoples to have access to skilled trades training programs and more.
The Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency also has some apprenticeship resources for Indigenous Peoples, inlcuding the Aboriginal Futures Career & Training Centre, a library of employment opportunities, cultural event listings and other information tailored to Mi’kmaq communities in the province.
Prince Edward Island
The Native Council of Prince Edward Island offers an Indigenous Skills and Employment Training (ISET) program to help Aboriginal Peoples prepare for and find high-demand jobs, including the skilled trades.
Newfoundland and Labrador
The Labrador Aboriginal Training Partnership (LATP) is a partnership between the three Labrador Aboriginal groups (Innu Nation, Nunatsiavut Government (NG), and NunatuKavut Community Council (NCC)) and provides training and workplace experience in skilled trades.
The Newfoundland and Labrador government will be opening the Labrador Office for Indigenous and Northern Skilled Trades (announced June 25, 2020) to promote the skilled trades as a viable career, mentor individuals through the apprenticeship-journeyperson process, and assist individuals in finding employment opportunities. The office will be based in Happy Valley-Goose Bay.
– John Henhawk, Journeyperson Ironworker, Six Nations of the Grand River, ON