First Nations' Individual Initiatives

Program Objective:

To assist First Nations' individuals through a combination of programs and services to improve the employment chances and facilitate their entry into the labour market.


This program focuses on providing on and off the job training for First Nation individuals who face significant barriers in securing and maintaining employment; for women who have difficulty making the transition from home to work and for others who have difficulty making the transition from school to work. This may include counselling, job finding, placement activities, and purchasing of training.


To provide individuals with transferable work skills which will lead to further employment. To provide on and off the job training for individuals who encounter labour market difficulties making the transition into the workforce. To provide for the purchase of training courses.

Eligible Participants:

• Area First Nations members.
• Unemployed, employment disadvantaged individuals.
• Employed individuals seeking to upgrade their skills.

Financial Parameters:

If unemployed/employed and eligible for regular funding (CRF) - negotiable rates are:

Up to a maximum of $9.50/hr for wages or training allowance
Continue to collect regular & normal weekly E.I. benefits
Regular training course costs - negotiable maximum costs

If unemployed and eligible for E.I. benefits either part 1 or 2 - negotiable rates are:

Up to a maximum of $8.00/hr for wages - training or wage subsidy
Regular training course costs - negotiable maximum costs

Note: Wage reimbursement is negotiable up to 60% of wages, maximum of $9.50 per hour for unemployed people.
Training costs negotiable up to a maximum of $20/hr per trainee for employed workers to upgrade skills.

Other Prerequisites:

Training be centred on individual need and skill levels, personalized service and career orientation.
That training be portable, meaning that training received in one community would be recognized in another community.
Training maintain and promote Aboriginal culture.
Training be flexible, i.e. location, seasons, traditional pursuits, school and work schedule, family obligations.
Training be supported by employment supports such as child care, accommodation, counselling and transportation so individuals can have the opportunity to fulfil their needs.
Training should recognize experimental learning, Elder teachings, Aboriginal teaching methods, culture and languages.

Criteria for First Nations' Individual Initiatives:

That coordinating bodies would be responsible for the following:

  • Respect all Aboriginal people regardless of their status, age, religion, gender and marital status.
  • Assessments of participants to ascertain their educational and literacy levels.
  • Aboriginal standards/accreditation, according to community standards.
  • Issues of administration, clearing house and coordination.
  • Adherence to contract agreements and training.
  • Data collection and reporting procedures.
  • Support services.
  • Other.

SLAAMB has a limited budget for this initiative so the following will apply:

  1. Individuals receive funding for only one course/job every two years,
  2. Individuals that are deemed to be job ready will not receive any further funding once completing a course i.e. a person has a pilot's license now wants funding to obtain an instructor's license,
  3. All contracts be restricted to one (1) per First Nation/Native Organization for 1-2 workers,
  4. Will purchase training for people on a seat by seat basis for all training - no purchasing of "project like" courses,
  5. The client must provide the name of an employer willing to hire him/her upon completion of training,
  6. No travel assistance for job interviews - only for relocation after a job is secured and only if the employer does not cover any costs and the distance is more than 200 kms,
  7. Basic upgrading and courses leading to a university degree will not be purchased,
  8. Trainees can receive a wage or training allowance but must purchase their own safety gear and other such items.

Note: SLAAMB's employment counsellor/coordinator can negotiate and authorize the necessary funding. All training must have SLAAMB's written approval before the training starts.

Benefits to Individuals:

Training would promote personal empowerment, self-sufficiency, healing and individual choice, and equality among all Aboriginal people.

Benefit to Communities:

Communities will have a more trained and motivated Aboriginal work force.

Note: This program could be considered to be similar to the "targeted wage subsidy, self-employment assistance, job creation partnerships, employment assistance services, labour market partnerships, research and innovations Employment Benefits/Support Measures established by HRDC" under Part 11 of the EI Act.

It is agreed that this understanding will not in any way limit SLAAMB's flexibility to use this program to meet the needs at the community level.