Canada’s Forest Sector Supports New National Program for Indigenous Youth

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Earlier today, Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) made a $10,000 commitment to support the Outland Youth Employment Program (OYEP) and its education and training program for Indigenous youth.

OYEP’s new wrap-around program is available across Canada to OYEP participants and graduates year-round, and provides holistic and practical approaches to education, training & work opportunities that support and inspire youth to be the drivers of their personal and professional health and well-being – recognizing this path to socio-economic health is different for everyone

The program builds on OYEP’s current national network of land-based education, which provides work opportunities for high school aged Indigenous youth. The summer camps provide youth with a summertime work experience providing training and education in a supportive space that replicates various work environments.

“As Canada’s forest sector builds its talent pipeline of the future and its leaders of tomorrow, we see incredible potential in young people from Indigenous communities,” said Derek Nighbor, FPAC’s President and CEO. “We’ve been huge fans of OYEP for some time and the program’s track record speaks for itself. A 2019 study conducted by the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB) showed that 92% of OYEP participants went on to complete high school (or equivalency) and 77% of participants are employed. We’re excited about how this program can further move the dial to create new growth, leadership, and job opportunities,” Nighbor added.

“Our new program strives to foster personal resilience and socio-economic health through problem solving, personal accountability, confronting challenges with innovative thinking, strategic planning, and community-based solutions”, noted OYEP’s National Manager, Mark Kmill.  “Using a variety of real-world challenges, youth can practice and strengthen their resiliency muscles with the support and guidance of a national network of trusted and reliable staff, mentors, employers, educators, cultural leaders, and trainers all across Canada.  We are honoured to play a role in helping to break down the many barriers preventing Indigenous youth from fully participating in their personal socio-economic health”.

FPAC provides a voice for Canada’s wood, pulp, and paper producers nationally and internationally in government, trade, and environmental affairs. As an industry with annual revenues exceeding $80B, Canada’s forest products sector is one of the country’s largest employers operating in over 600 communities, providing 230,000 direct jobs, and over 600,000 indirect jobs across the country.

Source: FPAC