Nazko First Nation’s Youth Natural Resources Training Program Prepares A New Generation Of Skilled Workers

Nazko First Nation

2012- The First Nations Youth Natural Resources Training Program was designed to allow the forest industry and First Nations communities to work together to provide youth with opportunities to obtain and utilize a wide range of certifications and skills, including tree planting, chainsaw safe operation, ATV driver training, forest fire fighting certification, and First Aid.

In 2009, the Nazko First Nation partnered with a local Quesnel-based silviculture contractor, Blue Collar Silviculture, to provide this innovative program to Nazko youth.  The project has been designed to give the First Nations youth in the region a better understanding of the forest industry and this project is providing a basis for future partnerships and economic opportunities between First Nations groups and the forest industry.

The project is also designed to contribute to the establishment of a skilled workforce through the growth and development of First Nations youth providing them with the neccesarry tools to undertake and expand upon new and existing initiatives in their own communities.

"We are always having fun. I've been able to get my First Aid certificate and the s-100 fire supressing training ticket. Myself and others would definitely come back if this program carries on."

Miranda Laurent, Program Participant, Nazko Youth Forestry Training Program

"Over half of Aboriginal people in BC are under the age of 28. Skills training opportunities like this one help build capacity in First Nations communities. These youth now have valuable skills to support economic development in their communities."

George Abbott, former Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation, Province of BC

Positive Economic Impacts in the Cariboo

The benefits will be the training of First Nations youth not only in developing forest related skills but also in life skills that will assist them with future employment opportunities. Primarily, this project hasl created opportunities that increase the participation of First Nations people and their communities in the regional and provincial economy.

This project is an excellent example of building capacity within local communities and working with forest resource companies to develop a pool of skilled workers within First Nations communities throughout central and northern British Columbia. This project initiative has prepared First Nations youth to enter the workforce in various capacities as this program has provided them with the necessary skill set to be productive in an increasingly competitive and diverse workforce.