Okanagan Nation Alliance program to help First Nations youth get 'good-paying' jobs | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Okanagan Nation Alliance program to help First Nations youth get 'good-paying' jobs

Osoyoos Indian Band Chief Clarence Louie is pictured in this undated photo. First of its kind initative will develop methods to assist aboriginal youth find employment.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Osoyoos Indian Band

OSOYOOS - A first of its kind project for British Columbia will see the Okanagan Nation Alliance receive provincial funding to help aboriginal youth with employment barriers find work.

Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation announced today, March 3, $1.97 million in funding for the BRIDGES or Building Resources for Innovative Development, Growth and Economic Stability initiative in partnership with the UBC Okanagan.

The program will provide individualized employment services to 140 Okanagan aboriginal youth, aged 15 to 30 years, focussing on First Nations heritage in a culturally-rich, on the land experience, according to a provincial government media release.

The goal of the three year project is to break down systemic barriers confronting aboriginal youth as well as to find new and innovative ways to help them find employment in the labour market.

"I firmly believe every native person needs to be in a good-paying job. Jobs are a big part of a healthy lifestyle. First Nations societies come from a working culture, where every person worked and contributed to their community. I want my people to have opportunity, which BRIDGES is providing. This is another step for my people to be self-sufficient,” Osoyoos Band Chief Clarence Louie says in the release.

Participants will have the results of their employment and educational outcomes compared to a group of clients of similar age and background to compare results and find best practices in the search for new employment services to assist aboriginal youth facing employment barriers, the release states.

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