First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Initiatives


Skills Ontario’s First Nations, Métis, and Inuit (FNMI) Initiatives aim to increase the awareness of FNMI youth in the rewarding career opportunities that exist in the skilled trades and technologies. Affiliated schools, Friendship Centres and Band Offices can access the following programs, tailored to local communities:

FNMI-focused Student Conference

FNMI-focused Mentoring Events
and Trades & Tech Days

FNMI Career Awareness Workshops

FNMI-focused Summer Camps

Thank you to our FNMI Initiatives Sponsors:






Aboriginal youth working on a projectFNMI-focused Student Conference

Beginning in 2016, Skills Ontario hosts a community gathering specifically for FNMI students at the Skills Ontario Competition. This event helps youth understand the rewarding career options in the skilled trades and technologies, while celebrating a shared cultural heritage and the success of FNMI youth across Ontario.

This conference offers FNMI youth in grades 7-12 the opportunity to be inspired by mentors who have already chosen a career path in the skilled trades and technologies, and while exploring the Career Exploration Showcase at the Skills Ontario Competition, Canada’s largest skilled trades and technologies competition. 

Trades & Tech Days

Skills Ontario’s Trades and Tech Days are an opportunity for youth who identify as First Nations, Métis, Inuit (FNMI) and non-Status to meet, network, and share a meal with community members who have already chosen a career in the skilled trades and technologies. Youth learn about the journey of these mentors and explore their interest through experiential activities.

These events not only deliver a unique mentoring opportunity but also provide youth with information from our in-school presentation program, as well as with the experience to participate in workshops. This combination allows students to actively explore the knowledge and skills involved in skilled trade and technology occupations.

Out of several hundred participants, over 90% have reported being more interested in considering a skilled trade or technology career after attending Skills Ontario’s Trades and Tech Days. Educator and workshop leaders have expressed the success of, and need for, this programming in their communities.


Upcoming Events

November 13, 2019 Dryden TBA Coming Soon TBA
November 21, 2019 Ohsweken TBA Coming Soon GREAT (Grand River
Employment and Training)
February 18, 2020 Sault Ste Marie 7-10 Coming Soon North Shore Tribal


School & Youth Registration

Unless otherwise advertised, all students attending from the same school/organization must be registered together by a main contact (e.g. board contact or teacher). Your request for spaces will be responded to by a Skills Ontario staff member, who will confirm your participation status.

To be allowed to participate, each attending student must submit a complete, signed Informed Consent Form at the event.


Register a Guest

A guest is classified as a dignitary, community partner or other interested party who is not part of a school registration.


Becoming a Mentor
Are you a skilled trade or technology professional who identifies as First Nations, Métis, or Inuit? Volunteer as a mentor at one of our events!

Mentor Flyer



FNMI Career Awareness Workshops

Opportunities in the Skilled Trades and Technologies

The FNMI Initiatives program tailors the Skills Ontario presentation program to a hands-on workshop with culturally relevant information. This workshop is designed to educate students on the hundreds of career opportunities available in the construction, motive power, service, industrial and technology sectors. This interactive, 45-60 minute multimedia hands on workshop is updated annually.

Workshops regarding career opportunities in the skilled trades and technologies are available in communities, cultural gathering places, and in schools.  Skills Ontario’s FNMI Workshop brings the topic of skilled trades and technologies to the forefront and encourages young FNMI people to consider and test out their hands-on abilities.

During the workshop, youth, unemployed and underemployed attendees, and educators have the opportunity to:

  • Discover the benefits of careers in the skilled trades and technologies
  • Take a visual tour of the skilled trades and technologies that interest them: with topics such as median salary, description of the role, what qualities, education and training a worker should have; students are encouraged to look for a career that fits their desired lifestyle, personality and interests
  • Learn about the steps to apprenticeship, as well as other pathways to a career in the skilled trades
  • Find out how to acquire skills and experience
  • Understand the importance of employability skills in the workplace and how these skills can easily make or break a job opportunity
  • Access further resources and determine how to get started on a path that is right for them

Supported by Union Gas, the Ministry of Education, and the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development, Skills Ontario’s FNMI Workshops are the perfect complement for all career exploration or development courses.

 Book your workshop


FNMI-focused Summer Camps

Exploring the skilled trades and technologies, one hands-on activity at a time

Some locations of our Skills Ontario Summer Camp program are offered specifically for FNMI youth. Visit the Summer Camps page for more info