Press Release: Québec launches the first Ministerial Strategy for Labour Market Integration of First Nations and Inuit people
Québec City, June 13, 2017 – The Gouvernement du Québec today launched the first Ministerial Strategy for Labour Market Integration of First Nations and Inuit People, which will allow better use of the means at Québec's disposal to increase their participation in the labour market.
The Minister of Employment and Social Solidarity and Minister responsible for the Capitale Nationale region, Mr. François Blais, and the Minister responsible for Native Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Kelley, unveiled this strategy today, in the presence of the Chief of the Wolf Lake First Nation and representative of the Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador, Mr. Harry St-Denis, and the President of the Kativik Regional Government, Ms.Jennifer Munick. The Strategy will favour a more effective and concerted intervention with First Nations and Inuit people and an intensification of the actions necessary to meet their needs.
"Aboriginal people face major challenges in labour market integration. Thanks to this strategy, which is a first, we hope to increase First Nations and Inuit participation in the labour market and thus contribute to fight poverty and social exclusion. We thereby favour the development of a workforce who will be able to meet the recruitment needs of Québec businesses.”
François Blais, Minister of Employment and Social Solidarity and Minister responsible for the Capitale-Nationale region
"Aboriginal people have much to contribute to society, particularly on the labour market. Aboriginal youth are increasingly numerous. They want and deserve to have work that measures up to their ambitions. I am convinced the Strategy will facilitate the integration of First Nations communities and Inuit communities into the labour market and, more broadly, into Québec society. I am therefore convinced we will gain collectively from facilitating better access to employment for all.”
Geoffrey Kelley, Minister responsible for Native Affairs
"I assure you that, given the extent of our needs, Quebec will in no way have to substitute for Canada – and that only our combined efforts will enable us to give the First Nations and Inuit workforce the opportunity to achieve their full potential."
Chief Harry St-Denis, Wolf Lake First Nation
“The strategy announced today was achieved through close collaboration between First Nations, Inuit and the Québec government, despite our language and cultural differences. The strategy developed will generate concrete actions and represents a turning point for Nunavimmiut and urban Inuit who are trying to integrate the labour market or who aspire to higher positions,” explained KRG Chairperson Jennifer Munick. “On behalf of the Kativik Regional Government, I would like to thank Québec ministers François Blais and Geoffrey Kelley for their firm commitment to this file.”
Jennifer Munick, President of the KRG
“We are all here together because we share a deep conviction that employment is a powerful vehicle for prosperity and well-being for communities and individuals alike, and also because an ongoing and constant collaboration between the MTESS and our structures is necessary for the success of this new Ministerial Strategy initiative.“
Ralph Cleary, Vice-president of the FNILMAC (First Nations and Inuit Labour Market Advisory Committee) and Executive director of the FNHRDCQ (First Nations Human Resources Development Commission of Quebec)
• The Ministerial Strategy for Labour Market Integration of First Nations and Inuit People is the result of work conducted by Emploi-Québec, the Commission des partenaires du marché du travail and the First Nations and Inuit Labour Market Advisory Committee. It was approved unanimously by the members of the Committee, and will be part of the Government Action Plan for Social and Cultural Development of First Nations and Inuit People.
• The Strategy, which provides for 11 lines of intervention, pursues the following objectives:
o increase the participation of members of the First Nations and Inuit in the labour market by facilitating their access to public employment services;
o value the contribution of the First Nations and Inuit workforce on the labour market;
o work together with the different partners of the regional and local environments to ensure coherent and promising interventions, and to encourage a diversified and solid partnership, the guarantor of success.
• The Strategy could be accompanied by additional financial investments on the part of Emploi-Québec for the benefit of Aboriginal people, based on participation and the projects submitted.
• It introduces a major change that will facilitate the deployment of training projects within the Nations covered by Agreements (Crees, Inuit and Naskapis). They will no longer have to obtain Federal Government funding before submitted a large-scale economic project or a major project to the Ministère du Travail, de l’Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale.
• This announcement is part of the follow-up to the Rendez-vous national sur la main d’œuvre, held in Québec City on February 16 and 17, 2017, which brought together members of the Gouvernement du Québec, representatives of its union partners and its business community, education and training partners, and civil society organizations. This event allowed discussion of the best ways to train and prepare the workforce to meet the labour market's current and future needs and thus increase the prosperity of every region of Québec.
• By favouring the active participation of its partners, the Government wishes to pursue its actions and ensure the deployment of means that have become necessary to improve training and employment, foster innovation and support business productivity and economic development.
• In Québec, the Aboriginal unemployment rate is 13.5%, compared to 7.1% for the population as a whole. In Canada, it is 15%, compared to 7.5% for the population as a whole.
Direction des communications
Ministère du Travail, de l’Emploi
et de la Solidarité sociale
Tel.: 418-646-0425, extension 67229
Office of the Minister responsible for
Director of Partnerships and Communications
Ministerial Strategy for Labour Market Integration of First Nations and Inuit people
Kativik Regional Government
Tel.: 418-646-2961, extension 2219