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Government of Saskatchewan Partners With Junior Achievement Canada And Martin Family Initiative To Support Youth Professional Development

Summary:  The Ministry of Education is pleased to support two not-for-profit organizations that promote youth financial literacy, entrepreneurship, and career development opportunities.

Junior Achievement Canada (JAC) and the Martin Family Initiative (MFI) run programs that provide opportunities for students to learn about and develop skills in financial literacy, entrepreneurship, work readiness and career planning. The Martin Family’s Aboriginal Youth Entrepreneurship Program (AYEP) is specifically geared to First Nations, Métis and northern students in the province. “Preparing students for the workforce through professional development should be a key priority for our education system,” Education Minister Dustin Duncan said. “Thanks to both of these organizations, students can develop necessary skills that will lay the groundwork for a successful transition to their future career.”

Model Schools Literacy Project: Investing in Children

Source: O’Sullivan, J.T. (2021) Model Schools Literacy Project: Investing in Children. Martin Family Initiative: Montreal, Canada https://themfi.ca/investing-in-children

Summary: First Nations want their children to know their own language and culture, be proud of their identity and have the literacy skills necessary to pursue unlimited options and opportunities for their lifetime. For over 10 years, First Nations schools have partnered with the Martin Family Initiative (MFI) to improve early literacy for their children. This report captures what we are learning together in the Model Schools Literacy Project (MSLP, or project), both since its expansion in 2016 and continuing throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Our findings are relevant to all those working to ensure First Nations children inherit their right to read, a critical tool to fully understand, question and influence the world around them.

The Model Schools Literacy Project is a partnership between First Nations schools and communities across Canada and the Martin Family Initiative. It focuses on improving early literacy achievement within the broader context of school improvement. The goal is for 80% of children to read and write well enough at the end of Grade 3 to support continued school success.

Help build manufacturing skills and entrepreneurship through indigenous education

Summary: While Indigenous peoples account for about five per cent of our national population, Indigenous children under the age of 14 represent seven per cent of all children in the country. Youth represent nearly half of Canada’s Indigenous population.

When Paul Martin quit national politics he didn’t step away from the national policy scene or his interest in Indigenous education. The former prime minister founded the Martin Family Initiative (MFI); a charity that works with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Nation Peoples to improve education, health, and well-being outcomes for Indigenous children, youth, and adults.

MFI aims to support Indigenous students as they learn how to create successful careers. Its Aboriginal Youth Entrepreneurship Program introduces Indigenous high school students to business opportunities in the Canadian economy. It teaches students how to nurture their entrepreneurial spirit, improve their financial literacy and communication skills, and gives them an opportunity to explore a variety of post-secondary options.

Over 5,000 students have completed the program since its inception 11 years ago. Today, the course is being taught at 50 high schools on and off reserve. It is in such high demand that in 2019, MFI, acting on a request from the Assembly of First Nations Chiefs, launched an Indigenous Entrepreneur Course for adults, based on its high school program.

NGen Supercluster Partners with Martin Family Initiative in Support of Indigenous Education and Workforce Development

Source: Next Generation Manufacturing Canada (NGen)

Next Generation Manufacturing Canada (NGen), the industry-led not-for-profit organization leading Canada’s Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster, has announced a new collaboration with the Martin Family Initiative (MFI). The partnership will develop new resources and support services to complement an existing suite of Indigenous education and entrepreneurship programming administered by MFI.

NGen’s partnership with MFI is built on a shared vision for equity of opportunity for Indigenous Peoples across Canada. It leverages the scope and the reach of MFI’s Indigenous education programs, including early childhood education, literacy, entrepreneurship and mentoring, which are currently offered in 100 locations across 9 provinces and 2 territories and which have impacted over 8,000 students since 2008. NGen will work with the MFI to raise awareness about Canada’s manufacturing sector and provide guidance with respect to future career opportunities for Indigenous students.

“MFI is very proud to partner with NGen as it will create a variety of strategies for Indigenous students to learn about manufacturing and business”, Said The Right Honourable Paul Martin. “Manufacturing is a cornerstone of our modern economy. The sector relies on a highly skilled and knowledgeable workforce that includes designers, researchers, programmers, engineers, technicians and tradespeople. MFI believes that this partnership provides a tremendous opportunity for Indigenous People to contribute to the Canadian economy.”

Struggles and Success …. The Impact of COVID-19 on an Aboriginal Youth Entrepreneurship Program

Source: Dr. Carlana Lindeman, Martin Family Initiative

A year ago, I posted an article on “Giving Matters” about the Martin Family Initiative’s (MFI) ground-breaking project: the Aboriginal Youth Entrepreneurship Program (AYEP). At that time, AYEP was offered in 51 schools across Canada and there were plans to expand to additional locations.

The 2019-20 school year started off very well. AYEP teachers were very impressed with their students’ progress; many reported evidence of students’ increasing knowledge of the economy and business, improved motivation to complete current studies and pursue further ones, increased self-confidence, and heightened awareness of the needs of their communities.

All this changed on March 11, 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic was declared…

Community Profile: Building Confidence in students with Aboriginal Entrepreneurship Program

Source: Jessica McIntosh. Fort McMurray Today, October 9, 2019

Summary: Michael Hull has been a teacher at Father Mercredi High School for the past decade. While he has taught many subjects, his main courses are the soccer academy and the Aboriginal Entrepreneurship Program.

The Aboriginal Entrepreneurship Program is an initiative of former Prime Minister Paul Martin. Hull has been leading it at Father Mercredi since the 2012-2013 school year… Any Indigenous student can apply and enroll in it.

Martin Family Initiative Courses Help Indigenous Youth Catch the Entrepreneurship Bug

Source: Canadian Chamber of Commerce. Susanna Cluff-Clyburne – 03/10/2019
Canada cannot compete globally and protect the social safety nets we hold dear unless all people have the same opportunities to participate in and benefit from our economy. That includes ensuring opportunities are available to our Indigenous peoples, Canada’s youngest and fastest growing demographic.

This is why the Canadian Chamber strongly supports the Martin Family Initiative’s Indigenous entrepreneurship education programs. The Aboriginal Youth Entrepreneurship Program (AYEP) offers courses for Indigenous high school students. The Indigenous Entrepreneurship Course (IEC) will be offered for the first time this fall at six colleges in British Columbia, Ontario, Newfoundland and Labrador, as well as Saskatchewan to Indigenous youth and adults who have left the formal education system but want to explore the opportunities of starting their own businesses.

Click here to learn more about the Martin Family Initiative’s programs.

CMEC Symposium on Indigenizing Teacher Education Summary Report

The CMEC Symposium on Indigenizing Teacher Education took place in July 2018 at the University of British Columbia, which is located on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations. The symposium gathered participants from across Canada, along with Elders and students, to share their perspectives on the Indigenization of teacher education programs (TEP) and how to help teachers Indigenize their K–12 classrooms. Overall, the aim of the event was to identify and highlight the importance of, and ways to create, learning environments that reflect and respect Indigenous ways of knowing and being, by:

  • exploring innovative work in teaching language, culture, and identity;
  • examining Indigenous holistic perspectives on student well-being, including mental health and wellness;
  • incorporating Indigenous ways of knowing into the curriculum; and
  • creating productive partnerships.

Additional information on the recommendations and key findings of the event are available in the CMEC Symposium on Indigenizing Teacher Education Summary Report.

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