2023-2024 Annual Report

Apatisiiwin Skills Development

Message from the Director

It is my great pleasure to present today the Apatisiiwin Skills Development Department’s Annual Report for 2023-2024.

First and foremost, I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to my team for their unwavering support and hard work this year. Inspired by the overarching goal of our department’s Strategic Plan 2023-2026, our actions are now guided by timely and accurate labour market research, our divisions are working together harmoniously, and our department’s operations are more streamlined and digital than ever.

Equipped with a new Policy on Programs that offers three streams of interventions — Youth, Capacity Building, and Workforce Strategy – our Program Development Officers are now responsible for a specific territory/community. They are expanding their knowledge of all aspects of the labour market and initiating multiple partnerships.

Services are progressing towards their objective of being known as an employment center deeply rooted in the community and skillfully delivering a portfolio of measures. Employment Counsellors use their in-depth knowledge of the clients and organizations in their community to initiate harmonious relationships and partnerships.

Now fully staffed, the Finance and Administration Division expertly manages our departmental budget, which includes human resources, employment services, and program operations. It ensures that payments are delivered rigorously and fluently.

We are also very proud to announce the upcoming publication of an up-to-date socioeconomic profile of our territory, entitled A Dynamic Portrait of the Cree Nation of Eeyou Istchee Based on the Canadian Censuses of 2006, 2011, 2016 and 2021, From a Skills Development Perspective. This landmark study provides an invaluable perspective on the progress made by the Cree Nation of Eeyou Istchee in the last twenty years, which inspires future courses of action based on priorities such as the importance of promoting education for our youth.

This year, we are proud to share the success of our improved Cree Bursary Program. This program now provides better support to individuals enrolled on a full-time basis in a post-secondary program or a vocational training program leading to an accredited degree. We now offer these students a bursary for each semester of their studies. The overwhelming success of this new measure is a testament to the positive impact we are making in our community.

As we look back at this year’s accomplishments, we are reminded of the importance of our clients. They set a destination for our organization and are the guiding light of how to get there. Even more so, our clients inspire how we behave on our journey.


Thank you,


Abel Trapper
Director of Apatisiiwin Skills Development

OUR MISSION
To help build a qualified and professional workforce to fill any employment need in Eeyou Istchee. We are dedicated to making a difference in the lives of future generations.


OUR VISION
To equip and empower individuals with the skills and knowledge to achieve meaningful and sustainable employment and personal success.


OUR VALUES 

Apatisiiwin Skills Development is committed to working together in providing excellent services to Eeyou Istchee based on integrity, trust, fairness, and respect. ASD values its investment in the personal success of our people.

“Our Communities are Our Greatest Assets”


Apatisiiwin Skills Development exists to help and support the people of Eeyou Ischee and to aid individuals in their search for sustainable employment and career development. We prepare them through skills development, job readiness programs, training, and special projects that increase our people’s employability. Our communities and the people that live within the Eeyou Ischee are our greatest assets. Their success is also our success as a department. 


Our mandate is:

  • To help provide skills development, training programs, and services in the Cree communities and throughout the territory.  
  • To provide support and financial assistance to help individuals improve their job skills, gain work experience, upgrade their skills and vocational education, start their own business, and encourage employers to hire them.
  • To support employers in creating opportunities for Cree and non-Crees in the Cree communities and throughout the territory.


Our Team

Apatisiiwin Skills Development operates with a team of 34 dedicated professionals who are responsible for the efficient implementation and management of both local and regional programs and services. These programs and services cater to job seekers and potential employers throughout Eeyou Ischee. The organization’s primary focus is to provide effective employment solutions to clients by identifying their needs and offering custom-tailored services that enable them to achieve their goals. 

The ASD organization operates from twelve offices, including one each in the ten Cree communities and one located outside the region in Ottawa. These offices provide comprehensive training, employment programs, and services to individuals seeking assistance.

Apatisiiwin Skills Development Employment Counsellors extend their services to clients throughout the territories. The organization operates ten offices, five in the inland regions and five along the coast. Their services include needs assessments, skills development support, and job preparation, all designed to assist clients in achieving their career goals.

The Senior Counsellors, Norman Blacksmith, and Bernice Sam are providing guidance to both inland and coastal offices. Their expertise is utilized in developing client action plans, resume building, job applications, and employment insurance support for communities that lack a Service Canada branch. Their extensive knowledge and experience are valuable assets for the organization.

Our team of Employment Counsellors are dedicated to equipping our clients with the skills and resources necessary to secure employment opportunities in Eeyou Istchee. We take pride in our commitment to providing personalized support and guidance to every client, ensuring they are fully prepared to succeed in their job search.

Additionally, ASD Employment Counsellors are aligned with our strategic priorities by leveraging their in-depth knowledge of clients and organizations within their communities to foster harmonious relationships and partnerships. The Services Division is also focused on advancing and securing an archival system for digital and printed client files, ensuring all documents are kept up-to-date. Furthermore, we are actively developing a comprehensive plan to transition our operations to a paperless office, providing necessary training and support to our employees to achieve this goal.

Based on accurate labour market research, ASD provides programs in three essential categories. 


Youth Programs

Create summer employment opportunities to gain valuable work experience for secondary and post-secondary students and allow students to gain experience through part-time jobs when studying. Develop life skills and provide work experience to better shape their future.

  • Youth Initiative
  • Summer Work Experience 
  • Science and Technology
  • Career Promotion and Awareness 
  • Co-Operative Education Placement 
  • Mentored Work Placement


Capacity Building Programs 


These programs are intended to strengthen the Eeyou Istchee workforce by facilitating career upgrading programs and assisting graduates during their studies and when they seek to integrate into the job market. In addition, capacity Building programs aim to fill skilled positions and provide broader opportunities for those starting their professional careers.

  • Cree Bursary
  • Cree Graduate 
  • Career Advancement 

Workforce Strategy Programs

To encourage employers to hire and train new personnel in a specific job position. To provide productive employment for unemployed persons by creating jobs that would not otherwise exist and offering them the opportunity to maintain or increase their skills. To assist individuals seeking to secure self-employment through implementing a business by providing them with financial assistance support throughout their entrepreneurial process.

  • Competencies and Skills
  • Job Creation 
  • Persons with Disabilities
  • Self-Employment 
  • Research and Development

The key priorities of the strategic plan include the following:

Program Development Officers collaborate closely with the Employment Counsellors in their assigned territories to track client progress and aid in project management. Additionally, the Program Division is working on establishing an advanced and completely secure archival system for digital and printed program files to ensure that all documents are appropriately archived and up to date. Furthermore, the Program Division is developing a plan to transition its operations to a paperless office and is providing training and support to employees for its implementation.

The administration team is responsible for day-to-day operations in all department offices, providing administrative and technical support in utilizing Laserfiche, the electronic filing system, SharePoint, and electronic travel claims.

The finance team is responsible for administering and monitoring financial activities. The Financial Program Technicians process the recipient’s claims by assessing their report and supporting documents in compliance with Schedule A of the contribution agreement. They also ensure that all relevant information is compiled in the Database.

The department implemented DocuSign to sign contribution agreements electronically and SharePoint to upload documents as a sharing network to all the offices within Apatisiiwin Skills Development.

We continue to focus on getting our information online through our social media channels: Facebook, Instagram, X (formerly Twitter), and LinkedIn. With weekly social media posts of potential employment opportunities within the Eeyou Istchee and other events and opportunities for future employment and growth. We have shifted our focus to a more digital and paperless presence in our external and internal communications, with digital surveys, digital PDF forms, and social media posts. 

 

We are thrilled to announce that we have revamped our website, apatisiiwin.ca, to provide you with comprehensive information about the programs we offer at Apatisiiwin Skills Development. Our website now features detailed descriptions of all our programs, categorized into three sections: Youth Programs, Capacity Building Programs, and Workforce Development Programs.

 

Under Youth Programs, we have programs specially designed for young people, including career exploration, mentoring, and job readiness training. Our Capacity Building Programs these programs are intended to strengthen the Eeyou Istchee workforce by facilitating career upgrading programs and assisting graduates during their studies and when they seek to integrate into the job market. Our Workforce Development Programs are focused on providing job-specific training that helps individuals acquire the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in their chosen careers.

 

Looking forward, we are exploring additional ways to enhance our communication and engagement with clients. Future projects may include the development of a client portal system to provide easy access to information, applications, progress tracking, and direct communication with our team. Such initiatives aim to streamline our interactions and offer our clients a more efficient and user-friendly experience.

 

We believe that the updated website will make it easier for individuals to learn about our programs and how we can help them achieve their goals. We invite you to visit our website and learn more about our programs at apatisiiwin.ca.

Amendments to the Policy establishing the conditions applicable to our new Programs were finalized and approved, effective as of January 2023. The review of the Policy and Programs was conducted with the objective to better reflect the needs of employers and individuals’ clients in accessing funding for their projects and ensure it meets the evolving needs regarding skills development, training programs and services, employment insurance services in the Eeyou Istchee.

ASD has successfully conducted two planning sessions over the last year. These meetings, held bi-annually, ensure that the team can collaborate effectively and that all staff members are well-informed of any updates or new initiatives that have been discussed or implemented. They aim to establish a shared direction within the department and foster a deeper connection with the team. These meetings play a crucial role in promoting team synergy and enhancing the efficiency of our department.

SUMMER PLANNING SESSION

During this Summer Planning Session, we tried something new. The management team decided to have two separate planning sessions with each of the divisions. The programs division had its planning session on August 1 – 3, 2023, and the services division held their planning session on August 22 – 24, 2023. Each was held at the National Art Center in Ottawa, Ontario.

Program Division Planning Session August 1 – 3, 2023:

The planning session began with opening remarks from ASD Director Abel Trapper. This was followed by presentations from management, including Programs Manager Stephane Petawabano, Services Manager Roger Lacroix, and Finance and Administrative Manager Laurianne Iserhoff. Pascal Chadronnet, CNG Senior Manager of Finance, also gave a presentation. Robert Langlois was also present to present the Strategic Plan for 2023–2026. There was a discussion about new programs and updates on the Cree Bursary.

The second day started with an update on the database presented by Robert Langlois and Denis Lafebrve, followed by updates on Travel Claims and team building. The CNG Commerce & Industry Department was invited to present the programs and services they offer within the Eeyou Istchee.

On the third day, the planning session concluded with information about ordering office supplies and SharePoint tips. The session closed with closing remarks and a prayer.

Services Planning Session August 22 – 24, 2023: 

The planning session kicked off with opening remarks from ASD Director Abel Trapper. Following this, management presented their plans, including Programs Manager Stephane Petawabano, Services Manager Roger Lacroix, and Finance and Administrative Manager Laurianne Iserhoff. Pascal Chadronnet, CNG Senior Manager of Finance, also gave a presentation. After this, Alex Boudrias and Tiffany Bourdrias from CNG Human Resources Recruitment presented. 

On the second day, the managers presented the 2023-2026 strategic plan to the services division, followed by travel claims information for participants and employees. CNG Justice Department was invited to give a presentation about its department and the services it offers within the Eeyou Istchee. 

On the third day, the planning session concluded with information about ordering office supplies, followed by presentations from the Commission de la Construction de Quebec and Services Canada. Finally, the session was closed with closing remarks and a prayer.

WINTER PLANNING SESSION 

The Winter Planning Session took place on December 13 and 14, 2023, at Hilton Lac-Lemay in Gatineau, Quebec. The session began with Director Abel Trapper’s opening remarks and prayer. The CNG I.T. Department provided a presentation outlining their services to the Cree Nation Government, followed by presentations from the Manager of Programs, Stephane Petawabano, and the Manager of Finance and Administration, Laurianne Iserhoff. The staff dinner took place the following evening, during which awards were presented to the staff.

On the second day, the Manager of Services, Roger Lacroix, presented his presentation to the staff, followed by an open staff team discussion for the upcoming year. The communications team provided an update on the ASD website and how it has been improved to better serve clients. The session concluded with closing remarks and prayer.

Our commitment to professional growth and knowledge-sharing extends to our staff’s active participation in conferences and industries events throughout the year. These conferences serve as vital platforms for our team members to expand their expertise and spread awareness of our organization’s mission and initiatives. By engaging with peers and industry leaders at these events, our staff effectively communicates our organization’s values and achievements, contributing to a broader understanding of our work. This proactive approach enhances our visibility within industries and fosters valuable connections that benefit our organization’s growth and impact.

CANNEXUS

Canada’s Career Development Conference (CANNEXUS) is an annual event designed to promote the exchange of information and explore innovation approaches in the areas of career counselling and workforce development. This year January 29 – 31 was held both in-person and virtually.

POST-SECONDARY STUDENT CONFERENCE 

The Post-Secondary Student Services Conference 2023, from Friday, April 21 to Sunday, April 23, 2023, offers our current post-secondary students a platform to forge valuable connections and opportunities. Students can build a network of peers, meet potential employers, and streamline their academic path toward future employment. Cree organizations and entities were invited to engage with the students and other partners, aligning efforts to build capacity in Eeyou Istchee. The conference features panel discussions with previous graduates, networking opportunities, a Friday evening Meet and Greet, and a banquet dinner on Saturday with dancing. The career fair-style employer engagement and keynote speakers ensure a gathering focused on development, growth, and empowerment.

EEYOU ISKWAU/ISKWEU CREE WOMEN BUSINESS CONFERENCE

Zabrina Steven, our Program Development Officer, represented our organization at the Cree Women of Eeyou Istchee Association Business Conference in Chisasibi on May 26th & 27th, 2023. Her presence at this event highlighted our commitment to supporting and collaborating with the Cree community. Through participation in this essential conference, Zabrina contributed to meaningful discussions and strengthened our organization’s ties with the Cree Women of Eeyou Istchee Association.

2023 ANNUAL CONFERENCE: FORGING A PATH FORWARD  

The Secretariat to the Cree Nation Abitibi-Témiscamingue Economic Alliance held the “Forging A Path Forward,” a two-day event held at Forestel Hotel, Val-d’Or, Quebec, on November 14-15, 2023. This event brings community leaders and local entrepreneurs together with regional economic entities, business leaders, and elected municipal and regional officials to understand our respective activities in the region, explore possibilities for strengthening relationships, deepen awareness of economic development opportunities, and chart a path forward to take full advantage of available opportunities at both the local and regional levels in a way that respects Cree rights and interests.

QUEBEC MINES + ENERGY 

Québec Mines + Énergie is an event of synergy and exchange of scientific knowledge in the mining and energy sectors.

 

Its high-calibre program includes training, conferences, and networking opportunities to enrich your knowledge. The pooling of different expertise multiplies the possibilities for the benefit of new avenues.


The aim of the Québec Mines + Énergie congress is to promote and develop Québec’s rich mining and energy potential from a sustainable development perspective. Gathering professionals from all sectors, Québec Mines + Énergie is a space for synergy and exchanges, while putting geoscience knowledge and innovation at the forefront.


Through our active participation in conferences, we enhance our knowledge, expertise, and connections within various industries and communities. Our staff attends relevant conferences to expand our network, stay updated on industry trends, and contribute meaningfully to career and sustainable development discourse. This underscores our commitment to growth, collaboration, and community empowerment.

Business Analysis Essentials

ASD’s Program Development Officers, in collaboration with The Department of Commerce and Industry, is the Business Analysis Essentials. Robyn Baxter, Zabrina Stevens, and Stephane Petawabano have successfully completed the program. This cohort-based initiative offers a hands-on training program that delivers core knowledge and skills essential for success in the field of business analysis.

UQAT – Microprogram in Employment and Career Development

The ASD employment counselors have undertaken a significant initiative by embarking on the Undergraduate Microprogram in Employment and Career Development in the Aboriginal Context at the university. This program concluded in December 2023, with five Employment Counsellors completing all the requirements. The anticipated graduation date for these students is June 2024, and they will be eligible to become part of the prestigious Order of Human Resources Professionals of Quebec.


Looking ahead, we are excited to announce that plans are in place for a fruitful collaboration with UQAT. This partnership aims to develop more innovative and impactful programs in the future, furthering our shared mission of empowering individuals in the Aboriginal Context.


COMMISSION DE LA CONSTRUCTION DE QUÉBCE

The ASD Services department is currently working in collaboration with the Communities of Eeyou Istchee by providing information sessions in the communities along with several CCQ staff members to meet the needs of the community members who want to have their journeymen recognition and cards.

Currently, ASD has four invigilators whom CCQ trained to be able to supervise the CCQ exams in the communities of Eeyou Istchee. Nathan Shecapio, Shannon Isik, Starla Quachegan, and Roger Lacroix followed and completed the training provided by CCQ.

Cree School Board 

Cree School Board—Youth, SAES, PSSS, and Higher Learning have agreed to establish a sustainable partnership to enhance collaboration at all levels and better meet the needs of students and clients. This partnership aims to offer an aligned approach to external stakeholders (students/clients, bands, employers), providing simple, effective, and consistent processes and services by avoiding duplications and contradictions, particularly in data and information requests.


Building on this momentum, the Cree School Board’s Sabtuan Adult Education Services (SAES) formalized a partnership agreement last December. This agreement is a testament to our commitment to strengthen collaboration and support students in accessing employment opportunities. It outlines clear processes and standards for information sharing, confidentiality, consultation, and community relations, ensuring a seamless and beneficial partnership for all involved.


Similarly, another partnership agreement with the Cree School Board’s Post-Secondary Student Services (PSSS) is being developed to maximize the resources and assistance offered to PSSS students transitioning to the Eeyou Istchee Labour market.


Choosing a hands-on approach, ASD has contacted employers to discuss their workforce needs and contacted post-secondary students to gather information on their fields of study and interest in pursuing internship opportunities. ASD prioritizes creating partnerships with other entities, communities, and educational institutions.


Both SAES and PSSS recognize the pivotal role of open communication in our future projects and collaborations. Our open communication policy is a cornerstone of our partnership, fostering transparency, ensuring mutual understanding, and facilitating ongoing dialogue between all stakeholders. This commitment to communication is key to the continuous improvement and success of our joint initiatives.


Cree Nation Government Department Collaboration

Apatisiiwin Skills Development (ASD) made considerable progress in advancing the Capacity Building Framework for Eeyou Istchee.

Early in 2021, under the direction of the office of the Deputy Executive Director, four departments of the Cree Nation Government formed a working group on Capacity Building 

The departments of Commerce and Industry, Justice and Correctional Services, Social and Cultural Development and Apatisiiwin Skills Development joined forces to reflect on Capacity Building collectively and coordinate their efforts, within their respective mandates, to work on Capacity Building model for the future.

ASD is actively participating in this working group and has recently awarded service contracts to two experienced economists who will conduct a socioeconomical study of Eeyou Istchee, at a regional and community level, for the development of a Capacity Building Framework.

Service Québec, Service Canada and Canada Revenue Agency

For the past four years, ASD has been actively partnering with Services Quebec to improve service delivery to all the communities of Eeyou Istchee. Two years ago, we embarked on a journey to broaden our range of services by forging collaborations with various provincial and federal government departments, including Services Canada, Revenue Canada, and Revenue Quebec. Our ongoing commitment is to expand our reach and ensure that by the conclusion of fall 2024, we will have visited and provided services to every community.

Commission de la Construction de Québec (CCQ)

The Director of the Apatisiiwin Skills Development Department, Mr. Abel Trapper, is an active member of the Advisory Committee for a Collaborative Approach for the inclusion of First Nations and Inuit in the construction industry.

 

In December 2023, the CCQ Board of Directors adopted measures of the Construction Action Plan for the Inclusion of First Nations and Inuit (CAPFNI) that fall under the CCQ’s responsibility. Furthermore, in February 2024, measures under the responsibility of external partners were presented to the CCQ Board of Directors.

 

Work continues on developing specific measures affecting Crees, Inuit, and Indigenous women, in addition to measures under the responsibility of employers and union associations. These measures, the CAPFNI target, and indicators for these measures will be presented to the next Board of Directors in August 2024. 


The twenty (20) official measures of CAPFNI are categorized into ten (10) key orientations.

  1. A Proactive Industry
  2. Attractiveness of construction-related career choices
  3. Client experience
  4. Access to Training
  5. Entrepreneurship
  6. Building Bridges Between the Workforce and the Businesses
  7. Access to the Industry
  8. Workforce Inclusion
  9. Retention and Professional Development
  10. Shared Responsibilities


We are eagerly anticipating the launch of CAPFNI in fall 2024, a significant milestone in our collective journey towards a more inclusive and diverse construction industry.

Under the terms of the New Relationship Agreement with Canada, and with funding provided under that Agreement, the Cree Nation Government, through Apatisiiwin Skills Development, assumes Canada’s responsibilities under Section 28 of the James Bay and Northern Québec Agreement for training courses, job recruitment, and placement related to the “territorial programs” and “enhanced delivery structure.” 


As part of the conditions to assume these federal JBNQA responsibilities, Canada must continue to provide to the Cree Nation Government additional funding for training programs and facilities, and job recruitment and placement services on terms reasonably comparable to those in place at the time of signing the New Relationship Agreement. 


In 2019, the Cree Nation Government and Canada agreed on long-term arrangements until 2028 in regard to the additional funding that Canada must provide. Under these arrangements, the additional federal funding to support Apatisiiwin Skills Development for the period 2019-2028 is provided to the Cree Nation Government as a “grant,” which provides greater flexibility and reduces administrative requirements. However, the indexation of such additional federal funding remains an outstanding matter. Consequently, these arrangements provide that the federal funding levels for the entire period of the New Relationship Agreement (2008-2028) remain an outstanding matter and that the parties maintain their respective positions as to whether such funding levels comply with section 4.12 of the New Relationship Agreement, the whole without prejudice to Cree rights and claims. 


Formal discussions to renew the New Relationship Agreement will begin in 2026. The way in which the Cree Nation Government implements the New Relationship Agreement and carries out the assumed federal JBNQA responsibilities up until the start of these discussions in 2026 will largely determine what the renewal of this agreement will look like in 2028. 


In 2019, the Cree Nation Government and Canada have also concluded a companion contribution agreement for Employment Insurance funding for the period 2019-2029. Federal funding to support childcare is provided through this contribution agreement until such funding is transferred through the new ASD funding arrangements mentioned above. Cree and federal representatives are pursuing discussions in this regard. 


Cree and federal representatives are pursuing discussions regarding additional funding to support the Crees living in MoCreebec, who no longer received their share of federal funding to implement their skills and employment development programs. This federal funding had been administered and managed on their behalf through third-party organizations in Ontario for the past several years. Cree representatives had initially secured with Canada a short-term solution on behalf of MoCreebec, pending discussions on longer-term funding arrangements.

Two committees were established to review the Officer’s assessment and make recommendations to Apatisiiwin Skills Development on all projects reviewed.  Their mandate is determined as follows:

  • Technical Group: for projects under $25,000.

  • ASDAC: for projects of $25,000 and over.

Technical Group: The Technical Group consists of the Coordinators and meets at least once a month.

ASDAC: The Apatisiiwin and Skills Development Advisory Committee (ASDAC) consists of one representative from each of the following organizations:

  • Voting members
    • 9 members appointed by the Chief and Council of each of the 9 communities of Eeyou Istchee
    • Cree Nation Government
    • Cree Nation Youth Council 
    • Cree School Board
  • Non-voting members
    • Director of ASD
    • Washaw Sibi appointed member
    • Canada representative


The ASDAC meets typically quarterly or at any other time deemed necessary thereafter during the financial year concerned.

The ASDAC has the following mandate:

  • ensure that the proposals promote employment for Cree beneficiaries and other residents, where applicable, including training for the purpose of enhancing development of work skills necessary to support employability of the client;
  • ensure that proposals promote, as much as possible, full-time employment as criteria priority;
  • ensure that the increasing of the employment rate of the Cree population be monitored and promoted through all projects supported;
  • respect the monitor process and implementation of the ASD training plan when recommending projects;
  • monitoring of annual programs initiative targets and target results such as eligible clientele, eligible enterprises, job integration, and meeting of program objectives and funding components when recommendations are determined;
  • support in addressing and promotion of issues to be addressed to Canada for support of client analysis and skills development in regard to all programs managed by ASD.


Other committees that ASD staff have contributed to within the past fiscal year are the Mining and Training Development with organizations like Stornoway, Newmont Eleonore, and Wallbridge to help better understand and train their employees that would work in the mining industry.


Local Employment Committees staff members work with local communities that focus on local training and employment opportunities for community members currently looking for training or employment within the Eeyou Itschee.

Apatisiiwin Skills Development: Cree Bursary Program 

Apatisiiwin Skills Development is committed to breaking down barriers to education for JBNQA beneficiaries by providing crucial financial assistance through the Cree Bursary program. This program awards a $1,000 bursary each semester, empowering individuals to pursue post-secondary and vocational education, thereby promoting capacity building within the communities. In the 2023-24 program, out of a total of 617 participants, the majority focused on fields such as education, law, social, community, and government services (277), with the following highest numbers pursuing health occupations (34) and business, finance, and administration (96). 



Chistapitin – Self-Employment Program

The Self-Employment program by Apatisiiwin Skills Development is dedicated to empowering Cree beneficiaries in Eeyou Istchee to pursue entrepreneurship and create thriving businesses. We believe in self-employment’s potential to provide economic independence and community growth. Through our support initiatives, including subsidies like the one recently granted to a local hardware store in Chisasibi, we aim to equip aspiring entrepreneurs with the tools, resources, and opportunities needed to succeed. Together, we’re building a more robust private sector and fostering a culture of innovation and self-reliance within our community.

“I appreciate your support for the last 3 years. It was really helpful for financial assistance and creating employment for the youth to learn work experience. Thanks again”

-Sydney Chewanis

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