Media Release: NAFC hosts inaugural Employers Forum for advancing Decent Work for urban Indigenous youth

OTTAWA, Feb. 15, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Over the next two days, the National Association of Friendship Centres (NAFC) welcomes employers, youth, government, practitioners, and community leaders to the traditional and unceded Algonquin Anishinaabe territory for Advancing Success: An Employers Forum on Urban Indigenous Youth and the Labour Market in Gatineau, Québec at the Hilton Lac-Leamy.

The Forum is creating a platform for national dialogue on advancing decent work for urban Indigenous youth, aligning with the Decent Jobs for Youth global initiative that serves as a catalyst for collaborative action on meaningful youth employment. The Forum aims to highlight the pressing need to address the intersecting barriers urban Indigenous youth are facing in finding and keeping employment. The agenda features opportunities for attendees to explore and learn from urban Indigenous youth perspectives, connect and network with Indigenous jobseekers, communities and organizations, and engage in peer-to-peer knowledge sharing. The Forum will leverage knowledge, collaboration, and resources to create action that leads to tangible results for urban Indigenous youth employment.

The NAFC is a national network of Friendship Centres (FCs) and Provincial/Territorial Associations that make up the Friendship Centre Movement–Canada’s most significant national network of self-determined, Indigenous owned and operated civil society community hubs offering programs, services, and supports to Indigenous people. For over 50 years, FCs have helped Indigenous people access culturally relevant programs and services as they navigate employment and education settings in a status-inclusive model, supporting Indigenous people living in urban, rural, and remote settings, and specifically for First Nations living off-reserve, Métis living outside of the Métis Homelands, and Inuit living in the south. FCs continue to be on the frontlines with urban Indigenous people across the country, working to build foundational and transferable skills to succeed in the labour market by providing skills-driven programs, job training, and related wraparound supports.

“We are pleased to be hosting this inaugural event to highlight the perspectives and needs of urban Indigenous youth in the labour market,” says Jocelyn Formsma, NAFC Chief Executive Officer, “Indigenous youth are growing four times faster than the non-Indigenous population and represent a vital influx of entrepreneurs, innovators, managers, and business owners for years to come. We hope the Forum will create ongoing dialogue on how Canada can promote effective, innovative and evidence-based strategies and interventions to address the employment challenge for urban Indigenous youth.”

– Jocelyn Formsma, CEO, NAFC


John Paillé
Senior Communications Coordinator

The National Association of Friendship Centres is a national network of Indigenous-owned and operated civil society, not-for-profit, and service delivery organizations across Canada. The NAFC was established in 1972 to represent a growing number of Friendship Centres at the national level. Acting as a unifying body for the Friendship Centre Movement, the NAFC represents a network of over 100 Friendship Centres and Provincial-Territorial Associations across Canada.