Indigenous & Northern Communities

The Conference Board of Canada helps leaders build a prosperous, healthy future for Indigenous and Northern communities, governments, and businesses. As a leader in research and stakeholder engagement, our work addresses critical knowledge gaps around northern and remote development, reconciliation, and future skills that challenge decision- and policy-making.

Ice and snow covering lake and hills; Indigenous man wearing glasses

Recent releases

Skills Development in the North: An Ecosystem Shaped by Distinct Challenges

Occupations and in-demand skills are changing. Two-thirds of workers expect their jobs to be changed by technology every five years. Other forces driving labour market change in Northern Canada include commodity cycles, demographic change, climate change, modern treaties, and Indigenous self-government. Understanding how these changes impact workforce development across Northern Canada requires looking beyond the training institutions that deliver skills for jobs.

Primer  |  30-min read
September 9, 2021
Client—Future Skills Centre

The Borders of Labour: A Profile of the Interjurisdictional Workforce in the Northwest Territories, Yukon, and Nunavut

There is a well-established practice in Canada’s three territories to use interjurisdictional employees to meet regional labour and skills shortages. This need stems mainly from resource development and infrastructure projects. However, there are interjurisdictional employees working in other sectors as well. And while there is a larger proportion of interjurisdictional workers coming into the territories, each territory also supplies labour to other provinces/territories.

Primer  | 30-min read
September 3, 2021

Indigenous Participation in Clean Energy Projects

According to Indigenous Clean Energy, there were over 2,000 Indigenous clean energy projects across Canada in 2019. Almost 200 were medium- to large-sized projects (they produce at least one megawatt). And Indigenous partners are taking on more equity in these projects: On average, Indigenous communities own a 45% share of the projects they’re involved in.

Online experience  | 8-min read
July 5, 2021

National Indigenous History Month

Today, as we mark the start of National Indigenous History Month, we recognize the cultures, heritage and traditions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples across Canada. This is a month to both deepen our understanding of and celebrate Indigenous communities from coast to coast to coast.

Op-ed | 3-min read
June 1, 2021

Technological Change in the North

The economy in Northern Canada is changing. Sectors, such as mining, forestry, and tourism, can quickly expand or contract. Advancing technology is one factor driving those changes. As technologies change, jobs and occupations evolve. Skills development must keep pace if workers are to seize future employment opportunities in the North.

Online experience  |  8-min read
May 20, 2021
Client—Future Skills Centre

Linking Skills to Employment in Inuit Nunangat

Economic opportunities in the region can benefit from Inuit skillsets, strengths, and knowledge. And Inuit have told us they are interested in finding a balance between market participation and traditional land-based activities. Our research will provide insights to help Northern economies grow and support sustainable livelihoods.

Summary for executives  |  4-min read
May 13, 2021
Client—Future Skills Centre

Linking Employment to Sources of Value in Inuit Nunangat

Many Inuit want to find a balance between market participation and traditional land-based activities. They want diverse jobs that strengthen their communities’ social resources—and that expand on existing cultural knowledge and traditional skill sets. And they want to see their social and cultural values reflected in the sectors that dominate Northern GDP.

Online experience  |  8-min read
May 13, 2021
Client—Future Skills Centre

Do Indigenous Entrepreneurs Have the Support They Need to Succeed?

While there are compelling reasons for pursuing entrepreneurship, Indigenous entrepreneurs in Northern or remote areas also face a host of barriers and challenges. Services are available, but do they provide the support that is needed?

Impact Paper  |  40-min read
April 15, 2021

Filling in the Map of Indigenous Controlled Post-Secondary Education in Canada

Many Indigenous groups across Canada mandate, govern, and control their own post-secondary institutions. These Indigenous Institutes support lifelong learning as defined by Indigenous Peoples. They also offer education grounded in Indigenous languages, pedagogies, cultures, and worldviews.

Online experience  |  8-min read
March 17, 2021
Client—Future Skills Centre

The Atlin Hydro Project: Making a Meaningful Contribution to Community Health and Well-Being

Indigenous communities are increasingly developing medium to large infrastructure projects with varying interests in the Canadian clean energy economy. This case study explores one example of Indigenous participation in a clean energy project—the Taku River Tlingit First Nation’s development and ownership of the Atlin hydro project in Northwestern British Columbia. The focus is to investigate how community participation in this project impacts community health and well-being.

Impact paper  |  37-min read
January 27, 2021

Youth learning together
STEM education must be reformed to engage Indigenous youth

It’s more important than ever that Indigenous children in elementary and secondary schools study science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). STEM fields are critical to the future of work in Canada. Studies show there’s high demand for jobs requiring expertise in STEM areas. In fact, they’re growing by 4.6 per cent a year in Canada, compared to the 1.8 per cent annual growth of the job market as a whole.

Op-ed  |  3-min read
January 21, 2021

Featured researcher

Amanda Thompson

Amanda Thompson

Senior Research Associate I

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