Entrepreneurship programs shows students different career options
- EFN Staff | April 24, 2017
A few years-old program introduces new opportunities for Indigenous youth in the province’s northern communities.
Joe Taylor is the facilitator of the Aboriginal Youth Entrepreneurship Program (AYEP) that has been running for three years for youth in Grades 9 to 12. Starting off as a one year panel project, the program shows the youth to start thinking about their future.
“We try to get them to meet a very diverse group of professionals, business owners and entrepreneurs…it sends them some motivation and inspiration,” says Taylor. “This is our third year. Our first school was at One Arrow…we added Kinistin, Yellowquill, Muskoday and Mistawasis.”
The youth from Mistawasis have been involved in the AYEP for six months now and are benefitting from the group. On April 12th, a group of youth from the AYEP attended the Legislative Building in Regina and met with different MLAs and had the opportunity to sit inside the chamber during Question Period.
Christopher Ochuschayoo, a 16-year-old from Mistawasis First Nation, says this trip made him consider possible future opportunities.
“It's something that you don't see everyday it was…it was great,” he says. “We got a tour of the Legislative Building and we saw a debate between the parties. We saw how everything went down, we got told the rules before we went in there and now we know what happens and how they talk about things.”
Yvonne Daniels, the community school coordinator for Mistawasis Nehiyawak, says the AYEP is about expanding every area of the youth’s knowledge and to teach them about careers in business.
“I was excited for them to come to the Legislature. These experiences empower the students by showing them the variety of opportunities out there,” she says. “The program has been a real-life changer for the students giving them confidence.”
The program has helped the youth progress and boosts their knowledge in the business world. It also helps them come out of their comfort zone and their shell as Daniels explains it.
“[The youth] have this light about them and I see it…the business club has changed these kids in a real positive way.”
Organizers of the AYEP work with the youth group for four years. It is primarily funded through sponsorship from Saskatoon Tribal Council and PotashCorp.