Engaging Northern Aboriginal Youth Key to Sustainable Development


  • Bonita Beatty University of Saskatchewan
  • Dana Carriere University of Saskatchewan
  • Kelton Doraty University of Saskatchewan


This paper argues that governments, industry, and educational institutions
need to engage better with Aboriginal communities when it comes to training and
economic development initiatives in Northern Saskatchewan. Building accessible
programs and engaging with youth are keys to sustainable development. The social
capital in northern communities is resilient and embedded in kinship networks,
but with the fast-growing youth population, increased collaborative engagement
between communities, governments, training institutions, and industry is required
to help build relevant programs for youth. Findings from the 2009–2012 Northern
Aboriginal Political Engagement study suggest that, given the opportunity and
proper incentives, northern Aboriginal youth want to and will engage in the
development of themselves and their communities. Most youth believe that priority
should also be given to address problems with addictions (alcohol, drugs). At a
minimum, these findings imply that better coordination is needed between health
programs (mental health and addiction) and training and economic development
programs for youth. This paper is part of a special collection of brief discussion
papers presented at the 2014 Walleye Seminar held in Northern Saskatchewan,
which explored consultation and engagement with northern communities and
stakeholders in resource development.






Consultation and Resource Development in Northern Communities: Russia, Scandinavia & Canada