Yellow Quill First Nation
If you have been to the Yellow Quill Development Corporation (YQDC) office recently, Kelly Squirrel likely greeted you. He is one of 20 young urban members who have participated in a program Yellow Quill First Nation expanded with funds distributed by the First Nations Trust. Kelly is clear; his position in reception is an opportunity, and a place to start. He appreciates that the skills and experience he is gaining on-the-job will be a stepping-stone to other prospects. It's the end of the day; his little girl and her mother are waiting to walk home with Kelly.
The Work Experience Inititiative is Yellow Quill's response to an all too common issue faced by their urban members - unemployment. In the face of unemployment, resumes with neither work experience nor particular skills guarantee jobs will be hard to come by. YQDC saw the challenge and determined they could make a difference by providing short-term jobs that would provide skills, experience and workforce preparation.
Erin Slippery has new skills and new horizons. In her sunny office, Erin displays her latest publication, the YQDC bi-weekly newsletter. She has enjoyed the challenge the employment has presented and learned new computer and communication skills on-the-job. Erin muses about the startling difference between this work and the drywall skills she learned in the SIIT Women in the Trades program - she definitely prefers this type of work. Erin is thinking now about more education - this short-term job has her moving in just the direction the Chief and Council wish to see for all their people. They are strong supporters of youth staying in school and learning skills for success and independence.
The YQDC Program has also provided an opportunity for post-secondary students such as Pauline Whitehead, who has her sights set on drama and acting. YQDC has provided her employment experience as a coordinator. Pauline also intends to continue studying; she is nearing completion of her Arts degree. The Program is meeting with more successes than had been anticipated, the Chief and Council are encouraged by the results they have seen in Yellow Quill's Work Experience Initiative.