Terms and conditions for contributions: Métis nation labour market funding stream - Indigenous Skills and Employment Training Program

From: Employment and Social Development Canada


Historic events and significant milestones have been achieved for Canada and the Métis Nation, as represented by the Métis National Council and its five Governing Members the Métis Nation of British Columbia, Métis Nation of Alberta, Métis Nation-Saskatchewan, Manitoba Métis Federation, and Métis Nation of Ontario. On April 13, 2017, the Canada-Métis Nation Accord was signed by the Prime Minister of Canada and the leadership of the Métis Nation. This was followed by the Métis Nation Skills and Employment Training Accord, signed by Métis Nation leadership and the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour on June 15, 2018.

Through these Accords, the Parties committed to "advancing reconciliation in a nation to nation, government to government relationship through a permanent bilateral mechanism between the Métis Nation and Canada” and committed to "co-develop and negotiate ways to strengthen Métis Nation participation in labour market programming and supports directed at improving the labour market outcomes of Métis."

The Métis Nation labour market funding stream supports the existing Métis employment and training service delivery network and future transformation of labour market programming associated with self-government. The existing network includes the Métis Nation’s five Governing Members and two other Métis governments, the Métis Settlements General Council (MSGC) and Northwest Territory Métis Nation (NWTMN). The MSGC represents the eight Métis settlements in northern Alberta: Buffalo Lake, East Prairie, Elizabeth, Fishing Lake, Gift Lake, Kikino, Paddle Prairie, and Peavine. The NWTMN represents the Fort Resolution Métis Council, the Fort Smith Métis Council, the Hay River Métis Government Council, and Métis residing in Yellowknife. The MSGC and NWTMN have been Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training Strategy (ASETS) service delivery organizations since 2010, delivering services to their respective Métis communities.

The Métis labour market strategy, developed under the Métis Nation funding stream under the ISET Program, will serve to support long term success of Métis in the labour market by securing jobs in a wide range of sectors and will contribute to building stronger Métis communities.

This transformational approach to Métis labour market programming supports the perspective that Metis governments and affiliated institutions are best placed to design, deliver and administer labour market programs and services for Métis people. Such transformation will go beyond service delivery to also include all aspects of governance and management, including program planning, design and evaluation/review, client and stakeholder relationships and management, and organization.

Federal support for Indigenous labour market programming has a long history, starting with the Pathways to Success program in 1991 to 1996 and continuing with the Regional Bilateral Agreements (RBAs) from 1996 to 1999 (including the Urban Aboriginal Employment Initiative UAEI); the Aboriginal Human Resource Development Strategy AHRDS I (1999 to 2004) and AHRDS II (2004 to 2010); the Aboriginal Skills and Training Strategic Investment Fund (ASTSIF) – 2009 to 2011; and finally, the ASETS and Skills and Partnership Fund (SPF) – 2010 to 2018. The parameters of the ISET Program and the Métis Nation labour market strategy build on over 25 years of programming and service delivery by Métis governments and affiliated institutions.

The Métis labour market strategy places emphasis on overall client outcomes, ultimately leading to improved skills, employment and earnings by recognizing incremental successes and capturing the progression of clients along their skills development and employment path. The new approach has a stronger focus on Métis clients securing jobs in a wide range of sectors by assisting them to gain transferrable skills that will support long term success in the labour market. Another key component is to build stronger Métis communities by providing a comprehensive suite of wrap around services for Métis clients to help address barriers to employment and to enhance employment outcomes.

1.0 Authority

The Indigenous Skills and Employment Training (ISET) Program is established by the Minister of Employment and Social Development (“the Minister”) pursuant to Section 7 of the Department of Employment and Social Development Act (DESDA). Section 7 provides that “The Minister may, in exercising the powers and performing the duties and functions assigned by this Act (the DESDA), establish and implement programs designed to support projects or other activities that contribute to the development of the human resources of Canada and the skills of Canadians, or that contribute to the social development of Canada or to service delivery to the public, and the Minister may make grants and contributions in support of the programs”.

The mandate of the Minister (that is the powers, duties and functions assigned to the Minister) is set out in Section 5 of the DESDA. Subsection 5(1) provides that “the Minister’s powers, duties and functions extend to and include all matters relating to human resources and skills development in Canada or the social development of Canada over which Parliament has jurisdiction and which are not by law assigned to any other Minister, department, board or agency of the Government of Canada”. Subsection 5(2) further provides that “The Minister shall exercise the powers and perform the duties and functions (a) relating to human resources and skills development with a view to improving the standard of living and quality of life of all Canadians by promoting a highly skilled and mobile workforce and an efficient and inclusive labour market; and (b) relating to social development with a view to promoting social well-being and income security.”

The ISET Program relates to the mandate of the Minister of the Department of ESD.

Budget 2018 provided investments in the Métis Nation labour market funding stream under the new ISET Program to recognize the unique needs of Métis Nation.

2.0 Purpose, objective, outcomes and key performance measures

2.1 Purpose

The Métis labour market strategy, supported through the Métis Nation labour market funding stream under the ISET Program, will help improve the skills, employment, earnings, and labour market opportunities for Métis people through supporting training for employment including that linked to traditional economies, as well as assisting clients to gain greater skills that would support their long term career success in a wide range of sectors, allowing them to fully participate in the Canadian economy. The strategy will support Métis clients with customized, culturally appropriate wrap around services that will help address barriers to employment and increase employability.

The strategy will help increase skills of Métis people through a range of supports to achieve greater participation rates of Métis in the economy and increased representation of Métis in a wide range of sectors; leading to greater labour market opportunities and employment earnings.

The ISET Program and the Métis labour market strategy link to the Department of ESD’s overarching mission of supporting Canadians in making choices that help them live productive and rewarding lives, and improving Canadians’ quality of life, as well as the following strategic outcome as stated in the Departmental Results Framework and Program Inventory: Canadians, including under represented groups and vulnerable workers, have the opportunity to acquire skills to find and maintain productive employment.

2.2 Objectives

The objectives of developing and implementing the Métis Nation labour market funding stream and the Métis labour market strategy are:

  • to support Métis people in acquiring and developing employment skills and pursuing training for long term careers to support socio economic development of Métis communities by recognizing their unique needs, with the ultimate objective of improving the skills, employment and earnings of, and labour market opportunities for Métis people
  • to support and enhance capacity of Métis governments and affiliated institutions to provide professional career and employment related services to support their clients throughout the employment continuum by developing and improving skills and employment training

2.3 Ultimate outcomes

The ultimate outcomes of the Métis Nation labour market funding strategy are:

  • improved skills levels of Métis and reduced skills gap between Métis and non-Indigenous people
  • improved employment and earnings outcomes of Métis and reduced employment and earnings gap between Métis and non-Indigenous people

2.4 Key performance measures

The Métis Nation labour market strategy has an evergreen Performance Measurement Strategy. Progress toward the program’s objectives is measured through performance indicators including:

  • increase in skills levels of Métis
  • increase in employment and earnings outcomes of Métis

3.0 Eligible recipients

3.1 Eligible recipients

Eligible recipients are of two types: initial recipients that may have Contribution Agreement with the Department of ESD, and ultimate recipients that may have agreements with the initial recipients and receive funding that is distributed by the initial recipients.

The initial recipients that are eligible to have a Contribution Agreement with the Department of ESD are solely the following:

  • the Métis Nation, as represented by the Métis National Council and its five Governing Members, or their designated affiliated institutions. The Governing Members are:
    • Métis Nation British Columbia
    • Métis Nation of Alberta
    • Métis Nation Saskatchewan
    • Manitoba Métis Federation
    • Métis Nation of Ontario
  • Métis Settlements General Council, and
  • Northwest Territory Métis Nation

The ultimate recipients that may receive funding that is further distributed by the initial recipients may include:

  • Métis governments
  • not-for-profit Métis Nation affiliated institutions
  • for-profit Métis Nation affiliated institutions (incorporated and unincorporated), and
  • provincial and territorial governments, institutions, agencies and Crown Corporations

3.2 For-profit eligibility

For-profit organizations may be eligible for funding provided that the nature and intent of the activity is non commercial, not intended to generate profit, and supports program priorities and objectives.

4.0 Eligible activities

Eligible activities encompass a wide range of labour market activities in support of Métis labour market development and aim to provide:

  • employment related and career development assistance and outreach to Métis individuals, including youth and people with disabilities (for example, client assessment, case management, job search, job retention assistance, summer jobs, work experience, and other supports, compatible with the objectives of Métis labour market strategy)
  • wrap around services by providing expanded social supports to contribute to client success, including dependent care costs, child care, living expenses, transportation, counselling, and other supports needed to ensure clients’ success with skills development, training and employment
  • providing financial incentives to individuals to encourage them to accept employment
  • providing financial assistance to individuals to help them obtain skills for employment, ranging from basic to advanced skills
  • providing financial assistance to help individuals in skills laddering and career growth
  • supporting projects to help individuals create jobs for themselves by starting a business (including mentorship, coaching, support in advancing an action plan)
  • supporting projects that provide individuals with opportunities through which they can gain work experience, which will lead to ongoing employment
  • early interventions with youth by offering career exploration, mentorship and services complementary to the K 12 education system to increase graduation rates of Métis students
  • activities in support of capacity building of Métis governments and affiliated institutions to deliver enhanced employment related programs and services to Métis people by providing human resource training to improve case management and client support
  • strengthening and/or enhancing capacity of Métis governments and affiliated institutions, for example governance, business planning, financial reporting, compliance, performance measurement, and providing opportunities for skills laddering and career growth
  • supporting labour market information, research and analysis projects that support the design and delivery of labour market services
  • initiating and sustaining partnerships with other government departments, provinces and territories, and/or private sector
  • enhancing existing and building new employer linkages, enhanced labour market information, skills inventories to enable organizations to accurately forecast in demand employment opportunities and recommend relevant training programs, and to connect Indigenous workers to available jobs matching their qualifications
  • leveraging existing programs for referrals and up to date labour market information to better use and/or integrate existing data collection systems
  • marketing and promoting Métis service delivery organizations and Métis clients
  • skills development and employment related activities that incorporate Métis language and culture
  • supports to help individuals achieve better mental health and wellness
  • other activities that support the objectives of ISET Program and the Métis Nation labour market funding stream and the strategy

5.0 Eligible expenditures

Eligible expenditures are those considered necessary to support the purpose of the funding, and will take into account the relative costs of doing business in rural, remote and northern communities. Eligible expenditures include the following:

  • staff wages, mandatory employment-related costs (MERCS), and staff benefits
  • staff training and professional development costs
  • Honoraria (for example, Elders guidance and counselling, gifts or payments for recognition, mentor wages under youth projects)
  • hospitality costs
  • printing, marketing and communication costs
  • communication and promotional resources, activities and events
  • travel and transportation costs related to program activities (international travel must be specifically authorized)
  • professional fees such as consultants, research, audit, IT, technical expertise, facilitation, legal
  • translation and interpretation costs
  • participant costs (for example, tuition, completion bonus, living expenses, dependent care costs)
  • wage subsidies and subsidies for MERCs paid to employers who employ participants
  • disability related supports
  • disability related incremental costs
  • adaptive technology set up
  • costs to support mental health and wellness of participants
  • cultural activities
  • overhead costs, including costs related to central administrative functions of the recipient that are drawn upon to support agreement activities (such as shared postage, telephones, IT maintenance and head office support)
  • the costs of materials and supplies
  • the costs of the purchase of tools, equipment, machinery, computers, furniture
  • other costs necessary to support the purpose of the funding, as approved by the Minister

Where the initial recipient further distributes funds to an ultimate recipient to carry out project activities, payments by the initial recipient to the ultimate recipient to reimburse the ultimate recipient for the types of expenditures listed above incurred by the ultimate recipient are also eligible expenditures.

5.1 Innovative approaches

Opportunities may arise for the introduction of innovative approaches to further the objectives of skills development or employment training. In such cases, the initial or ultimate recipient may revise its operational plan or priorities to address the need, provided that the changes continue to abide by the Terms and Conditions and funding agreement. Additional approvals may be required before proceeding.

6.0 Stacking limit

Where possible and appropriate, the costs of an eligible activity will be shared with the recipient and/or with government and/or the private sector. However, where the sharing of costs with the recipient and private sector are not feasible, total government funding (federal, provincial/territorial and municipal funding for the same eligible expenditures) must not exceed 100% of eligible expenditures.

7.0 Method of determining funding amount

Funding amounts are determined using allocation methodology developed and recommended by Métis Nation representatives, MSGC and NWTMN. Final decisions on allocations to initial recipients will be determined by the Minister.

8.0 Maximum amount payable

The maximum level of financial support approved by the Minister per initial recipient per year under the Métis Nation labour market funding stream will not exceed $70,000,000 per year.

9.0 Basis of payment

Payments to contribution recipients are made via regular progress payments based on reimbursement of eligible expenditures; or via advance payments based on a cash flow forecast; or based on the achievement of predetermined performance expectations or milestones; or a predetermined annual amount.

Contribution funding for Métis recipients with multi-year agreements may be provided in the form of flexible funding which means that program objectives can be better achieved by providing the recipient with flexibility to redirect funding among the cost categories established in the agreement. It also means that the stability of the relationship with the recipient is reflected and strengthened by allowing the recipient, during the period of the funding agreement, to retain unexpended funding remaining at the end of each fiscal year for use in the next fiscal year to further achieve results toward the program objectives. Any unexpended funding remaining at the expiry of the funding agreement constitutes a debt due to the Crown.

Final payment follows receipt of the final accounting of eligible expenditures and the total amount of the contribution will not exceed eligible expenditures actually incurred or the portion of incurred expenditures eligible pursuant to the terms of the agreement.

10.0 Basis for agreement and information required

Agreements will be entered into on the basis of negotiations to be completed by the Minister with eligible recipients as listed in Section 3.1.

Agreements with new contribution recipients will be based on an explicit request for change, an impact evaluation to determine how a change request will affect the overall existing governance and service delivery structure and new recipients will participate in a jointly designed capacity readiness assessment process.

11.0 Information required for financial and performance reporting

Financial and performance reporting requirements are based on risk as determined through a Joint Capacity Assessment Process co developed by the Department and Métis Nation Governing Members and affiliated governments and institutions, including MSGC and NWTMN.

The nature and frequency of reporting is specified in each contribution agreement, and could include:

  • progress reports that outline activities completed and demonstrate progress towards achievement of results, and
  • financial reports (including a final financial report) that account for the use of the funding and identify contributions from all sources towards eligible costs

All contribution recipients are required to submit final reports containing information on results achieved as required for the performance management strategy and departmental reporting.

12.0 Official languages act

Where a program supports activities that may be delivered to members of either official language community, the Department of ESD will ensure that access to services from the recipient will be provided in both official languages where there is significant demand and to ensure compliance with the Official Languages Act (OLA), the Official Languages (Communications with and Services to the Public) Regulations, and the Treasury Board Policies and Directives on Official Languages. In addition, the Department will ensure that the design and the delivery of programs respect the obligations of the Government of Canada as set out in Part VII of the Official Languages Act.

13.0 Further distribution of funds

In projects involving the further distribution of funds by the initial recipient to ultimate recipients, the agreement will make clear that the initial recipient has independence in the choice of the ultimate recipients, with minimal guidance from the Department of ESD.

14.0 Intellectual property

Intellectual Property created by a recipient will remain the property of the recipient. The Department of ESD may negotiate the shared use of intellectual property developed by recipients or through a third party.

15.0 Effective date of terms and conditions

These Terms and Conditions will come into effect on April 1, 2019.

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