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Conclusion:

In summary, there are many opportunities for Aboriginal people to participate in the resource economy. However, Aboriginal participation in fields requiring a post-secondary education is limited by the relatively low numbers of Aboriginal youth that are successful in meeting the math and science entry requirements for post-secondary programs.

A number of approaches have been implemented to address this, and other related issues. Working in isolation, these approaches have shown a measure of success in influencing youth. However, the isolation of these programs serves to limit their overall effectiveness.

In reality, the only way to sustain the impact upon youth is to have near continuous contact with the youth, and to offer outlets for their interest. Too often, these conditions are beyond the capacity, mandate or the lifespan of the initiative in question.

One possible solution to this challenge, would be to combine, in sequence, the various approaches that have been used in the past to create a seamless stream or continuum for capacity development. There are a number of challenges to this approach. However, through collaboration it should be possible to successfully meet these challenges and create a balanced, resource-based, Aboriginal workforce.

Proceedings from ForestEDWest II – Banff, Alberta – January 2006

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