First Nations and Inuit Youth Employment Strategy: Summer Work Experience Program: National Program Guidelines 2018-2019

Table of contents

1. Introduction

The First Nations and Inuit Summer Work Experience Program (SWEP) is one of two programs that Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) administers under the First Nations and Inuit Youth Employment Strategy (FNIYES).

2. Objectives

The SWEP has the following objectives:

These objectives are consistent with, and support, the overall objectives of the Government of Canada’s YES Summer Work Experience Program.

3. Expected Results

Key expected results of the Summer Work Experience Program are:

4. Activities

The activities will support work experience opportunities for First Nations and Inuit secondary and post-secondary students, between May 1 and the beginning of the student’s Fall academic term, each fiscal year.

5 . Eligibility Requirements

5.1 Eligible Recipients

Eligible recipients are First Nations and Inuit communities, governments and organizations, and to not-for-profit associations and private sector employers.

Eligible recipients may then enter into agreements with private sector and non-profit sector employers to access employment opportunities for youth.

5.2 Eligible Participants

Eligible participants are:

  • First Nation and Inuit secondary and post-secondary students aged 15 to 30 inclusive;
  • ordinarily resident on reserve or in recognized communities or on community lands;
  • legally entitled to work in Canada; and
  • registered as full-time students during the preceding academic year and who intend to return to school on a full-time basis in the next academic year.

6. Proposal Process

All funding for the FNIYES will be based on approved proposals. Proposals are selected on the basis of meeting program objectives.

Applicants must submit detailed proposals for the activities to be undertaken over the course of the agreement, clearly stating how the proposed activities will further the objectives and expected results of this program.

Eligible proposals must:

Note: The placement must provide a minimum of 80 hours of work.

Submission of Proposals

Only proposals submitted in the electronic proposal form issued by ISC will be considered for assessment. Refer to the proposal form and the attached instructions for application details. Incomplete proposals will be returned to applicants.

The information required in the proposal is available in the Reporting Guide. Recipients who have access to the ISC Services Portal can access the proposal form by opening a session on the Portal. If you do not have access to the Portal, contact your regional office, or if you are a national recipient, write to

Assessment Criteria

All proposals will be assessed by the following criteria:

Note: Meeting these criteria does not guarantee funding from the First Nations and Inuit Summer Work Experience Program.

Review and Approval of Proposals

ISC regional or headquarters staff will review and approve proposals. A written response will be sent to applicants to confirm whether, or not, their proposal has been approved for funding.

Details on the 2018-2019 call for proposal and the application process can be found in the Call for proposals page.

7. Eligible Expenditures

The recipient will determine the wage rate for participants. It must be at or above the applicable provincial/territorial minimum wage.

Eligible expenditures include:

Note: Further distribution of funds by ISC’s funding recipients: When a funding recipient further transfers, to a Third Party, funds that were received under this program, the 10% allowed for administration costs must be divided between the parties, as agreed to between the parties. The total administration costs retained by all parties must not exceed 10% of the sub-total amount requested before administration costs.

8. Ineligible Expenditures

Ineligible expenditures include, but are not limited to:

9. Maximum Program Contribution

The initiative is nationally and regionally based and proposal-driven.

The non-profit sector is eligible to receive a contribution of up to 100% of the applicable wage, plus mandatory employment-related costs (MERC), while the private sector is eligible to receive up to 50% of the applicable wage only.

Note: Where a participant with disabilities is hired, all employers are eligible to apply for 100% of the wage. A maximum contribution of $3,000 per participant may be available, on an actual cost basis, for special equipment and facilities to accommodate the student's needs.

10. Funding

10.1 Funding approaches

Transfer payments to funding recipients can be made using Contribution funding of different types or using Grant funding, depending on the eligibility of the recipient and depending on the program, service or activity to be delivered. Your ISC regional officer can inform you about eligibility for these different funding approaches as well as of the delivery requirements related to each of them. The funding approach used to transfer the funds will be identified in the recipient’s signed funding agreement.

Consistent with the Government of Canada’s intention to provide additional flexibility to First Nation recipients to carry over funds, most funding approaches include, to different levels, carry over provisions and redirection of funds provisions. For details on the different levels of flexibility, see the Funding approaches page on ISC’s website.

11. Monitoring and Accountability

Funding recipients must deliver the programs in accordance with the provisions of their funding agreement and the program delivery requirements outlined in these National Program Guidelines while also ensuring that the necessary management controls are in place to manage funding and monitor activities. Funding recipients are required to exercise due diligence when approving expenditures and must ensure that such expenditures are in accordance with the eligible expenditures set out in these National Program Guidelines.

ISC is committed to providing assistance to recipients in order for them to effectively carry out obligations under these National Program Guidelines and funding agreements. Regional offices and other departmental contacts are available to answer questions and provide guidance related to ISC programs and funding.

To ensure that program delivery requirements are being met, that funds are expended on the intended purposes, and that ISC's accountability to Parliament is being met, activities including audits, evaluations, as well as desk and on-site compliance reviews will be conducted with all funding recipients.

  • The Department’s collection and use of personal information and other records for the purposes of program compliance reviews will be limited to what is necessary to ensure program delivery requirements are met.
  • The Department is responsible for all information and records in its possession. The confidentiality of the information will be managed by ISC in accordance with the Privacy Act and other related policies on privacy. Recipients are responsible for the protection of personal information per the privacy legislation, regulations and/or policies that govern them up to the point that it is transferred to ISC.

12. Reporting Requirements

The reporting requirements (program and financial reports) are listed in the recipient’s funding agreement, and details on these requirements are available in the Reporting Guide. Recipients are responsible for ensuring that reporting requirements are met and reports are accurate and submitted on or before the established due dates. Recipients who have access to the ISC Services Portal can access the reporting forms by opening a session on the Portal. If you do not have access to the Portal, contact your regional office, or if you are a national recipient, write to

Reporting requirements include not only the overarching program report, but also the completion of a youth evaluation form for each participating youth. The form is available within the instructions tab of the main report and must be reattached to the main report using the "Add Youth Evaluations" function in the main report.

13. Contact Information

For further program information, please visit the First Nations and Inuit Summer Work Experience Program page.

The regional offices coordinates can be found on the Regional offices page.

You can also write to:

Education Branch
Indigenous Services Canada
10 Wellington Street

These National Program Guidelines can be consulted in the Education Programs - National Program Guidelines page of ISC’s website and through the View Instructions button on the first page of this program's Data Collection Instrument (DCI).

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