Thank you, Chair, and thank you to all our witnesses for some interesting presentations.
Chief Adam, I'm the member of Parliament for Yukon. The premise of this study of cross-country benefits for all Canadians is of course interesting from a Yukon perspective, because when we frame this discussion around development in the north, it is a question for our entire population, including our aboriginal and first nations people in Yukon.
One thing I have heard as their member of Parliament is that they want Yukon people for Yukon jobs. Of course, that centres around our first nations. Eleven of the fourteen first nations in our territory have signed final agreements.
The government has done a great job, both the territorial and the federal governments, of supporting them with financial resources to sign and secure IBAs, to develop communication plans to work with industry, to help them with the capacity development.
I appreciate the comments you made around the struggle to have the capacity, with the influx of development, to deal with the volume of applications with few staff. We have been recognizing those challenges and trying to support the capacity development of our first nations, at least in Yukon, to make sure that they have the capacity to deal with the opportunities before them.
It will be a continuing growth process, but some of the ways they have done this up north include investing in education and training, specifically around our college development with the Centre for Northern Innovation in Mining, to make sure that we meet that one real premise Yukoners have, which again is Yukon people for Yukon jobs: local people to get local opportunities, specific job training for the jobs that are available in high-demand fields, and well-paying jobs, not just underskilled jobs, but semi-skilled and highly skilled opportunities.
From that, we have seen our first nations achieve, have seen our development corporations, high-paying jobs and better-paying jobs in those fields that are available, an increase in graduates, an increase in enrolment rates at post-secondary educational institutions that focus on these.
I'm wondering three things.
First, does your first nation have a development corporation?
Do you have any of the members of your first nation working right now in oil sands and natural gas development in the area? If so, are they starting to achieve greater rates of job opportunities, better-paying jobs? Are they realizing those opportunities at all?
Are you seeing people of your first nation starting to move in that career direction? Are they asking for that? Are the colleges and institutions responding to that demand by providing greater opportunity for them to achieve that kind of training and realize local opportunities for local people?