The Manitoba First Nations SchoolNet Youth Initiative provides training and work experience to First Nations youth in the Information and Communication Technology field (ICT).
MFNS provides eligible First Nations youth with hands-on ICT training utilizing the Internet and Computing Core Certification (IC3) program. The IC3 program and certification are recognized world wide as a reliable measure of basic digital literacy skills that include knowledge of basic computer hardware, operating systems, MS Office programs as well as networking concepts, internet and email use.
After the training session, youth return to their communities where they spend the rest of the internship in their host organization or school. During their work term, interns will provide technical assistance, support and training to staff, students and community members.
The benefits of this program are great and are shared by many:
Organizations often do not have any technical support resources locally, the youth intern will be able to assist with this and will have the full support of the MFNS Help Desk to assist them.
The availability of ICT training in many northern and isolated communites may be minimal, as part of their duties, youth interns will be able to provide training to staff and community members on basic computer and internet use.
After the successful completion of the IC3 exams, youth will have gained a valuable credential, recognized worldwide, that tells future employers that they have the ICT skill necessary to participate effectively in todays knowledge driven labour market.
Through their participation in their host organization, the youth will gain valuable work experience and a better understanding of organizational structures, procedures, policies and professionalism. These are concepts that youth can build on as they as they enter the workforce, increasing their future employability.
Participation in the youth initiative also offers a great opportunity for First Nations youth to meet, interact and network with their peers from across Manitoba.
“This is a program that I’m sure will continue to help First Nations communities across Canada bridge the gap between us and our future endeavors.”
Valley River First Nation
“I got my first experience of teaching when I held my first training session. It was such an awesome feeling. I got to help people one on one, I did a PowerPoint presentation, I answered questions, I even had computer equipment taken apart so the students could see the inside of the computers to see what they look like.”
Sioux Valley First Nation
The participating communities and engaged youth benefit from the experience provided to youth through the Manitoba First Nations SchoolNet Youth Initiative. The responsibilities of the youth engaged include implementing and maintaining the technical aspects of connectivity, showing schools and communities the basics about the internet to increase the level of comfort and familiarity with information technology and helping them use it effectively.