TORONTO—A new pilot program headed by former prime minister Paul Martin will give aboriginal students more business training so they can help develop their local economies.
The project aims to encourage more aboriginals to pursue careers in accounting by placing promising students with mentors from two major accounting firms in Fort Frances, Ont. and Brantford, Ont.
Martin said the program presents a “small but promising window” to allow students to pursue careers in accounting and business that they hadn’t previously considered.
Chief Gary Allen, from the Fort Frances area, said his community needs to train people who can assess the financial benefits of different projects such as mining, forestry, and tourism.
He added students need to be encouraged to consider jobs outside the more traditional, social-oriented fields.
Up to six students will participate in the mentoring program at three high schools in Ontario in the first year—two in Brantford and one in Fort Frances.
Kevin Dancey, head of the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants, said he hopes the project eventually will expand across the country.