Urban Aboriginal Youth and Self-Employment

The majority of Canada's Aboriginal population now live in urban areas and Aboriginal youth in these areas are recognised to have increasing demographic, social and political significance.  Commonly urban Aboriginal youth are discussed with reference to social problems such as homelessness and poverty but there is also positive educational career development. Recently, urban Aboriginal youth have been actively engaged in urban governance and an increasing number have been making successful transitions from education into the labour force. 

This project focuses on Aboriginal youth in Vancouver with particular reference to the potential for their transition into the labour force as self-employed young people.  It examines the forms and means of delivery of programmes to support young Aboriginal entrepreneurs and explores the key dimensions of social and cultural capital which are factors in the decisions of urban Aboriginal youth to seek self-employment.  The target sample includes course providers and self-employed urban Aboriginal youth. 

The project examines the interplay of structural opportunities and invididual choices in career decsisions.  The conceptual aspects of the project are concerned with the inter-relationship of provisions for urban Aboriginal youth and urban Aboriginal culture and networks.  The policy implications are concerned with the sustainability of the urban Aboriginal economy.

Publications and outputs

Roy Todd 'Urban Aboriginal Governance: Developments and Issues' in David Newhouse and Evelyn Peters (Eds.) 2003 'Not Strangers in These Parts: Urban Aboriginal Peoples'. Ottawa, Policy Research Initative

Roy Todd (2008) 'Aboriginal Peoples and the Land: Ownership, Understanding and Development' British Journal of Canadian Studies, Volume 21, No. 1, 105-128