Province Announces Indigenous Youth Graduate from Health-care Internship

August 10, 2018

Program Succeeding In Encouraging Students To Pursue Careers in Health Care: Friesen, Clarke

More than 40 youth are graduating today from a high school program that encourages Indigenous students to seek employment in the health-care system, Indigenous and Northern Relations Minister Eileen Clarke and Health, Seniors and Active Living Minister Cameron Friesen announced today.

“This national award-winning program helps local high school students of First Nation and Métis descent explore careers in health care,” said Friesen.  “We believe the end result will be a health-care system that is ultimately more culturally reflective of the communities it serves while promoting healthier communities.”

Offered in the Southern Health – Santé Sud health region since 2009, the program encourages students to graduate from high school and achieve the post-secondary credentials they need to obtain employment in the health-care system.

In the first phase of the program, students spend a full day every two weeks as a volunteer, job shadowing health-care staff in many different roles.  After completing 55 volunteer hours, they receive a half school credit.  In the second phase, students are eligible to join a six-week summer employment program where they earn a salary and 2.5 school credits.

“This internship program offers the tools and knowledge that equips Indigenous youth with skills that will lay the path for generations to come,” said Clarke.  “I want to congratulate the graduates of this year’s program as they move forward in their lives and their careers.”

More than 80 per cent of the 200 students who have attended the program are still in school or have graduated from Grade 12.  In addition, many of the graduates are now furthering their education into post-secondary to study for health-care careers such as a bachelor of nursing, licensed practical nurse, health-care aide and physiotherapists.  Twenty-five previous program graduates are now working in a range of positions throughout the health region.

“This program is helping us create strong relationships and many new partnerships with our Indigenous communities, and internally within our workforce,” said Jane Curtis, chief executive officer of Southern Health – Sante Sud.  “We are proudly growing our own Indigenous workforce through this program and it’s an excellent way for us to attract youth to join our team.”

Curtis noted that in 2005-06, only one per cent of the region’s workforce self-identified as Indigenous.  In 2017-18, seven per cent of the region’s workforce self-identified as Indigenous.

For more information on the program, visit

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For more information:

  • Public information, contact Manitoba Government Inquiry: 1-866-626-4862 or 204-945-3744.
  • Media requests for general information, contact Communications Services Manitoba: 204-945-3765.
  • Media requests for ministerial comment, contact Communications and Stakeholder Relations: 204-945-4916.


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