Mentoring initiatives

Learn how to get involved in mentoring initiatives for indigenous youth.

Are you interested in mentoring the next generation of accountants? Do you have a student who could benefit from mentoring initiatives for indigenous youth? Consider participating in this joint effort of the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada) and the Martin Family Initiative - which includes the Right Honourable Paul Martin, former prime minister of Canada, as one of its founders.

Mentoring initiatives help:

  • increase high school graduation rates for indigenous students
  • encourage completion of a post-secondary education
  • provide support as careers are chosen
  • provide business connections at Canada’s seven largest accounting firms

This currently involves:

  • over 130 students 
  • at least 26 schools in six provinces (and growing)
  • mentoring partnerships with seven accounting firms

As an accounting firm, you will provide:

  • a coordinator to facilitate the program
  • a partner to champion it
  • a mentor for each student

Mentors and students connect six to eight times a year through Grades 10, 11, 12 and often beyond in mutually rewarding relationships. It is important for each mentor to take a genuine interest in the student and provide the student with learning and social opportunities as she or he moves ahead with studies and employment. A cautious and supportive approach is used and the mentorship process respects indigenous culture.

As a student supporter, you can expect:

  • the commitment to be taken seriously
  • the participation of students, their families, teachers, counsellors, principals and school board representatives
  • a determination of the comfort level, initiative and support that each student has and will receive once registered
  • the placement process to begin in Grade 9 so mentorship can start in Grade 10

For more information, please contact:

Kevin Dancey, FCPA, FCA, national coordinator

Doretta Thompson, project director

Lucie Santoro, director, Administration and Operations
Martin Family Initiative

Peter Ranson CPA, CA, regional coordinator for British Columbia
250 979 7181 

Randy Swanson, CAFM, regional coordinator for Western Canada

Moira Burke, FCPA, FCA, regional coordinator for Ontario

Mario Torre CPA, CA, regional coordinator for Quebec.
514 931 0841 ext 2501

Learn More

Learn more about the Martin Family Initiative.


"I have had the opportunity to meet many of the young men and women who have participated. They are exceptional people and we are proud of them and their successes. Like CPA Canada, the Martin Family Initiative is gratified to support them. With the ongoing involvement of accounting firms and other professional organizations, we hope to do more, for many indigenous youth across Canada."

— The Right Hon. Paul Martin

"Grant Thornton has given me lots of support. Personally, it feels good to offer what I can, whether it’s helping build a study plan, volunteering together or touring a university campus. Mentorship has been enjoyable, and rewarding."

— Dan Hrychuk, CPA, CA, senior accountant, Grant Thornton, Thunder Bay

"I see the potential for the students as absolutely astounding. It broadens their opportunities and their social capital. As First Nations people, we are all about relationships. There is genuine good will on all sides."

— Sherri Vansickle, native education counsellor, Grand Erie School Board

"This program has brought youthful, high-achieving and caring adults into our students’ circle of support. They’ve enhanced their community in a very comfortable way and indirectly have assisted the school and the students’ families. We all share a common goal, wanting to nurture our kids and give them the best future possible. Our students joined the mentorship program in part because they had demonstrated a good work ethic and some drive. Now I see their confidence increased. They’re better able to advocate for their futures."

— Sheri Ozbolt, guidance counsellor, St. Patrick’s High School, Thunder Bay 

"If you are an educator with a student who might benefit from this mentorship program, please feel free to call or email me. And if you are within an accounting firm and considering participating, I can say, quite plainly, you are in a position to change the lives of young people, and gain great personal rewards in doing it."

— Lloyd Posno, FCPA, FCA, national coordinator, Mentoring initiatives