8 Basic Barriers to Indigenous Employment

In this article, we look at the barriers - some tangible, some not - that maintain the status quo of exorbitant rates of unemployment amongst Indigenous people in Canada. 

There have been massive, comprehensive studies done on this issue for years yet sadly, the barriers identified decades ago are pretty much the same in 2019 - not a lot of traction on the ground in terms of change and improvement.

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Indigenous Elder Definition

In this article we provide the definition of Indigenous Elder and answer some specific questions people ask us in our Working Effectively with Indigenous Peoples® training. Questions such as: what makes someone an Elder, is being an Elder age specific, how should you address Indigenous Elders and more.

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Respecting the Cultural Diversity of Indigenous Peoples

“Anishinaabe, Métis, Coastal Salish, Cree, Cherokee. We have nothing much in common. We’re all aboriginal and we have the drum. That’s about it.” Thomas King writing about a drum circle in “The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America”

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8 things to look for in an Indigenous relations trainer

A quick search on Google for "Indigenous awareness trainer" resulted in 67,500,000 results. So, what criteria does one use when trying to choose someone to deliver Indigenous relations training to your team? Here are eight aspects that should figure prominently on your checklist.

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Weaving Reconciliation into Your Meetings

Land acknowledgements are increasingly present at the beginning of meetings in board rooms, lectures, classrooms, entertainment events etc. Land acknowledgements are also appearing on an impressive number of websites and in email signature blocks. I have been advocating for land acknowledgements for over 25 years as an Indigenous relations trainer so it is rewarding to know that corporations, organizations, and individuals are making the effort to research the history of the Peoples on whose land they are meeting or working in order to draft the acknowledgement. It’s an important contribution to reconciliation and decolonization. 

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The UN Declaration and Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples in BC

During the 2019 federal election, the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (the Declaration) was included in four (absent from the Conservative platform) of the five party platforms but did not garner the degree of discussion it warrants. Canada, as an official supporter, without qualification, of the Declaration carries a responsibility to honour that commitment.

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6 Suggestions for Effective Negotiations with Indigenous Communities

Effective negotiations with Indigenous communities require your team to have a deep understanding of the community with which you hope to work. This deep understanding of the community will be invaluable at the negotiation table because it will give insight into some issues that may be sticking points for the community. If you understand why the community has an issue, then it will help you find creative solutions that are amenable to both your organization and the community.  

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Indigenous Knowledge and the Question of Copyright

Indigenous Peoples around the world are increasingly concerned about protecting their Indigenous knowledge (IK) and traditional cultural expressions (TCEs) from exploitation and preserving it for future generations. In mine and many cases, Indigenous cultural legacies are often governed by ancient and complex cultural protocols. Laws to effectively protect cultural legacies require an innovative, expansive, respectful, and sensitive approach that addresses the wide variety of protocols, tangible and intangible cultural expressions, and intellectual property. 

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First Nation Election Facts

Prior to the introduction of the Indian Act in 1876, communities were self-governing and leadership was designated according to each community's tradition. Under the Indian Act, elections became cumbersome, people could be nominated without consent, getting ballots to off-reserve members is an inaccurate process, contact lists are often not up to date, there is no provision for a re-count if the tally is close, and no advance polling. One of the greatest frustrations is that elections must be held every two years which is not a very big window for First Nation governments to accomplish anything long term. Times have changed (thankfully) since 1876.

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What is Orange Shirt Day?

Orange shirt day is a movement that officially began in 2013 but in reality it began in 1973 when six year old Phyllis Webstad entered the St. Joseph Mission Residential School, outside of Williams Lake, BC. Young Phyllis was wearing a brand new orange shirt for her first day of school – new clothes being a rare and wonderful thing for a First Nation girl growing up in her grandmother’s care - but the Mission Oblates quickly stripped her of her new shirt and replaced it with the school’s institutional uniform.

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Indigenous Corporate Training Inc., provides information on this blog for free as a resource for those seeking information about Indigenous Peoples in Canada. Readers looking for more detailed information, or who have questions, can sign up for our fee-for-service training. Also, ICT encourages everyone who reads this information to use their best judgment given their own circumstances, vulnerabilities, and needs, and to contact a consulting or legal professional if you have more specific questions. Join the conversation over on our Linkedin page.