The Role of the Indigenous Employment Coordinator


…”there is a growing number of IBAs signed between industry and Aboriginal communities that include a clear target for a number of employment opportunities to be reserved for Aboriginal people.” [1]


An Impacts and Benefits Agreement (IBA) is frequently a feature of effective consultation between a project proponent and an Indigenous community. As the majority of resource development projects are on the traditional lands of Indigenous Peoples, a key consideration for community leaders when negotiating an IBA is ensuring there are employment opportunities for community members.

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Aboriginal Skills Training Projects Connect Communities with Opportunities

The Aboriginal Labour Market Community Navigators’ project, managed by the New Relationship Trust, was launched in January 2015. The three-year program, which will service nearly 50 First Nation communities, helps First Nation people in BC access skills training and related job opportunities.

Rochelle Saddleman, as Coordinator of the project, manages a team of seven Navigators located throughout BC. She is passionate about the project and took some time from her extremely hectic schedule to provide some insight to the project and some retention tips for employers.

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Rochelle Saddleman, Co-ordinator, Aboriginal Navigators Project

Rochelle Saddleman is dedicated to ensuring more First Nations members get the skills they need to succeed in a rapidly-changing work environment.

As co-ordinator of the new Aboriginal Labour Market Community Navigators project, Rochelle Saddleman manages a team of seven Navigators located throughout B.C. The Navigators are helping First Nations members get job-ready with the necessary skills to take advantage of new employment opportunities in BC’s resource sector.

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Engaging Aboriginal Youth

"Take a Hike is a full-time alternative education program that engages at-risk youth through a unique combination of adventure-based learning, academics, therapy, and community involvement." [1] Ken Farrish, BC Building Info, and Farrish Marketing Services, spent many years as a volunteer with the Take a Hike program and came away with some very useful insights on engaging youth, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal.

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Ken Farrish BC Building Info

Ken Farrish shared his valuable insight on Engaging with Aboriginal youth from his years with Take a Hike Program and Scouts Canada. Here's some background on Ken:

Ken provides project management, facilitation, training, and marketing services to the residential construction industry. He has recently created a website and free e-mail newsletter for providing technical information to the BC building industry. His goal is to provide resources for field personnel to find and share information that will help them provide better quality housing.

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Aboriginal Employee Retention Checklist

If you are experiencing a high turnover of Aboriginal hires, then your recruitment efforts are working but your retention efforts are failing. This could be due to a number of reasons. Here are some suggestions for your checklist:

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First Nation Recruitment: 8 Tips for Interviewing Candidates

When launching a First Nation recruitment strategy, it’s important to approach the interview process with empathy and cultural awareness. Structured encounters such as interviews in which a person of authority is asking questions of a First Nation person can be anxiety inducing for the interviewee. It can be as overwhelmingly uncomfortable for a young person new to the work environment as it is for an older First Nation person who may have suffered through residential school trauma and has strongly negative reactions to this type of encounter. Keep in mind that while the residential school program closed its last institution in 1996, the effects of residential school abuse are inter-generational and strongly influence how survivors and their children and grandchildren react to authority.

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Aboriginal Recruitment Outreach to Employment Agencies

In our work we receive a lot of questions about effective Aboriginal recruitment and retention strategies. A frequent recruitment predicament we hear about is “I want to hire Aboriginal workers but don’t know how to connect or where to go to advertise my job vacancies.” Bridging the gap between the company that is offering jobs and the Aboriginal individuals looking for employment is fundamental.

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11 Community Outreach tips for Aboriginal Recruitment

This is the second part in our series on best outreach practices for recruitment of Indigenous Peoples. In the first part Community Engagement for Aboriginal Recruitment we shared some tips and suggestions on some activities an organization should consider prior to initial contact with the community/ies. Due diligence activities such as researching the history, culture, issues, challenges and protocols of the community/ies with which you want to engage for recruitment will prepare you well and help you avoid embarrassing engagement mistakes. By taking the time to do this, you will be aware of cultural protocol for meetings, and you will be aware that the protocol for one community may be different from that of another.

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Community Engagement for Aboriginal Recruitment

Aboriginal Peoples are the fastest growing segment of the Canadian population and are an obvious target for employee recruitment. But, before you start your outreach to rural or urban Aboriginal communities take the time to learn about the communities you hope to recruit employees from. Time spent in advance of the initial contact is time well spent.

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