Indigenous handbook invites employers to “hurry up”
- EFN Staff | August 28, 2019
The City of Saskatoon and more than a dozen community partners have launched the Indigenous Engagement Employer Handbook. A resource for small and medium sized businesses, the handbook aims to provide guidance and practical options for employers seeking to improve their Indigenous workforce recruitment and retention outcomes.
They have branded the campaign of awareness #TRC92 Kîpa. The Call to Action #92 states that the corporate sector must engage in meaningful consultation and develop respectful relationships with Indigenous communities and businesses as well as providing education and opportunities to Indigenous people. Kîpa is the Cree word meaning “hurry up.” Kakwayahook, pronounced Caulk-A-way-Ah-Hoke, is the Michif word for hurry up.”
“Indigenous people are the fastest growing labour resource in our province. It only makes sense that we make the effort to engage in a meaningful way to ensure that we connect opportunities with Indigenous communities and people,” says Lisa Mooney, Nutrien Global Lead, Sustainability and Strategic Inclusion. “Nutrien has led the way in Indigenous engagement by going a step further in offering the Aboriginal Content Playbook. Tools like this, and the Indigenous Engagement Handbook offer resources and connections that remove barriers and support the successful outcomes of these valuable connections.”
The result of a series of workshops and consultations held in early 2019, the Handbook will serve as a valuable tool for companies looking to foster resiliency, enhance competitiveness and become an employer of choice for Saskatchewan’s Indigenous workforce.
“Businesses are at different stages in their Indigenous engagement process and will need distinct strategies and capacities to reach their goals,” says Gilles Dorval, Director of Indigenous Initiatives, City of Saskatoon. “While not every suggestion in this handbook will be relevant for every organization, we hope that many of the suggestions will resonate with most employers.”
As new ideas and technologies change the way people do business, Indigenous people are connecting with these changes and looking for opportunities to participate and lead.
Affinity Credit Union was one of the funders of the handbook and has been leading in Indigenous engagement in the financial sector for several years. Chantel Buffalo is an example of the result of a supportive work environment. “Starting with Affinity was a life-changing, amazing experience. They helped me try to find what I needed to do. I went in there with no experience, I didn’t even know what type of behaviour I needed to get through. The HR Advisor at the time asked, ‘what types of resources do you need to help you’,” says Chantel Buffalo, Affinity Credit Union. “She was open and honest with me and talked with me lots. It was very helpful to have a support system to get me through training.”
The handbook is made possible through the support of community investors Nutrien, Affinity Credit Union and the Saskatoon Community Foundation. Other partners include First Nation, Métis and non-Indigenous employers, employment, education and training institutions, business associations and community organizations. For more information and to download a digital copy of the Indigenous Engagement Employer Handbook, visit www.sacap.ca.