26 September 2023

CANADA: Pilot plan to boost Indigenous PS officers

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The Government of the Canadian Territory of Yukon has introduced a pilot program that aims to boost the number of Indigenous Public Servants.

Director of Diversity and Inclusion with the Public Service Commission, Ash Kayseas (pictured) said it was time the Territory’s Public Service reflected the community at large, which in Yukon was almost a quarter Indigenous.

The Government is by far the largest employer in the Territory with 5,000 staff in a Territory population of just 35,000.

Mr Kayseas said the Federal census in 2016 showed 15 per cent of Government employees had an Indigenous background, yet 22 per cent of Yukoners who were of working age were Indigenous.

“There are substantial gaps in the system, and the program will be positive for both Indigenous candidates and the sector they serve,” Mr Kayseas said.

“We’re incorporating local knowledge into our workforce and cultural competency. There are a lot of benefits in terms of being really reflective of Yukon’s population,” he said.

Mr Kayseas said the program would ensure local First Nations people were given priority for all positions.

The program is to operate for 18 months and may run longer if deemed effective.

Mr Kayseas said the Public Service Commission was also looking into a mentorship program that would “identify high performers and encourage them to see management opportunities”.

Whitehorse, 3 November 2020

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