With an increasingly educated Indigenous population joining the corporate world, it’s never been more important that companies engage and attract a variety of Indigenous talent into their organizations.

According to the National Household Survey, in 2011, 1.4 million people claimed an Aboriginal identity, representing 4.3 percent of the total Canadian population — making it the fastest-growing demographic in the country. Education rates among this group are increasing as governments put more focus on education in Indigenous communities.

But how can organizations effectively start conversations with Indigenous peoples across the country? The dialogue really begins when we sit down and realize our similarities are stronger than our differences.

With this idea, we can learn from each other and have more representation of Indigenous talent in all sectors.

Hire for the future

Most companies spend a considerable amount of resources researching millennials, Gen-Xers, and Gen-Y to tap into what motivates these groups and determine how to engage with them as a future employer of choice. But forward-thinking organizations are also grasping the true potential of Canada’s Indigenous communities and mining that talent sooner, rather than later.

Employers should ask themselves if they have a workforce that represents the communities their organization serves. Is there a recruitment strategy currently in place to tap into markets that are underrepresented in the organization? Are hiring managers knowledgeable about the Indigenous population in Canada in general?

If the answer to either of these questions is no, recruiters and talent managers should consider the opportunity to truly gain a diversity of talent, both for today and for the future, by hiring from Aboriginal communities. It’s time to position your organization as an employer of choice for Indigenous talent — can you do more?


Krystal Abotossaway is the President of the Aboriginal Professional Association of Canada and Recruitment Leader for Indigenous Talent at TD Bank.