Finding common ground with the people around you— despite your differences— is a life skill that many people strive to master. Understanding barriers, whether they be stereotypes or financial hardships, being culturally competent, and learning how to work well with others are not only important in life, but are some of the key goals of The Indigenous Employment Coalition (IEC).
IEC Co-Chair, Winona Lefreniere describes the Coalition as “a collective of community partners [whose] mission is to bridge the gaps between employers and the aboriginal workforce. [It’s a way] to get employers today thinking differently and getting away from the ‘one size fits all’ recruiting practices.”
In the spring of 2013, Lindisfarne’s corporate video team traveled to the Grande Prairie area to get the inside scoop on the IEC. With numerous interviews and candid conversations, the team was enlightened and touched by this organization’s mission, its accomplishments and the effect it’s had on the lives of Alberta’s aboriginal workforce.
Senior Advisor, Aboriginal Initiatives & Human Services
“The solutions are not complicated. It’s not being scared of each other.”
FASD Early Intervention & Home Support, Grande Prairie Family Education Society
“If employers started looking at people for what they can offer instead of just looking at the exterior…they would be better off.”
Stan Johanson – Lead Hand, Aquatera
“When I first started working it was stereotypes galore…and it was even worse when my dad was working. Many people in aboriginal communities don’t have the experience. How do you get a job if you have no experience, and how do you get experience if you can’t get a job….It’s difficult.”
“Now there is a little bit of a shift towards acceptance.”
Human Resources Consultant, City of Grande Prairie
“My father is Cree and my mother is Ukrainian. I think it’s helped me to be more understanding of differences because I come from two very different cultures.”
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