Indigenous employees' perceptions of the strategies used by mining employers to promote their recruitment, integration and retention.
Joanie Caron, Hugo Asselin, Jean-Michel Beaudoin.
Members of Indigenous communities want to improve their socio-economic status. While many are willing to participate in the mining industry, they face multiple barriers to employment. The purpose of this research was to study Indigenous employees’ perceptions of the strategies used by Canadian mining employers to promote their recruitment, integration and retention. Semi-structured interviews with 43 Anishnaabeg, Crees and Inuit from communities near mining projects in Quebec and Nunavut showed that to be effective, employability programs required close collaboration between governments, Indigenous communities and industry. Liaison, work readiness, site readiness, mentorship, career progression and language training programs were said to promote the recruitment, integration and retention of Indigenous workers. Facilities and activities valuing Indigenous cultures, a critical mass of Indigenous employees, and quality work relationships were also considered to favor Indigenous employment within mining companies. Cree and Inuit perceptions of the factors promoting their recruitment, integration and retention in the mining industry were similar to those of their employers, while Anishnaabeg rather considered that employers were not making enough efforts. The difference might be explained by the fact that Anishnaabeg have yet to conclude a land claim agreement which would put a legal incentive on companies to implement employability programs.