Inclusion Works 24 Logo (Horizontal)

Beyond the Checkmark: A New Era in Indigenous Inclusion
& Indigenous Works 25th Anniversary Celebration
Indigenous Inclusion Leadership since 1999

Vancouver Island Convention Centre
Nanaimo, British Columbia - October 8 to 10, 2024


Join us for a 3-day in-person management learning event with topics suited for leadership, talent acquisition managers, and Indigenous relations professionals. 


Tuesday, October 8

Setting the Stage

Day 1 of Inclusion Works ’24 will focus on a review of the current state of relations between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples, businesses, and communities. A focus of the event is Indigenous employment and building the management and organizational skills needed to develop and guide your strategies in a landscape which has grown in its complexity in recent years. Many new developments have taken place in recent years and a reminder of the significant legal, social, economic, and political changes will provide Inclusion Works delegates with a common framework to ‘move beyond the checkmark’. Learn what these changes have been about, and the trends and insights into the current landscape. Also, what new states of organizational readiness are needed to build more effective and authentic engagements, relationships, and partnerships in Canada today? What expectations and aspirations do First Nations, Métis, and Inuit currently hold about their goals for sovereignty, self-determination, nation-to nation relationships, and reconciliation? At this juncture, what should non-Indigenous organizations be doing to learn more about Indigenous people and their communities and to prepare themselves and their organization for a new era in Indigenous inclusion?

On Day 1, the opening plenary, the facilitation exercise, and the breakout sessions are all designed to fine-tune your understandings of the current landscape as well as to engage you in discussion and reflection about your organization’s state of readiness to develop exemplary Indigenous/non-Indigenous engagements and relationships. 

Inclusion Works ’24 is both a look back and a look forward at the world of Indigenous/non-Indigenous relations with a deep focus on human resources and organizational development. Now celebrating its 25th anniversary, Indigenous Works is pleased to be working with its Employer Partners and other guests for this learning event which will be sure to be memorable, instructive, and pivotal in your professional and organizational development. Indigenous Works’ senior management and leadership will be your hosts and guides in this important event as will a team of speakers and experts.

Among the experts you will meet at Inclusion Works ’24 will be Kelly Foxcroft-Poirier, a gifted graphic artist and storyteller who will be documenting your learning with a running illustration which will graphically depict the themes and insights of your three-day journey. At the end of Inclusion Works she will share her graphic artistry with you providing a unique record of your three-day learning and transformation.

Your emcee for Inclusion Works ’24 will be Victoria LaBillois who currently serves as the Vice-Chair of the National Indigenous Economic Development Board (NIEDB). Victoria comes from Listuguj, Quebec and has earned honours and awards as a small business entrepreneur. Over the years Victoria has developed her own national network of leaders and experts who have provided her with remarkable cross-country insights into the world of Indigenous/non-Indigenous relations. She will be sharing these insights throughout the event while keeping the program flowing with a wide cast of experts and speakers.

Bob Chartier will be your facilitator guide throughout the three days of your Inclusion Works learning journey. Bob has over 45 years experience as a facilitation expert. On each day of Inclusion Works Bob will be working with you to ensure that your participation in Inclusion Works and your 3-day learning journey translates into practices that you and your organization can use when you return to your workplace. Bob’s sessions and action agenda over the three days will be themed around Practices, Storytelling, and Promises.

8:30 - 9:30 am

Registration Opens / Coffee & Networking

9:30 - 10:30 am

Opening Prayer / Greetings / Welcome

10:30 - 11:15 am

Opening Plenary

Kendal Netmaker is one of Canada’s leading entrepreneurs and speakers. Growing up in poverty, raised by a hard-working single mother of 4, against the backdrop of a bleak economic landscape, Kendal rose above his circumstances and became one of Canada’s leading entrepreneurs. Author of ‘Driven to Succeed: From Poverty to Podium’, Kendel will share his personal journey which mirrors and weaves in the larger socio-economic narrative which he will be sharing and commenting on in his keynote address. His own past and his bright future has much in common with the past, present, and future state of Indigenous relations and reconciliation for his First Nation as well as for other Indigenous communities.

Keynote Speaker: Kendal Netmaker, Award Winning Entrepreneur and Author, and member of the Sweetgrass First Nation, SK

11:15 am - 12:45 pm

The Practice - Your Indigenous Inclusion Management Scorecard Exercise: Getting Ready to go Beyond the Checkmark

Facilitated Exercise

Participants will be introduced to Your Indigenous Inclusion Management Scorecard Exercise: Getting Ready to go Beyond the Checkmark and will be invited to share their own reflections on the changes they have seen in recent years in the evolving landscape of Indigenous/non-Indigenous relations. Bob will also draw from the audience examples of tools and practices that your peers have been using to go beyond the checkmark.

Facilitator: Bob Chartier

12:45 - 1:45 pm


2:00 pm – 3:30 pm

Concurrent Sessions - Getting Ready to Go Beyond the Checkmark

Choose from three sessions to explore different aspects of management and organizational readiness to position your organization for a new era in Indigenous inclusion. Session 1 looks at the standards developed by human resource professionals and their efforts to grow the management and organizational practices you will need as you deepen your inclusion efforts. Session 2 does a deeper look at Indigenous legal victories and how they have been profoundly shaping today’s Indigenous relations. Session 3 looks at how organizations are seeking to decolonize and grow more bridges with Indigenous communities. To do so is to undertake an organizational journey that is transformative and enabling. Choose one or more sessions depending on how many from your organization are attending Inclusion Works. As you can only attend one session, you will have the benefit of the others when you receive the post-event learning program summary.


Session 1

Your Indigenous Inclusion Competitive Edge: Expanding Indigenous Inclusion Professional Competencies

In the past few years, the CPHR Associations have adopted increasingly more rigorous standards with a new framework that builds the professional competencies of human resource professionals. These new standards were introduced in recognition of the increasingly complex needs of today’s employers that need to build diverse and equitable workplaces, empower, and engage employees, grow skills and learning and leverage innovation.

Indigenous Works developed a framework for the IW Employer of Choice program based on the Inclusion Continuum, the seven-stage road map to becoming an employer of choice. CPHR and IW have been examining the professional needs of today’s HR specialists (including HR, DEI, ESG) and the specialized competencies focused on Indigenous employment, inclusion, and human resources.  

This session will focus on Indigenous-specific human resource competency framework, systems, and new approaches.

Moderator: Craig Hall, Chief Operating Officer, Indigenous Works

Speakers: Anthony Ariganello, President and Chief Executive Officer, CPHR BC&YK and CPHR Canada

Anne Marie Pham, MPA, Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion

Session 2

Taking Indigenous Relations, Reconciliation, and Inclusion to the Next Level: Strategies for Change

Many large organizations have dedicated Indigenous Relations specialists who are struggling with the rapid pace of change they are seeing in the Indigenous landscape.  The impacts of judicial wins have achieved their tipping points and Indigenous organizations continue to fight new and innovative cases based on rights and self-determination. Indigenous organizations are uniting and seeking equity positions in major projects. Expectations are increasing on the part of Indigenous people and governments. In this changing environment non-Indigenous settler organizations need new approaches based on co-design and a better sense of what Indigenous communities are wanting to achieve for the long term.

At what point are organizations evolving their approach to Indigenous relations? What are the trigger points for change? How can Indigenous relations be aligned with our Indigenous engagement and employment strategies?

Moderator: Stephen Lindley, Principal, Stephen Lindley Consulting, and Board Co-Chair, Indigenous Works

Speakers: Shaun Soonias, Director, Indigenous Relations, Farm Credit Canada and Board Member, Indigenous Works

Dana Martin, Director, Indigenous Financial Services, Scotiabank


Session 3

Decolonizing and Indigenizing Post-Secondary Institutions

Indigenous youth need to be encouraged to attain post-secondary credentials to qualify for the jobs in demand and jobs of the future. Unfortunately, Indigenous enrollment and graduation rates have not yet reached parity with Canada’s non-Indigenous rates of attainment. Furthermore, Indigenous students report that their experiences with their post-secondary programs and attendance comes up short. Curricula are still largely western-oriented and Indigenous students continue to face barriers caused by inequities in post-secondary systems. Some post-secondary institutions have plans in place to decolonize and Indigenize all aspects of their curricula, their enrollment and attraction strategies, Indigenous student support systems, and Indigenous staff hiring ratios, to name just a few aspects of some of the comprehensive institutional overhauls being sought.

Learn how some post-secondary leaders are struggling to prepare their institutions for the changes that are needed and why these changes are so important for Indigenous people and for Canada.

Moderator: François Bastien, PhD, Assistant Professor, Academic Director – MBA Advancing Reconciliation, Gustavson School of Business, University of Victoria

Speakers: Florence Glandfield, PhD, MEd, BEd, BSc, Vice-Provost (Indigenous Programming & Research), Provost & Vice-President Academic, University of Alberta

Jacqueline Ottmann, President, First Nations University of Canada

Kory Wilson, Executive Director, Indigenous Initiatives and Partnerships, British Columbia Institute of Technology (invited)

6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Inclusion Festival

The number one inclusion festival in Canada unites our spirit and common mission through the strength of you – the people.  Amazing culinary delights, artists and networking.  Join us for games and prizes!


Wednesday, October 9


Throughout the day, we invite you to watch celebrated graphic artist and storyteller Kelly Foxcroft-Poirier as she documents the second day of Inclusion Works ’24 capturing the themes and ideas of the dialogues, insights and facilitated sessions which highlight the day.

7:15 am - 3:00 pm


7:45 am - 9:00 am

Networking Breakfast Indigenous Identity Fraud/Confirmation

Speaker: Candice Metallic, Founder and Principal, Metallic Law, Barristers & Solicitors and IW Board Member

9:00 - 9:30 am

Welcome / Recap on Day 1 and Looking at the Day Ahead

Emcee: Victoria LaBillois, Entrepreneur, Recipient of the 2024 Indspire Award in the Business and Commerce category, and Vice-Chair of the National Indigenous Economic Development Board


Reflections on 25 years in Indigenous Relations, Human Resources and Organizational Development

Speaker: Kelly J. Lendsay, President and Chief Executive Officer, Indigenous Works

9:30 am - 10:30 am

Facilitated Plenary Session – Strategies to Move Beyond the Checkmark – Storytelling and Analysis

In Day 1 of Inclusion Works ’24 the focus was on building your knowledge about the impacts of Indigenous socio-economic, political,

and legal developments in recent years and how they are shaping a new era of Indigenous inclusion. Non-Indigenous organizations can no longer adopt a ‘checkbox approach’. Much deeper knowledge and strategies are needed to be effective and successful in today’s Indigenous/non-Indigenous engagements and relations. This second day builds on the first day with a facilitation exercise designed to hear your stories about what your organization is doing to get ahead of the curve. What has helped your organization most to adapt to the new developments that are shaping today’s Indigenous/non-Indigenous relations? We will be asking for your stories and your reflections on how well your management and organization has adapted to the new era of Indigenous inclusion. Afterwards, we will play back what we heard and offer a summary analysis of the underlying points and messages of your stories and reflections. This information will feed into Day 3 of the event which brings Inclusion Works to a close with the promise of new tools and learning that you can use when you return to your workplace.

Facilitator: Bob Chartier

10:30 am - 11:00 am

Wellness Break

11:00 am - 12:30 pm

Concurrent Sessions - Organizational Strategies to Move Beyond the Checkmark

Day two of Inclusion Works features two sets of three concurrent sessions, scheduled in the morning and afternoon. The subject matters of each of the six sessions have been carefully selected to grow your management and organizational expertise in specific learning themes and topics which are relevant to your organization’s strategies in a new era of Indigenous inclusion.


Session 4

Moving Past the Fear Factor to Mobilize “Reconcili-action”

“Reconciliation is about establishing and maintaining a mutually respectful relationship between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples in this country. For that to happen, there must be awareness of the past, acknowledgement of the harm that has been inflicted, atonement for the causes and action to change behaviour.” The Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission

So, you have developed a mutually respectful relationship – what is next? Management leaders are seeking how best to design, develop and mobilize meaningful reconciliation plans that are not perceived as symbolic or cosmetic approaches and actions.   Organizations tell us there is a fear factor in some cases and in others it’s a case of moving into the unknown. And yet others want to know how to monitor and measure their reconciliation efforts.

Employer Partners will share their approaches and provide you with some insights and ideas for your organization.

Moderator: representative, BC Hydro (tbc)

Speakers: Kris Clemens, Senior Specialist - Project Coordinator, Indigenous Strategy, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC)

Rob Chiarello, Senior Vice President, People & Culture, Pacific Blue Cross

Session 5

Putting the “I” Indigenous into ESG and DEI

There is growing importance on the role of Human Resource (HR) and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) professionals to advance organizational sustainability and DEI strategies. At the same time there is increasingly more attention on strategies for Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) and their role to support sustainable economies, business practices, and socially responsible investment. 

In an Indigenous Works partnership with the Canadian Center for Diversity and Inclusion, we discovered that more than 80% of HR/DEI professionals have not integrated the “I” for Indigenous into their DEI or ESG strategies.  This is also true of many of the member organizations that belong to Canadian Professional Human Resource Associations.

In this management learning session, we will explore how your organization can better address the Indigenous domain in your DEI/HR strategy.  How does it align with Truth and Reconciliation? How could it align with ESG?  Where and how do you address the Indigenous component across your enterprise-wide departments? What are the implications from the United Declarations on the Rights of Indigenous People?

This session will help you begin to think about how you can strategically incorporate and address the “I” for Indigenous in your DEI/HR strategies.

Moderator: Terri Dougall, Senior Director ESG and Industrial Development, Calian Group Ltd. and Board Member, Indigenous Works

Speakers: James Hemsworth, Manager Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, Air Canada

Morgan McDonald, Director, Corporate Sustainability, Ledcor Industries Inc.

Brendan Seale, Sustainability, Purpose & ESG, Definity Financial Corporation

Session 6

New Advances in Informatics, Analytics, Measurement and Reporting

As organizations build deeper and more rigorous strategies for their Indigenous/ non-Indigenous relations, the issues of tracking and reporting both internally and externally become that much more important. Tracking year over year changes and measuring progress against desired outcomes starts with the right metrics and key performance indicators. Who within your organization is responsible and accountable?

Join these experts who will offer important insights into what organizations should be measuring and tracking. Too often organizations lack the ability to separate out Indigenous responses to workplace engagement or to other kinds of measures that are looking for employee and management alignment on organizational mission and values. At the heart of these matters you want to ensure that your organization shows good teamwork and collaboration.

Our session six experts will talk about what is happening in the area of organizational measurement and performance as it relates to Indigenous/non-Indigenous engagements and relationship building. Your ability to measure what your organization is doing to grow its reconciliation footprint and to assess the impacts of those strategies and activities is important from a brand and policy perspective. Your organization’s ability to sustain its good work is dependent on being able to motivate your employees and to explain to your partners and stakeholders that what you are doing is having significant socio-economic impacts. Good reporting and good data go hand in hand.

Speakers: Rob Malatest, Executive Vice President of Research, Malatest & Associates Ltd (invited)

Michael Mihalicz, Assistant Professor, Entrepreneurship & Strategy, and Indigenous Advisor, Office of the Dean, Ted Rogers School of Management, Toronto Metropolitan University

12:30 pm - 2:30 pm

Luncheon and IW 25th Anniversary Celebration: Recognizing our Board, Champions and LC Members as Challengers and Champions

Honoring the alumni - Feature video vignettes from various Champions and Directors.


Keynote Speaker: Alyssa Wapanatâhk, Member of the Bigstone Cree First Nation and Director, Producer, Filmmaker, and Actor in recent films Peter Pan & Wendy (2023), Bones of Crows (2022) and Napes Kasêkipatwât - The Boy & The Braid (2019).

Alyssa is a rising star in an industry which has not always been inclusive and respectful of Indigenous cultures. In the past, the movie industry has been responsible for inventing or perpetuating stereotypes which have sometimes been harmful to Indigenous peoples and cultures. Working in the industry today there are new sensibilities and socio-political realities that are grounding movie makers to ensure that Indigenous people are presented in more authentic ways. Alyssa will talk about her experience in the movie industry as an actor and director and what it means to be an Indigenous film artist today. From this lens she will offer her perspectives on how changes in her industry are mirroring broader socio-political changes in society which have a bearing on the ways that Indigenous and non-Indigenous people and organizations are engaging and building relationships with one another.

2:45 pm - 4:15 pm

Concurrent Sessions - Moving Beyond the Checkmark with Indigenous Partnerships, Alliances and Strategy


Session 7

The Changing Landscape: The Intersection of the National Indigenous Economic Development Strategy and Workplace Inclusion

The National Indigenous Economic Strategy released in 2022 is a blueprint for inclusion of Indigenous Peoples in the Canadian economy. This is the first time that an Indigenous-led strategy has been designed, built and affirmed by Indigenous leaders and organizations across Canada providing a roadmap with 107 Calls to Prosperity to advance economic reconciliation. 

In this session you will learn about the four strategic pathways: People, Land, Infrastructure, and Finance that collectively work together to drive positive change, address long-standing inequities, and achieve inclusive growth for and with Indigenous communities. We will showcase the 107 Calls to Prosperity and highlight the People Pillar.  Delegates will be invited to share how their organizations are aligning their efforts with the calls to prosperity.  Indigenous-led and driven, the NIES guides governments, industry and institutions in their reconciliation work and collaboration in rebuilding Indigenous economies.

Moderator: Kelly J. Lendsay, President and Chief Executive Officer, Indigenous Works

Speakers: Victoria LaBillois, Entrepreneur, Recipient of the 2024 Indspire Award in the Business and Commerce category, and Vice-Chair of the National Indigenous Economic Development Board

Cory McDougall, Chief Operating Officer, National Aboriginal Capital Corporation Association

Sandra Sutter, Indigenous Partnerships Manager, PTW Energy Services, and Board Member of the National Indigenous Economic Development Board

Session 8

Cohort and Community-Based Hiring Strategies / Non-Pan Indigenous Approach

Non-Indigenous employers are encouraged to learn more about Indigenous communities and grow stronger relationships and partnerships with them. Employers are more likely to hire from First Nations, Métis, and Inuit communities if they understand the kinds of employment opportunities to which youth and the unemployed aspire. Job fit and matching employers’ work cultures are more likely to be achieved because of stronger employment partnerships.

Working relationships with local Indigenous employment organizations and community human resource leads is also crucial to identifying and engaging candidates. Strategies which communities and employers co-design and build together have a much better chance of succeeding because they can address communities’ and candidates’ needs and goals in more specific ways.

Some very deep work is required by employers to develop community -based employment partnerships and grow cohort-based hiring strategies which seek to hire several recruits at once. In these cohort arrangements candidates have built-in peer supports which can increase retention and lead to more long-lasting job and career opportunities.

Today, employers need to adopt more creative employment strategies and longer lead time is needed to develop the relationships and trust needed to attract and hire an Indigenous workforce. Strategies for rural and remote communities will not be implemented in quite the same way as for urban communities as there are different considerations for these different audiences.

What measures have employers put into place to implement cohort and community-based hiring strategies and how have these strategies brought stronger results. Join this discussion and share your perspectives. These strategies both reflect employers’ goals to ‘go beyond the checkmark’.

Session 9

Lessons from the Banking and Finance Sector - Sourcing Indigenous Talent in Today’s Labour Market

In 2019, the Canadian Human Rights Commission initiated a horizontal audit of the banking and financial sector completing research and a comprehensive systems review of 10 companies in that sector. After years of effort, the banking and financial sectors’ Indigenous employment representation had plateaued. With a labour market availability in the 3.5% range and sector representation less than that, the banking and financial sector will need to hire 3500 Indigenous people just to meet the benchmarks set by the federal government’s Employment Equity goals.

In 2021-22, Indigenous Works led a series of webinar roundtables to talk with companies in this sector about the solutions to their continued low Indigenous representation. The results of those discussions are presented at Inclusion Works.

Working with a group of partners, Indigenous Works is launching a new Indigenous talent digital ecosystem and platform which has many features that will connect jobs with candidates but also grow the talent pool. The platform has a range of functionality which will be unsurpassed promising a new range of solutions to the complex issues which are impeding Indigenous employment in a sector which is critical to the socio-economic growth of Indigenous peoples and their communities. Join us for a unique presentation and an innovative platform for the banking and financial sector and also hear how this solution has many new applications for other sectors of the economy which are also seeking Indigenous employment increases and opportunities.


President’s and Co-Chairs’ Reception (by invitation only)

5:00 onwards

Free evening for participants to explore and enjoy Nanaimo on their own.



Thursday, October 10


Again today, we invite you to watch celebrated graphic artist and storyteller Kelly Foxcroft-Poirier as she documents the last day of Inclusion Works ’24 capturing the themes and ideas of the dialogues, insights and facilitated sessions which highlight the day. Don’t miss Kelly at lunchtime when she will present her artwork and take participants through a summary of IW24.

7:45 - 10:00 am


7:45 - 8:45 am

Networking Breakfast

8:45 - 9:00am

A Review of the last 2 days and Setting the Stage for Day 3

Emcee: Victoria LaBillois, Entrepreneur, Recipient of the 2024 Indspire Award in the Business and Commerce category, and Vice-Chair of the National Indigenous Economic Development Board

9:00 am – 10:00 am

Plenary - Deputy Ministers Panel Discussion
Panelists: Tom McCarthy, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, Government of British Columbia (invited)
Paul Thompson, Deputy Minister, Employment and Social Development Canada (invited)

Gina Wilson, Deputy Minister, Indigenous Services Canada (invited)

10:00 am - 11:30 am

Concurrent Sessions - Beyond the Checkmark Roundtable Conversations

Indigenous Career Professionals and Employers: Examining Your Workplace Inclusion Challenges and Pain Points - “What is Working and What is Not”


Session 10

Remote Work… Attracting and Retaining Employees

When Covid hit, employers were forced to experiment with new workplace strategies and systems for remote work. These strategies worked surprisingly well in many ways, and it created an appetite among workers for different approaches to workplace design and work arrangements. Among the Indigenous workforce there are not many studies that have looked at whether remote work arrangements were received favourably and whether expectations have changed as the ‘new normal’ has continued to reset workplaces today. In some cases, remote work has been keenly adopted by Indigenous workers while for others productivity and engagement have dropped due to a lack of connection to the workplace, lack of meaningful communications, and a seeming erosion of relationships with one’s immediate supervisor and senior management/ leadership.

Some employers have gone back to how workplace arrangements were pre-covid while others continue to offer flexible work arrangements. Given the media attention about office vacancies, it may be assumed that remote work arrangements are still in use and perhaps even on the rise as employers and employees continue their adjustments.

Some organizations promote remote work arrangements to Indigenous communities for several reasons. Indigenous people living in remote communities do not want to be uprooted from their communities. Some living in remote or rural communities do not have the resources or supports needed to make a transition to an office or work site if they are in larger centres. Such moves can interfere with Indigenous employment.

Where does your organization fit on the issue of remote office arrangements? Is the ability to work remotely promoted as part of your organization’s workplace value proposition? Have you found that Indigenous candidates and employees respond differently to remote working arrangements and your workplace value proposition? It is these kinds of considerations which employers today are contemplating as they move beyond a checking the box approach to Indigenous workplace design.


Session 11

Working with Unions to Advance Indigenous Inclusion

Acknowledging Canada’s colonial history and its ongoing impacts is the first step to having concrete forward movement towards inclusion. Unions play a vital role in ensuring that all workers, have equal opportunities and fairness in the workplace. Indigenous workers want and deserve the same things as all workers: safe work, decent wages and to be treated with dignity and respect.

This session will better equip you to understand how collective bargaining is a powerful tool for change, how voice and representation can support an inclusive workplace, and how a culturally sensitive approach can make people feel safe and welcomed, and challenges for consideration.

Collective power and bargaining:

• Negotiating better working conditions: Unions can collectively bargain for improved wages, benefits, and safety standards, directly benefiting Indigenous workers and addressing historical disparities.

• Fighting discrimination: Unions have legal tools and experience to challenge discriminatory practices faced by Indigenous workers, ensuring equal treatment and opportunity.

• Advocating for policy changes: Unions can lobby for policies that support Indigenous workers, such as land rights, resource sharing, and access to training and education.

Voice and representation:

• Amplifying Indigenous voices: Unions provide a platform for Indigenous workers to raise concerns, participate in decision-making, and influence workplace policies.

• Building solidarity and support: Unions foster a sense of community and collective action, empowering Indigenous workers to advocate for themselves and others.

• Leadership opportunities: Unions can encourage and support Indigenous members to take on leadership roles, ensuring their perspectives are represented at all levels.

Culturally sensitive approach:

• Understanding specific needs: Unions can develop culturally sensitive strategies to engage with Indigenous communities and address their unique challenges.

• Promoting cultural respect: Unions can foster a work environment that respects Indigenous traditions, languages, and cultural practices.

• Building trust and long-term partnerships: Collaboration with Indigenous communities is crucial for developing effective and sustainable solutions.

Challenges and considerations:

• Historical mistrust: There is a history of tension and mistrust between some Indigenous communities and unions. Building trust requires genuine engagement and addressing past wrongs.

• Internal diversity: Indigenous communities are diverse, so ensuring representative leadership and addressing their varying needs is crucial.

• External factors: Systemic barriers like racism and discrimination need to be tackled alongside union efforts for lasting change.

Overall, working with unions can be a powerful tool for advancing Indigenous inclusion, but it requires commitment, cultural sensitivity, and addressing biases. The key is building meaningful partnerships and working together to achieve equitable workplaces for all.

Speakers: Candice Pete, Director, kihci-okâwîmâw askiy Knowledge Centre, University of Saskatchewan

Jennifer Cooper-Stephenson, Head, Labour Relations, BC Hydro

Session 12

Growing the Talent Pipeline

In today’s labour market Indigenous people have increased options to identify and follow the career choices of their own choosing. Growing numbers of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit with work experience and credentials are quickly snapped up by employers. Indigenous people also have more opportunities to join the growing number of Indigenous- owned and operated organizations whether in the Indigenous government, Indigenous not for profit, or for profits sectors.

Employers with longer term horizons and labour force needs would benefit by putting into place strategies which further grow the Indigenous talent pool and the talent pipeline. There are many considerations.

Employers that make these long-term investments will not realize immediate benefits since strategies may need to adopt a ten-year horizon to develop much longer-term career awareness, skills, and learning among Indigenous people who are attending primary and secondary schools. In some sectors of employment lack of Indigenous presence is attributable to lack of preparation and academic pursuits which open new opportunities. The few numbers of Indigenous people who have pursued or had opportunities for STEM training is a chief reason we see such a lack of participation in the IT sector.

Join the discussion as speakers tease apart the many factors which could contribute to increases in the Indigenous talent pool and pipeline. What can employers do on their own and collectively? How could large scale initiatives be organized and implemented which grow and expand the future make-up of the Indigenous labour force? Deeper longer-term strategies are needed which address current labour market dilemmas.

Moderator: representative tbc, British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (BCI)

Speakers: John DeGiacomo, Executive Director, Anishinabek Employment & Training Services (invited)

11:30 am – 12:30 am



Facilitated Plenary Session - The Promise

Days 1 and 2 of Inclusion Works has advanced discussion, reflection and exchange about the many new developments that have taken place in recent years and a new era of inclusion now defines the landscape of Indigenous/non-Indigenous relations. New legal, social, economic, and political realities have defined this landscape, and organizations now need to approach these relationships in more robust ways. A new framework is needed which is guided by principles such as reciprocity with non-Indigenous organizations taking more time to learn about Indigenous cultures, peoples, and communities and by Indigenous people forging new opportunities for social, economic, and political development and participating more fully in the Canadian economy. Inclusion Works provided delegates with a common framework to ‘move beyond the checkmark’ and has explored new states of organizational readiness and the newest strategies to move beyond a checkmark approach and to build are needed to build more effective and authentic engagements, relationships, and partnerships. The true success of these gatherings is always in the follow through. What we take home and how we apply new learning and strategies are the truest measure of an event. What are the take-aways, promising practices, tools and strategies that you will take back to your organizations to ensure that you can/have “Moved Beyond the Checkmark?” In this third and last facilitated session, Bob Chartier will lead an exercise to document your learning insights from Inclusion Works by revisiting the Indigenous Inclusion Management Scorecard which was introduced on Day 1 of the event. Bob will also lead participants in a unique exercise pulling together what was learned, what you can apply in your workplace, and how. The promise of stronger and more authentic Indigenous/ non-Indigenous engagements and relationships is presented for a new era in Indigenous inclusion.

Facilitator: Bob Chartier

12:30 pm - 2:00 pm

Lunch - Graphic Art Presentation

Graphic artist Kelly Foxcroft Poirier will make closing comments and present the storyboards she has created which illustrate and document the discussions and themes of Inclusion Works ’24. Afterwards the audience will be invited to sign the storyboards as a souvenir of their attendance. A pdf digitized version of the storyboards will be sent to participants as part of their follow-up package from the event.

Presenter/Artist: Kelly Foxcroft-Poirier

2:00 pm - 2:30 pm

Closing Remarks

Reflections on Inclusion Works ’24 and a thank you to all participants, team members, and sponsors. Key takeaways and final reflections on a very special event which also commemorates Indigenous Works’ 25th Anniversary.

Kelly Lendsay, President and Chief Executive Officer, Indigenous Works

2:30 pm

Closing Prayer