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The government of Yukon says a pilot program to hire more Indigenous employees hasn’t increased representation in the public service

The program is being extended to meet the representation goal of 22 percent.

Government of Yukon logo on the main administration building in downtown Whitehorse (photo by CHONfm/Dylan MacNeil).


The government of Yukon says they are extending their efforts to hire more Indigenous employees after attempts ended in a slight decrease in First Nations workers.


According to a press release, the government has hired 78 Indigenous employees as a result of a pilot program called Breaking Trail Together. The program started in the fall of 2020 and aims to create a Yukon public service that is inclusive and representative of Yukon First Nations.


The hiring preference program works in two tiers. First priority is given to applicants who are of Yukon First Nation ancestry and second priority is given to those of Canadian Indigenous ancestry. It all stems from legal obligations the government of Yukon has under First Nations Final Agreements to develop and implement a “Representative Public Service Plan.”


Minister of the Public Service Commission John Streicker says in a statement, “it is important that the Yukon government reflect the diversity of our territory and the people and communities they serve. The Indigenous hiring preference initiative is contributing to our goal to increase Indigenous representation in the public service and strengthen our Yukon government services and workforce.”


However, those 78 hires did not impact the overall number of Indigenous people represented in the public service. The government says when the program started, Indigenous representation was at 15 percent and as of March 31, 2021 that number hasn’t moved.


The goal is to increase representation of Indigenous people in the public service to 22 percent.


To try and meet that target, the program has been extended until 2029.


2021 federal census data shows that 22.1 percent of the Yukon’s population identifies as Indigenous.


Published April 5, 2022.

Written by: Dylan MacNeil

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