Actions and Commitments

Call to Action # 57: Training for Public Servants (57)

Yukon to extend Indigenous Hiring Preference policy until 2029

April 5, 2022

Whitehorse Daily Star – The Yukon government will be extending its Indigenous hiring preference policy until 2029.

In a news release issued Monday, the government stated it will continue its efforts to increase representation of Indigenous employees in the public service. “The first 15 months of the pilot resulted in 78 successful Indigenous candidates across a total of 632 competitions. 

This includes new employees and existing employees moving to a new position within the Yukon government.”

The pilot began on Oct. 1, 2020. It was part of Breaking Trail Together, a 10-year strategic plan to create a Yukon public service that is inclusive and representative of First Nations people.

“Overall, this initiative has demonstrated the value of having a hiring preference for Indigenous candidates but it has not increased Indigenous representation in the Yukon government to the extent that was hoped for,” the statement said “By extending the program, the Government of Yukon hopes to meet the program goal of increasing Indigenous representation in the public service to 22 per cent.”

John Streicker, the minister responsible for the Public Service Commission, said “it is important that the Yukon government reflect the diversity of our territory and the people and communities they serve.

Preliminary findings for the project are that:

  • Indigenous representation did not change significantly during the 18-month period;
  • even with the introduction of the project, overall, the Yukon government experienced a slight decrease in Indigenous employees;
  • there was no negative impact on broader recruitment, as there was no decrease in applicants; and
  • Indigenous representation in the government was 15 per cent on Oct. 1, 2020 and remains the same as of March 31, 2021.

The Yukon Chamber of Commerce, commenting through executive director Denny Kobayahsi, said Tuesday it “supports the extension of the Indigenous preferred hiring policy and other initiatives like the Yukon First Nations Procurement Policy that serve to increase the representation of Yukon Indigenous workers and businesses in the Yukon economy.

“Many Yukon private sector businesses proactively recruit and retain Indigenous workers that supports a more diverse and capable local workforce,” Kobayahsi added. “In addition to initiatives like the preferred hiring policy, the government’s investment in workforce development is critically important to ensure that the Yukon maximizes opportunities to hire, train and support Yukoners.”