Winnipeg’s TRC92: Youth Employment: Co-creating Innovative Strategies for Indigenous Employment

Submitted by Alison Homer on May 23, 2018 - 2:52am

The Winnipeg Poverty Reduction Council (WPRC) provides backbone support to TRC92: Youth Employment, by bringing sectors together in a Collective Impact effort, and by engaging in on-going research, evaluation and consultation.  

TRC92: Youth Employment is guided by the 92nd Call to Action in the 2015 Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report which calls upon the corporate sector to:

“...ensure that Aboriginal peoples have equitable access to jobs, training, and education opportunities in the corporate sector and....provide education for management and staff on the history of Aboriginal peoples, including the history and legacy of residential schools,  the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Treaties and Aboriginal rights, Indigenous law, and Aboriginal-Crown relations... (and conduct) skills-based training in intercultural competency, conflict resolution, human rights, and anti-racism.”

TRC92: Youth Employment incorporates three strategies:

  1. Build awareness among private-sector employers about Indigenous history and legacy in relation to Indigenous youth employment;
  2. Support workplace education about Indigenous history, and intercultural safety and anti-racism; and,
  3. Facilitate new connections for work experience and employment by linking employers and youth from community-based training partners.

Delivery of this work is realized through partnerships with ten community training organizations and twelve private sector employers, who form an Employer Consortium. The Employer Consortium is led by Dave Angus, former CEO of the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce and current President of Johnston Group.

Angus describes the aim of the Employer Consortium as “engaging in a journey toward truth and reconciliation, incorporating business-to-business learning.” The group works with the Indigenous community and other partners to co-create innovative strategies that can be tested and shared with others to work toward large-scale employment of Indigenous people in Winnipeg.

The Consortium meets regularly to plan and learn together, often bringing in guests who share learning on topics related to Indigenous youth employment. The consortium builds relationships with community trainers, engages in learning opportunities about Indigenous history, and plans to deliver training to their existing workforces.

Recognizing that employer commitment via top leadership is essential to instil commitment throughout the workforce, in March 2018 Human Resource leads of the Employer Consortium were joined by their CEOs and senior leaders for a morning session at the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR) with Kevin Lamoureux, National Education Lead at the NCTR.

“I left the session feeling quite emotional – a raw reminder of my privilege and as (Kevin) stated, deep anger of broken promises. Having two Indigenous sisters I have witnessed the impact of the residential schools and the Indian Act and being a mother and grandmother, I cannot fathom the scars that have been created for 7 generations as a result of our ancestors. But I also left hopeful for the future, that the time is now and that we all need to step up and make it our business to set the future right and repair this partnership.  I commit to spending reflective time considering the TRC call to action and what next steps might look like for me personally and for Birchwood.” 

-MaryAnn Kempe, Chief Human Resources Officer, Birchwood Automotive

Implementation of TRC92: Youth Employment is a step-by-step learning journey. In coming months, the WPRC will work with the Employer Consortium to plan for workforce training, strengthen relationships with community partners and youth, and explore strategies to engage youth in their workplaces.

The WPRC monitors progress, seeks out resources, ensures on-going communication and consults regularly to support the implementation of TRC92: Youth Employment. 

Cities Innovating to Reduce Poverty

The Winnipeg Poverty Reduction Council (WPRC) is one of over 60 Vibrant Communities Canada - Cities Reducing Poverty members working locally and collaboratively to reduce poverty in their communities across Canada. Anyone interested in learning more about innovative place-based strategies to end poverty is welcome to join Vibrant Communities for this year's western regional poverty reduction summit - Cities Innovating to Reduce Poverty, Vancouver B.C., June 12-13, 2018.

Learn more register here: http://events.tamarackcommunity.ca/crp-west. 

An eastern regional summit will also be held in the fall 2018. Make sure you stay up-to-date with event announcements by signing up for Tamarack Institute's monthly event listing.

 

Authored by: Erika Wiebe, Winnipeg Poverty Reduction Council; and Alison Homer, Tamarack Institute
[Photo: The Bentwood Box - Which accompanied the Truth and Reconciliation Commission across Canada and is on display at the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, based in Winnipeg]


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