Indigenous initiatives in the BC Public Service

Last updated: September 2, 2021

Strengthening the representation and inclusion of Indigenous employees in the BC Public Service is important to 'Where We All Belong,' our diversity and inclusion strategy. As representatives of the Crown, B.C. government employees have a responsibility to advance principles of reconciliation in a way that honours and respects the unique constitutional and legal status of First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples. 

Reconciliation is everybody’s responsibility and all ministries have been mandated to remain focused on creating opportunities for Indigenous peoples to be full partners in B.C.’s economy and providing a clear and sustainable path for everyone to work toward lasting and meaningful reconciliation. There are several corporate-wide initiatives led by the BC Public Service Agency (PSA) that support this mandate.

For more information, please visit our homepage, the Diversity & Inclusion Resource Centre, which includes information about the Diversity & Inclusion Strategy, AccessibilityLearning and resources, Governance and Community.

On this page

Indigenous Leadership and Mentorship Program

In the fall of 2021, a new Indigenous Leadership and Mentorship Program (PDF, 27KB) will be piloted for 6 months for up to 15 pairs of mentors and protégés. The program will end in the spring of 2022.
To participate in the pilot, employees are invited to connect with their ministry’s strategic human resource team for an application form or email Stephanie Peter, Indigenous Initiatives Lead for more information.
There will be 3 streams for Indigenous employees:
  • New to the public service
  • Aspiring/growing leaders
  • Experienced leaders

House of Indigenous Learning

In response to Call 57 of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action, (PDF, 299KB), the House of Indigenous Learning (IDIR restricted) was formed in 2018 and is part of the PSA’s Learning Centre.

It was created to educate B.C. public servants on the history of Indigenous peoples, including the history and legacy of residential schools, the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and much more.

The House offers:

  • In-person and online learning
  • Webinars
  • Presentations
  • Workshops
  • Knowledge circles
  • Cohort learning
  • Tailored learning opportunities

Acknowledging a territory

It’s increasingly common across Canada for territorial acknowledgements to be made at the beginning of meetings.

For many B.C. government employees, a territory acknowledgement is an act of reconciliation and the protocol has been a long-standing practice for Indigenous peoples.

Additional resources on this topic are available on Compass (IDIR restricted).

Indigenous applicant advisory service

First Nations (status or non-status), Métis or Inuit job seekers looking for work in the BC Public Service can request advice from the Indigenous applicant advisory service.

The service was developed as one of 15 commitments in the provincial 2017 Diversity and Inclusion Three-Year Action Plan (PDF, 849KB).

Indigenous Youth Internship Program

Since 2007, nearly 300 interns have been hired through the award-winning Indigenous Youth Internship Program

Over a 12-month period, Indigenous Youth ages 19 to 29 gain paid work experience in ministry placements and Indigenous organizations.

Alumni of the program have gone on to successful careers, including:

  • Teachers
  • Doctors
  • Social workers
  • Lawyers
  • Public servants
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Elected leaders

Indigenous relations behavioural competencies

The Indigenous relations behavioural competencies (IRBCs) were developed in consultation with Indigenous communities, Indigenous public servants and human resource professionals working in the public service.

A guidebook was created to support the use of IRBCs and the BC Public Service promotes the use of 4 IRBCs that are beneficial to all employees:

  • Self-discovery and awareness
  • Sustained learning and development
  • Cultural agility
  • Change leadership

Partnering with Indigenous peoples

Procurement of Indigenous contractors

Additional support for learning is available through the learning and development services supply arrangement where you can access Indigenous vendors.

Pricing information is accessible to people with a B.C. government IDIR or a BCeID that's registered with the Procurement Services Branch.

To find an Indigenous learning development or delivery consultant, download the spreadsheet from Learning and Development Services > Pricing and Supplier Contact Information > Development.

The consultants can:

  • Facilitate in-house workshops or courses
  • Deliver training
  • Engage a learning group