Island Health Indigenous Recruitment & Retention Program
About Island Health Indigenous Recruitment & Retention Program
Island Health and the Indigenous Employment Program acknowledge with respect and humility the Coast Salish, Nuu-chah-nulth and Kwakwaka’wakw People on whose unceded traditional territories we offer our services and programs. Island Health is committed to identifying and addressing the historical and ongoing health impacts of colonization and Indigenous specific racism. Island Health recognizes that employment and education are key determinants of health. The goal of our Indigenous Employment program is to promote a culturally safe work environment while focusing on recruiting and retaining Indigenous employees to ensure that our workforce resembles the communities we serve.
We want our workforce to resemble the population we serve more closely. That is why Island Health’s plans for the future embody respect, understanding and recognition of Indigenous peoples. Island Health is recognized as a leader in employment in the community and an Indigenous “employer of choice”. Given that Island Health is the largest employer on Vancouver Island, it is likely to be the largest employer of Indigenous peoples on Vancouver Island. Health care provides many challenging and rewarding jobs. Find out about the path to one of these careers and about the importance of family support and mindset in achieving your goals.
The Indigenous Recruitment and Retention Team was implemented in 2012 and is housed in the Indigenous Health & Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Portfolio. Our program team works to bring in and retain Indigenous Peoples at all levels of our organization and to promote a culturally safer workplace where Indigenous employees thrive as valued members of the Island Health community. Island Health’s Indigenous Recruitment & Retention Program was created to help us build strong long-term relationships with the First Nations communities and Indigenous organizations on Vancouver Island.😊
Island Health serves 50 First Nations communities belonging to three cultural families grouped by language: Coast Salish, Nuu-Chah-Nulth, and Kwakwaka’wakw. In addition, six chartered Métis communities and six urban Friendship Centres are part of the communities we serve.
As we strive to recruit and retain a thriving Indigenous workforce, we are guided by Island Health’s C.A.R.E. values and the vision of excellent health and care for everyone, every where, every time. In addition to our organizational core values, our work is further guided by our connection to our respective cultures, to Indigenous Ways of Knowing and Being, and by our relationship with Indigenous communities whose unceded homelands Island Health occupies.
Our program goals, objectives, and benchmarks align with the following program-specific values, which are anchored in trauma-informed practice:
- Grounding all our work through collaborative relationships that are respectful of the cultural protocols of the Indigenous communities we serve;
- Amplifying the voices and experiences of Indigenous Peoples;
- Building for the future Indigenous workforce through advocacy, education and resource sharing;
- Advancing cultural safety and humility and Indigenous specific anti-racism work in all our interactions;
- Recruiting in ways that advance opportunity and prosperity for Indigenous individuals, families, and communities; and
- Retaining Indigenous employees by actively promoting a culturally safer work environment and valuing the experiences and contributions of Indigenous staff.