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In response to a leader asking for advice on what to spend money on, here is my more detailed response to hiring visibly Indigenous brown people.

As a visibly Indigenous brown person, I do not see me represented in local business, governments and organizations especially when they serve a large Indigenous population, if visibly Indigenous brown people are hired, they are few and are usually in the lower echelons of the workforce, even if they are qualified for higher positions. Many experience racism, lateral violence and severe bullying. If they are Indigenous, they do not look it.

Is it intentional? More preferred? Why is it that the population of people living in poverty who are homeless, struggling with addictions, mental health issues, who are in conflict with the law or who may become in conflict with the law are visibly Indigenous brown people? What opportunities are available to them?

They want to work! Even the service providers are non-Indigenous looking. I am Dene, this is my home and yet does not bring me pride as it used to. I shop for essentials only in Yellowknife and save my big ticketed items for the south or online.

I would not seek the support here but rather from southern organizations and groups that are committed to empowering Indigenous people, especially strong Indigenous women. It would take a fearless leader to make changes that are representative of all.

Mahsi for asking, this type of issue usually gets ignored or people will justify and rationalize why it is so.

The truth is there are many qualified visibly Indigenous brown people wanting to work, apply for that apartment, build a life for themselves and their family and contribute to the beauty of the Dene lands we all share. Mahsi.

 

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