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First Nations hiring push

Interior Health has set an aggressive target to dramatically boost the number of Aboriginal people in its workforce.

The health authority says it wants to hire about 1,200 new Aboriginal employees over the next seven years, bringing the proportion of its workforce who identify as having Aboriginal heritage up to 10 per cent.

Cathy Stashyn is a human resources director at IH responsible for recruitment. She says the 10 per cent benchmark is an important one because by 2025 it would match the percentage of the region’s overall population who are Aboriginal.

Right now, only about 3.9 per cent of IH’s employees say they have Aboriginal heritage.

Deb Donald, an Aboriginal Patient Navigator at Royal Inland Hospital, says having enough Aboriginal faces around a hospital can do a lot to ease the anxiety some patients feel when thrust into the medical system.

“Familiar identifying factors (can make Aboriginal patients) feel more comfortable and that’s why it’s so important to encourage Aboriginal people toward careers in health care,” she says.

For more details on the hiring plan, read more on Castanet's sister business website, Okanagan Edge.



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