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Indigenous women's employment in natural resource industries in Canada: Patterns, barriers and opportunities
Women's Studies International Forum (2023)
  • Bipasha Baruah, Western University
This paper identifies barriers and opportunities that Indigenous women in Canada face in energy, mining, and forest sector employment through a review of scholarly and practitioner literature published between 2000 and 2022, and 10 in-depth interviews conducted between May and August 2021 with Indigenous women working in various capacities within (or knowledgeable about) natural resources industries in the Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut. Our findings reveal that it is important to understand the intersections of gender, culture, ethnicity/race, language, and class to respond to the challenges Indigenous women face in natural resources employment. Some of the barriers that Indigenous women encounter in these industries are similar to those faced by non-Indigenous women (glass ceilings, lack of mentors, for example). Indigenous women encounter the added dimension of racism (based on Indigenous status) as well as limitations based on geographic location. Our recommendations for improving the status of Indigenous women in natural resources industries in Canada include implementing specific targets for Indigenous women in professional, technical, and senior administrative positions; enabling the Native Women's Association of Canada to serve as an information and employment conduit to industry associations and employers; and creating mechanisms to enable Indigenous women who live off-reserve to access quality employment opportunities. Enabling Indigenous women to access skilled, well-paid employment in natural resources should be considered a key priority and opportunity for governments, resource development companies, industry associations and gender equality advocacy organizations.
  • Indigenous women,
  • employment,
  • Canada,
  • mining,
  • energy,
  • forestry,
  • racism,
  • sexism
Publication Date
Summer July, 2023
Citation Information
Bipasha Baruah. "Indigenous women's employment in natural resource industries in Canada: Patterns, barriers and opportunities" Women's Studies International Forum Vol. 99 (2023)
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