Affirmative action slips
Stats show decline in aboriginal employment
Aboriginal employment in GNWT
Management                    12.0%
Professional                  19.5%
Technical                     14.5%
Admin. Services               36.0%
Labor and Trades              71.0%
Program Delivery              52.0%

by Richard Gleeson
Northern News Services

NNSL (Mar 14/97) - Aboriginal employment in the GNWT has dropped despite a government program designed to ensure greater representation.

The Public Service Annual Report for 1995, released last week, indicates 2,189 Inuit, Metis and Dene were employed in the public service. That's 21 fewer than in 1994.

An affirmative action program now used by the GNWT is designed to increase participation in the public sector to levels representative of the NWT's population.

Under the program qualified aboriginal, female, disabled and Northern employment candidates who have a satisfactory job interview will be hired before southern applicants with superior qualifications.

The policy, currently under cabinet review, was roundly criticized in the legislature last month.

Yellowknife North MLA Roy Erasmus said it was ineffective in combating nepotism and discrimination that is rampant in government.

Erasmus delivered a 45-minute speech on the subject of discrimination and racism in the assembly last week.

Seamus Henry, representing Yellowknife South, said the policy was insulting to the target groups and should be scrapped.

The report, however, did not provide employment statistics for long-term northerners.