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How to Support Indigenous People in the Workplace


A woman working on a computer.

​Indigenous Peoples' Day, held each year on the second Monday of October, celebrates the history, culture and invaluable contributions American Indians, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians have made in the U.S., including in workplaces.

However, unemployment among indigenous people is climbing. Federal data shows that American Indian and Alaska natives had an unemployment rate of 8.3 percent in August 2023—a rise from 6.7 percent the month before and the highest rate of unemployment among all racial groups.

Reports have also showed that Native American employees, in particular, face workplace stereotypes and discrimination. About a third of Native American workers said they've experienced discrimination in the workplace when seeking jobs, promotions or equal pay, according to a 2017 poll by NPR.

SHRM Online has gathered additional news on this topic.

Creating an Inclusive Workplace for Native Americans

Best practices for supporting and recruiting Native American employees include collaborating with tribal employment rights organizations, requesting a subject matter expert to conduct sensitivity training and networking with tribal colleges and universities.

(U.S. Department of Labor)

Remote Work Benefits Native Nations

Remote work creates new opportunities for Native American workers to connect with jobs without leaving their Native communities and still be based in their tribe's homelands. For Native nations, population loss weakens their ability to operate as sovereign political entities.

(Brookings)

Recommendations for Hiring More Indigenous Workers

To make Indigenous candidates feel welcome and comfortable during the recruiting and interview process, it's important to practice inclusivity, recognize cultural differences and implement an equity mindset.

(LinkedIn)

How OFCCP Supports Employment Prospects for Indigenous People

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs assists with establishing relationships between federal Native American community recruitment sources where federal contract work is being performed. For example, the agency routinely works with the construction industry to connect Indian and Native American job seekers with employment opportunities on long-term, multi-million dollar federally funded construction projects.

(U.S. Department of Labor)


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