In the last decade Indigenous workers and businesses have made real strides in representation in Canada’s oil and gas industry. The oil and gas industry offers significant benefits to Indigenous communities and Ottawa should continue to advocate for economic reconciliation in oil and gas.
As parties begin to debate the sustainable jobs legislation, there must be a consideration for Indigenous workers in oil and gas contribute to Canada’s economy and provide for their families and communities.
The economic condition of Indigenous workers in the oil and gas sector stands in sharp contrast to that of the average Indigenous worker. Notably, those employed in oil and gas experience significantly higher earnings than the average, with Indigenous women particularly benefiting from their involvement in this industry. Moreover, pipeline transportation jobs within the oil and gas domain also present some of the best the best economic opportunities for Indigenous workers and businesses.
According to the Canadian governments Labour Force Survey, the average Indigenous worker makes $51,120 while workers in oil and gas make almost three times as much at $140,400. Indigenous women in particular benefit economically from working in the sector earning $115,400 in oil and gas extraction industries compared to $43,600 on average in other industries. Meanwhile, pipeline transportation jobs pay more than the average Indigenous oil and gas worker at $151,000 (crude oil) and $113,000 (natural gas) respectively.
This federal government has placed a lot of attention on diverse representation and the oil and gas industry is one of those taking the lead in providing opportunities for Indigenous workers. Indigenous representation in oil and gas sits at 6.9 per cent and 10.8 per cent in mining (including oilsands mining) while only 3.9 per cent represents Indigenous workers in the total Canadian workforce.
This representation goes beyond the total Indigenous working population and in government with only 3.3 per cent of Indigenous representation in the House of Commons, and 5 per cent working in the federal government.