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0101 - Affirmative Action Policy

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  1. This section provides an overview of the Affirmative Action Policy, particularly as it relates to staffing activities.



  1. Affirmative Action Policy is the Cabinet directive that supports the GNWT’s commitment to a competent Public Service that is representative of the population it serves
  2. Human Resources Representative means those employees of the Department of Finance designated to co-ordinate the recruitment process.
  3. Indigenous Aboriginal Persons means those persons who are descendants of the Dene, Inuit or Metis people, indigenous to the present boundaries of the Northwest Territories and includes any aboriginal persons resident at birth pursuant to Section 23 of the Vital Statistics Act and any Canadian aboriginal persons who have lived more than half of their life in the Northwest Territories.
  4. Indigenous Non-Aboriginal Persons are non-aboriginal persons born in the Northwest Territories or who have lived more than half their life in the Northwest Territories.
  5. Senior Management Occupations means those positions with a four-digit NOC code starting with 001. These are Deputy Minister, Assistant Deputy Minister, Director and Superintendent level positions.
  6. Non-Traditional Occupations are occupations where 70% or more of the incumbents are male and there are ten or more incumbents in the occupational group or sub-group (non-traditional occupations).
  7. Resident Disabled Persons are persons who are living in, and have lived in, the Northwest Territories for at least one year immediately prior to applying on a competition and who are at a disadvantage because of a medically certified learning, mental, emotional, or physical disability where the disability limits the person in taking advantage of employment, training and career advancement opportunities.  A person without such a disability would not encounter these difficulties.
  8. Resident Women are females who are living in, and have lived in, the Northwest Territories for at least one year immediately prior to applying on a competition. This priority group is applicable for positons included in Senior Management or non-traditional occupations.
  9. Selection Committee includes, but is not necessarily restricted to, a Human Resources Representative and the Supervisor of the position being filled.  Where appropriate, a member with technical expertise or community representative may be added to the Selection Committee, either as a full participant or in an advisory capacity with no influence in the final hiring decision.



  1. The selection of persons for appointment to positions in the Public Service shall be based on merit, within the parameters outlined in the Staffing Guidelines related to affirmative action, with a view to developing a northern public service staffed by competent, well-qualified employees.
  2. Staffing priority shall be granted to the designated groups specified in the GNWT’s Affirmative Action Policy as follows:

    Competitions for Senior Management or Non-Traditional Occupations
    Priority 1:

    a) Indigenous Aboriginal Persons - Females
    b) Indigenous Aboriginal Persons - Males

    Priority 2: Resident Women
    Priority 3: Indigenous non-Aboriginal Persons or Resident Disabled Persons
    No Priority All Other Applicants
    All Other Competitions
    Priority 1: Indigenous Aboriginal Persons
    Priority 2: Indigenous non-Aboriginal Persons or Resident Disabled Persons
    No Priority: All Other Applicants
  3. Indigenous Aboriginal or Indigenous non-Aboriginal persons who qualify under the policy and are residing outside the NWT are granted staffing priority.
  4. Aboriginal and non-aboriginal people who were living within the current boundaries of the NWT prior to the creation of Nunavut on April 1, 1999 retain their affirmative action hiring status.  Individuals who were not living within the current boundaries of the NWT prior to April 1, 1999 are considered residents of another jurisdiction and must have their status assessed.  If they have lived half of their life or were born within the current boundaries of the NWT, they meet the requirements for priority hiring status.  If they have not lived half their life or were not born within the current boundaries of the NWT, they cannot claim priority hiring status. 
  5. Applicants are responsible for identifying their eligibility for priority consideration when applying for a Government position. Applicants should identify their priority at the time of application, but must do so prior to a verbal job offer being made.
  6. Applicants applying for priority as a disabled person shall provide medical certification of that disability.
  7. The Human Resources Representative may verify staffing priority of individuals who have indicated affirmative action status by requesting additional proof.  Treaty cards, Métis cards, beneficiary cards or other official documents considered appropriate by a Human Resources Representative may be used to assess staffing priority. 
  8. If the Selection Committee chooses to verify the affirmative action status of a candidate who does not declare their affirmative action status, they must do so for all candidates.  A Human Resource Representative may seek clarification from individuals who have identified affirmative action priority, without contacting all other candidates.
  9. The Affirmative Action Policy will guide Selection Committee members in determining which candidates will be given further consideration at each stage of the staffing process.
  10. Qualified, suitable affirmative action candidates shall be granted hiring priority, as outlined in the Affirmative Action Policy, over non-priority candidates.
  11. Successful candidates who were granted affirmative action priority in the competitive process will be required to provide proof of their affirmative action status prior to a written offer being provided.


Authorities and References

Public Service Act

  • Section 19.(2), Discrimination

Affirmative Action Policy

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

  • Section 6.(4), Affirmative Action Programs
  • Section 15.(2), Affirmative Action Programs

Human Rights Act

  • Section 67 Affirmative Action Programs

Excluded Employees Handbook

  • Affirmative Action