Bank suggests woman wear traditional regalia for job applica

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funeralxempire
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21 Mar 2022, 12:48 pm

Woman outraged CIBC job application suggests traditional regalia for video cover letter

Indigenous group creates questions for bank in effort to ‘remove barriers’ in application process

Quote:
Christine Paquette was scrolling through an online job site when she came across a posting looking to recruit Indigenous people for customer service jobs at CIBC.

The 21-year-old Ojibway and Métis woman works as a part-time receptionist at an esthetics salon and was hoping to find a second job, one that could lead to a possible career.

"It seemed kind of like a good way to get my foot in the door," Paquette said in an interview with Go Public from her home in Winnipeg.

Her fluent French and work experience made Paquette think that a banking job could be a good fit for her — until she started going through the questions in the online application.

"It said along the lines, 'Please explain, like, your favourite tradition or your favourite story,'" Paquette said. "I was like, 'Huh, that's a little odd thing to be asking.' ... How is a traditional story going to help me excel in, like, the role of a bank teller?"

Paquette continued with the application, even though that question didn't sit well with her. But she didn't get very far after that.

"That was, like, the appetizer," she explained.

The questions continued: "How would you describe your communication skills? TIP: Why don't you show us instead?" the application read.

It went on to encourage Indigenous applicants to let their personality shine in a video cover letter and "to write a song, poem, dress in traditional regalia or bring in back-up dancers!" as part of the video submission.

"I was like, OK, that's enough, that's all I need to see," Paquette said.

"I want you to prove to me how Indigenous you are," she said. "That's how I took it."

Like many businesses across Canada, CIBC told Go Public that it is committed to taking steps to ensure its workforce reflects the communities where its employees live and work. But experts in the field of Indigenous recruitment strategy say the bank's job application — and Christine's experience — is a good opportunity for companies to learn better practices when pursuing diverse workplaces.

...


This isn't the first time I've encountered these sorts of attitudes. If you're not close enough to stereotypes there's a tendency to treat a person like they don't actually qualify or to try to demand proof that one is 'native enough' to qualify. Even liberal leaning posters on here have sometimes expressed those sorts of attitudes while dismissing 'blond aborigines' or other people they don't deem adequately indigenous. Not everyone has had the same opportunity to connect to their traditions and community however that doesn't negate their birth right to be a part of their traditions and community. That disconnect wasn't voluntary, it was the result of colonial practices and intentional, systematic attempts at stripping those traditions to force assimilation.

Hey would you mind wearing something ceremonial and entertaining us with your sacred traditions? is not an appropriate manner to reach out to any community. It seems the goal was to try to be more inclusive and that the bank even consulted with an indigenous organization however the execution comes off as very ham-handed and pandering.


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kitesandtrainsandcats
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21 Mar 2022, 1:02 pm

Quote:
"The questions continued: "How would you describe your communication skills? TIP: Why don't you show us instead?" the application read.
It went on to encourage Indigenous applicants to let their personality shine in a video cover letter and "to write a song, poem, dress in traditional regalia or bring in back-up dancers!" as part of the video submission.


That that content was created with and even by an indigenous organization the bank consulted is a bit of a mystery, I can not begin to imagine the logic process which thought it a good idea.

Quote:
The bank said it has been working with a not-for-profit Indigenous organization, Our Children's Medicine (OCM), and that the questions that offended Paquette had actually been designed in consultation with Indigenous community leaders and elders.

Quote:
Go Public contacted OCM. In a statement, the organization confirmed that the questions were created "in consultation with Indigenous elders, knowledge keepers and other members of the community."


:arrow: Yep, that is a point,

Quote:
Paquette says that the question asking her to share her "favourite Indigenous tradition/story" brought up a wide range of emotions.

She says her grandmother went to a residential day school and was made to be ashamed of her heritage, so she didn't pass down any traditions to her daughter, Christine's mother — who in turn couldn't teach Christine.

"How are you going to go on and ask me to share my favourite story or tradition when ... settlers and, like, residential schools taught us that it's not OK?" Paquette said. "To be asking Indigenous people to share their favourite story or their favourite part of their culture that they don't even have access to anymore is really insensitive."

Paquette also thought it wasn't appropriate for CIBC to suggest that she dress in traditional clothing as part of the application.


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kraftiekortie
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21 Mar 2022, 1:21 pm

I feel some companies might find this cool----but I sense that most companies probably wouldn't really care for this.

I wouldn't take the risk----unless I know this particular company had this "progressive" sort of attitude.



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21 Mar 2022, 7:08 pm

Whoever came up with that in the bank's HR department deserves to be fired.


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funeralxempire
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21 Mar 2022, 8:10 pm

goldfish21 wrote:
Whoever came up with that in the bank's HR department deserves to be fired.


I'm not sure that's the ideal way to go because it's pandering in an ignorant manner and can be used as a teaching moment for both CIBC and OCM.

CIBC just needs to understand how it's a invasive and overreaching. I can't imagine them reaching out to any visible minority group and asking for similar, but then again they probably took OCM advisory seriously before including it so I don't just want one person at CIBC to be scapegoated and held wholly responsible.

But, I also kinda want to ask OCM how broadly representative were their consultations when offering perspective because it's easy sometimes to overlook regional differences between indigenous peoples, differences that might exist between FN vs. Metis vs. Inuit peoples, or between First Nations, differences between those who lives closer to traditional lifestyles vs. those who don't, generational differences, some nations have substantial numbers who pass as white, others don't, etc.

There's bound to be differences between 20-something people who've lived in downtown in a big city for 3 generations vs. someone who lives in a highly isolated community where they're able to see more elements of their traditions practiced in a living manner. If OCM largely consulted with elders they actually missed out on the opinions of the people who are most relevant to how their advice will be used.

My cousin is 64, he's not looking for a job, but he is a tribal elder.
With no disrespect to any elders, they ought to be consulting with the youngers if that's the group who will actually be interacting with the results of the consultation.


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21 Mar 2022, 8:13 pm

+2 points to funeralxempire.

You should almost just copy & paste that post to the bank's PR/HR departments and educate them yourself. Never know, they might appreciate the feedback - hell - they might ask you to consult on policy changes.


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funeralxempire
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21 Mar 2022, 8:26 pm

goldfish21 wrote:
+2 points to funeralxempire.

You should almost just copy & paste that post to the bank's PR/HR departments and educate them yourself. Never know, they might appreciate the feedback - hell - they might ask you to consult on policy changes.


Sadly I don't have much in the way of immersion in traditional culture, I'm in no position to give insight from that angle. Really the only insight I can offer is from the perspective of someone who probably would count as assimilated except for the way my family dynamics work out means I only know my dad's mom's family. The fact that I'm accepted unquestioningly in spite of that is what drives me to be really outspoken when it comes to outsiders trying to impose artificial qualifications like blood quantum, as well as with reminding people that we're not all on reservations or otherwise in remote communities and that our culture is literally whatever culture we produce, not just things based on pre-contact traditions.


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21 Mar 2022, 9:14 pm

funeralxempire wrote:
goldfish21 wrote:
+2 points to funeralxempire.

You should almost just copy & paste that post to the bank's PR/HR departments and educate them yourself. Never know, they might appreciate the feedback - hell - they might ask you to consult on policy changes.


Sadly I don't have much in the way of immersion in traditional culture, I'm in no position to give insight from that angle. Really the only insight I can offer is from the perspective of someone who probably would count as assimilated except for the way my family dynamics work out means I only know my dad's mom's family. The fact that I'm accepted unquestioningly in spite of that is what drives me to be really outspoken when it comes to outsiders trying to impose artificial qualifications like blood quantum, as well as with reminding people that we're not all on reservations or otherwise in remote communities and that our culture is literally whatever culture we produce, not just things based on pre-contact traditions.


Mhmm. People are stupid.

I'm some small part Indigenous and around plenty of Indigenous people in my life - we have a staff member that's status, I know many Indigenous people at the beach (which is on Musqueam territory), my brother-in-law is 1/2 Indigenous 1/2 Scottish but Looks Very Native, I went to business school with status natives.. friends and family are status/metis status - and have a wide range from "could play a tribal warrior or elder in a Hollywood movie," to white skin and blonde or red hair. Varying occupations, varying degrees of traditional knowledge or practices, varying education levels - you know; like everyone else.

It's still almost embarrassing how little we all know about the various tribes/nations & peoples all around here, though. We're not taught it or exposed to it - super pathetic.


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21 Mar 2022, 9:25 pm

goldfish21 wrote:
It's still almost embarrassing how little we all know about the various tribes/nations & peoples all around here, though. We're not taught it or exposed to it - super pathetic.


I think that's a feature, not a bug. French language education kinda follows the same pattern.

They teach international French and put very little emphasis into using it functionally, at least here in Ontario. The goal being the long-term assimilation of French speakers by simply ensuring more people will use English consistently outside of the home, leading to even bilingual people mostly speaking English most of the time.

If indigenous peoples can all be reduced to cringey stereotypes, their kids disconnected from their traditions both by force but also convinced to cringe from them voluntarily, our peoples scattered and isolated both from each other and from the rest of the country, families broken apart and their members forced to seek structure and identity elsewhere the end result will be genocide with minimal violence.


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21 Mar 2022, 10:18 pm

A very embarrassing event for young minorities to be forced to show their ethnicity.
I smelled a rather familiar smell.
It seems that similar events are happening around the world when it comes to protecting minorities.

My take is, I'm glad I don't have any tribal elders.
Even though I lived in the self-governing area of my ethnicity as a child, I never met any ordinary person who understood our traditional culture. Public schools teach us knowledge and rituals about our ethnicity. This is a required course and no one likes it.

My thoughts above are not representative of other types of minorities. Aboriginals and colonizers are fundamentally different. But we are not very different from the main ethnicity long before. It looks like the official is trying to give us some character.


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