The Vancouver Island Health Authority wants to hire an increased number of aboriginals to more closely reflect the numbers of First Nations people living on the island. Eighteen months ago they hired Steve Sxwithul’txw as the authority’s first aboriginal employment advisor. Guess what Steve?  Unless First Nations youth on the island start improving their graduation rates from high school nothing is going to change.  Secondary institutions can open training spots to First Nations people, but if there are no aboriginal kids as equally qualified as other non-aboriginals, it would be unacceptable to give them the spots since it could affect the quality of patient health-care in the future.

The focus of Steve’s work should be to hold out the carrot to aboriginal youth who are now just entering high school, informing them of the great employment opportunities in health care that await them if they buckle down and prepare themselves for a rewarding future.