Add (More) To Your Resume: Participate In National Aboriginal Initiatives


Resumes give employers an overview of your previous experience – and participation within the broader Indigenous community is a great way to show your dedication and work ethic.

Contributing to organizations that are doing work you find important lets you spend time doing something you are passionate about, while providing you with transferable skills, mentorship opportunities, and valuable connections.

Depending on what you post-secondary program you are enrolled in and what your future employment aspirations are, you may be able to gain skills and knowledge that are directly linked to your career aspirations by volunteering with one of several national Indigenous initiatives. Here is just a small sample of ways you can get involved in national-level organizations, and how each can help you impress a prospective employer. Check it out!

The Aboriginal Multi-Media Society

Do you have skills in communications and want additional opportunities hone your writing?

The Aboriginal Multi-Media Society (AMMS) is an independent communications organization that covers news and information relating to Aboriginal peoples and nations in Canada. The AMMS provides the means to support the development of communications organizations and offers hands-on experience in journalism. They also have a handy list of scholarships!

If you are interested in creating your own communications society for the Aboriginal students association at your post-secondary institution or within your community, you can find the training for that through AMMS.

You can also work as a freelance writer for one of AMMS’ six publications. Aside from the great work experience, this opportunity demonstrates your communication skills and showcases your awareness of current issues and events.

Participating in the exchange of information and public dialogue is a great way to get your name and ideas out there. Developing your own voice in writing takes practice – and you’ll need this skill in any number of careers that call for communication skills.

Speaking confidently about your interpretation of events and issues also takes practice. Work involving analyzing and communicating ideas will help you sharpen these skills, and equip you for career success wherever to go.

Reconciliation Canada

Reconciliation Canada is a collaborative project between the Indian Residential School Survivors Society and the Tides Canada Initiatives Society. This program, founded by Chief Dr. Robert Joseph, a Gwawaenuk Elder, seeks to establish open and hopeful relationships among Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples.

Reconciliation Canada creates opportunities for learning about shared history and diverse experiences in order to promote resilient communities in Canada. This organization provides an excellent opportunity to volunteer while practicing your cross-cultural skills. There are a variety of different volunteer opportunities available within the organization, with availability changing frequently. You can develop leadership skills through event planning or project management. Working in a fundraising or marketing position would be a great way to add some demonstrated examples of your communication skills at work. The organization also offers a community action toolkit you can utilize and use on your own.

Demonstrating a passion for social and cultural issues lets employers know that you are engaged and attentive to the relationships you have with others. Putting time and energy into the causes that matter to you signals that you are a conscientious team-player who knows how to work toward significant goals.

The Aboriginal Professional Association of Canada

The Aboriginal Professional Association of Canada (APAC) promotes Aboriginal leadership. This organization connects and supports members in achieving leadership excellence.

APAC includes volunteers as an integral part of its mission as an organization and offers opportunities for networking, mentorship, and skill-building. Outreach, event planning, and communications volunteer positions will allow you to get connected nationally while also developing transferable skills.

Networking is about creating and maintaining ongoing relationships with other people. Forming a community of those who share your interests is satisfying in itself, but is also essential for your career. If you can show others a convincing snapshot of who you are, they might remember you when a career opportunity comes up.

Bringing your enthusiasm to an Aboriginal initiative makes you an appealing candidate in a variety of ways. Aside from the transferable skills different kinds of participation help you build, your volunteer or paid work with an initiative contributes to an attractive professional image.

By developing a strong, independent voice and demonstrating a sense of concern for current issues and other people, you will appear as a good candidate not only in terms of qualifications, but in terms of personal and interpersonal qualities as well.

Have you participated in other Aboriginal organizations? Share your experiences in the comments!