First West Credit Union Commits to Innovation in Indigenous Employment

LANGLEY, B.C.- First West Credit Union is committed to helping build a new generation of employment and workplace strategies for current and future Indigenous employees through its signing of the Charter for Innovation in Indigenous Employment and Workplace Inclusion Strategies in the Canadian Banking and Financial Sector. 

“We are honoured to be part of an initiative to create new opportunities and positive experiences for Indigenous employees—both at First West, in our local communities and across Canada,” says Liz Bailey-Connor, Chief People and Culture Officer at First West Credit Union. This Charter shares our vision  around equity, inclusion and diversity for a future of banking in which employee recruitment, advancement and retention are accessible and welcoming to people who wish to work in financial services.”   

The Charter, created by Indigenous Works and the Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC), aims to design a new generation of Indigenous employment and workplace strategies, practices, and systems based on a strong foundation of research and innovation. The importance of this program is highlighted by findings released in June of 2020 by the CHRC, which shared results of a horizontal audit of the Banking and Financial industry that showed the need for improvements in areas that are impeding Indigenous employment successes. For example, at the time of the study, with just over 2,700 Indigenous people employed in the banking sector, this represents a shortfall of approximately 3,650 Indigenous workers, just to achieve minimum representation levels. 

As a Signatory, First West joins other financial institutions to provide ideas, advice and information to the research that may collectively reveal insights about employment strategies and practices pertaining to Indigenous people in the banking and financial industry.  

“We are keen to engage in the thoughtful and respectful exchange of information and connect our Indigenous employees with opportunities to get involved in this initiative,” comments Bailey-Connor. “The insights we garner as a result of the research will aid in building stronger Indigenous employment strategies for organizations to better connect with Indigenous talent pools and for Indigenous people to gain stronger entry into financial services organizations.” 

For more on the Charter for Innovation in Indigenous Employment and Workplace Inclusion Strategies in the Canadian Banking and Financial Sector, please visit 

Company Information

About First West Credit Union

First West Credit Union offers members the financial strength, comprehensive product selection and extended branch network of a large financial institution while maintaining local brand identities and a unique grassroots approach to service. Led by Launi Skinner, First West is one of Canada’s largest credit unions with nearly $18.6 billion in total assets and assets under administration, more than 253,000 members and approximately 1,250 team members. It operates 45 branches throughout the province under the Envision Financial, Valley First, Island Savings and Enderby & District Financial brands. Visit for more information on First West Credit Union.

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Josh Juhlke

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