UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Wellbeing in the workplace among Indigenous people : an enhanced critical incident study Overmars, Danika


Differences in the conceptualization of wellbeing between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people have been established; there are also marked unique aspects of the experiences of Indigenous people in the workplace. While the intersections between work and wellbeing are well recognized, as workplace wellbeing is a burgeoning area of research inquiry, there is a significant gap in the literature, as current models of wellbeing do not adequately take into account cultural differences. This study explored the factors which facilitate and hinder wellbeing in the workplace among Indigenous people. The sample in this study consisted of 17 Indigenous people (15 First Nations individuals and 2 Métis individuals) who were well educated, with the majority having completed post-secondary education or training and all having completed high school. There were 14 female participants and 3 male participants. The participants shared their experiences during semi-structured interviews, which were analyzed using the Enhanced Critical Incident Technique. The analysis produced a total of 486 incidents (293 helping incidents, 131 hindering incidents, and 62 wish list items). These incidents and wish list items were grouped into 14 categories: Personal Perspectives; Relationship Building, Holistic Health, Support, Culture, Investment, Workplace Environment, Appreciation, Communication, Role Modelling, Resources, Self-care, Supervisors, and Racism. The findings contribute to a growing understanding of Indigenous peoples’ experiences in the workplace and suggest that workplace experiences of Indigenous people can be improved by taking into consideration both broad principles (e.g., an emphasis on relationships and respect for Indigenous culture and identity), as well as specific practices (e.g., tailoring wellness programs and encouraging mentoring).

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International