Aboriginal Employment Preferences Policy

Are you an employer? Do you understand your obligation to provide Aboriginal people preferential treatment on employment matters? This publication explains the legal framework behind your obligation to facilitate the employment of Aboriginal people. It also provides measures to ensure that non-Aboriginal employees or candidates for employment are treated fairly and reasonably.

* This publication is only available in electronic format. If you require a paper version, please contact the Commission directly. Please allow 5-8 business days for processing.

This is a technical amendment to clarify how the Aboriginal Employment Preferences Policy (AEPP) applies in the context of audits under the Employment Equity Act (EEA).


This amendment outlines the responsibility of employers who are relying on the AEPP to give preference in employment to Aboriginal people, to meet EEA targets for the non-Aboriginal portion of their workforces.

This technical amendment will apply to the following sections:

a.Under Section 5, Application of the Policy, this policy should be interpreted as follows: â€œThis policy applies to the investigation, analysis and disposition of complaints received by the Commission alleging discrimination in employment by an employer and to the assessment of an employer’s compliance with the EE Act through the CHRC’s legislated mandate to conduct audits.” 

b.Under Section 8, Employment Equity, the policy should be interpreted as follows:

“The application of an Aboriginal employment preferences policy should not be interpreted as exempting Aboriginal employers from the need to improve any under-representation of other designated groups in their workforce. Consequently, employers are still required to meet the representation targets for women and persons with disabilities for their overall workforce, as well as the representation goals for members of visible minorities for that portion of their workforce that is non-Aboriginal.

Questions about this technical amendment can be directed to the National Aboriginal Initiative of the Canadian Human Rights Commission at NAI.INA@chrc-ccdp.gc.ca