Indigenous Engagement – Engaging a Digital Workforce! A New Model for Inclusion Engaging a Digital Workforce! A New Model for Inclusion Contributor-ITFC Team Working from home- the new engine of economic growth! Studies are showing that people who work from home work 1.4 more days a month than that of the office worker! That should answer the age-old question companies and the public sector have been asking for years? Can we support a work from home environment? Smart employers will and should! The community based Indigenous Liaison Officer program offers Canadian companies the opportunity to benefit from both relevant community insights an enhanced work ethic within a productive environment. On our network we have a phrase, “Google searches cannot compete with local knowledge” and we mean it. There is a process of economic discovery that community members can help with. The liaison officer position can provide invaluable insights that will prepare businesses before they reach the leadership level. Knowledge is “King”! In a host of different categories Indigenous, (First Nations, Innu or Metis), community members have an intimate knowledge of the barriers and challenges to economic development. They also have a profound understanding of the needs, wants and desires of a community that lead to economic opportunity. This understanding may be a result of their participation on council, as a leader, an economic development officer, a committee member, a portfolio manager or simply someone who has been engaged in the discussion of how their community is going to provide economic opportunity for their families. So how can this help “Corporate Canada”? To illustrate our point, we spoke with an owner of a print and embroidery shop. We initially spoke of Indigenous economic inclusion and engagement, the Truth and Reconciliation commission Calls to Action, the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Almost immediately we could see the owner literally stepping back, although showing signs of understanding the issue. We could tell he was about to close the door on the conversation. What to do? So, we took the conversation from the 30,000 feet level to about 6 feet, the approximate distance we were standing apart from each other. I had asked more direct questions. So, you deal with sports teams here in the Atlantic? Yes, the the proprietor responded. You could see a renewed confidence and commitment to the conversation in his speech and general demeaner. I went on to ask how he collected his information, how he proved his designs and how he accepted payment and shipped product to the customer. Not surprisingly his response was “by computer” PayPal or Interac transfer! I then went on to discuss the 700+ Indigenous communities and how sport was so very important. I asked if we could connect him with a portfolio manager of youth, sport or recreation, someone with the potential to introduce or facilitate a new opportunity for his business would he be interested? I never thought of that before? Of course, I would be interested! We went on to illustrate how the ITFC network allows businesses to seek out qualified individuals all across Canada that could provide insight into potential opportunities of relevance to their business interest! The process of economic discovery! By posting an opportunity, (a request for knowledge), companies big and small regardless of their geographic location can seek the services of an individual for an hour, a day a week! Our ability to provide insights within multiple categories and communities provides an unprecedented level of engagement that will contribute to the national economy in ways we have only begun to discover! The Indigenous -Community Based -Digital Economy is an opportunity for all of Canada to share in and grow together!