Indigenous peoples’ representation in the Greater Toronto Area construction industry

This research project seeks to identify and draw attention to the historical factors leading to the underrepresentation of Indigenous workers in unionized sectors of the construction industry; the problematic relationship between Indigenous workers and their non-Indigenous counterparts, employers and trade unionists; and past and present efforts to address these problems. This work will aid in thinking through the transformation of hiring practices, apprenticeship and other skills training programs, and union models of organizing and outreach to better represent Indigenous workers. I will seek to answer the questions: how many Indigenous workers are there in the construction industry in the GTA? What have their experiences been like in the workplace, apprenticeships and trade union environments? What have been the challenges and successes of the IUOE Local 793, the TCBN, and other community organizations when recruiting and/ or organizing indigenous workers? What have they learned that can be applied elsewhere?

Faculty Supervisor:

Gilberto Fernandes


Amy Barlow


International Union of Operating Engineers’ Local 793


Political science




York University



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