Senior Specialist Advisor, Indigenous Workforce Development
Deborah Green (Gopher)
Kakike manitohkan iskwew (Forever Spirit Woman)
“Without knowledge of who you are, and your culture…you are like a tree with no roots”.
Deborah Green (Gopher) is a proud Nehiyaw Iskwew (Cree woman) from the Kawacatoose and Piapot’s First Nations in Saskatchewan. Her journey began many years ago with the history of her ancestors, and the intergenerational impacts of Canada’s history with Indigenous Peoples, within her family. She experienced barriers to equal opportunities, and wanted to make her life’s work dedicated to drive change for future generations.
Deborah has 20 years’ experience in Diversity and Indigenous employment solutions. Her expertise is in Indigenous community and relationship building, HR Initiatives, Strategy Framework & Policy, and training. Deborah has developed and integrated workforce diversity strategies, sourcing & developing Indigenous talent, fostering an inclusive work environment, and ensuring management accountability within corporate, oil and gas, education and private consulting industries.
Deborah has an extensive network within Canada, and is established and recognized as an authentic, humble subject matter expert, and role model in the Indigenous Community, and non-Indigenous circles . She seeks no external validation for the work she does in the form of awards or accolades. Instead, her pride stems from seeing pride in Indigenous youth, equitable Indigenous employment in Canada, and the education and awareness of all Canadians about the true history of the country, and current existing conditions.
Deborah is now with Suncor Energy as a Senior National Specialist Advisor for Indigenous Workforce Development where she is responsible to support the governance, advocacy, and thoughtful development of applicable Workforce Development projects, programs and practices for Suncor.
Her role includes working in collaboration with Indigenous communities to understand community needs, share Suncor recruitment and employment program information, and identify opportunities to strengthen candidates’ employment readiness. Deborah provides Indigenous employment insights and advice to Suncor leaders and teams, manages internal programs, and fosters relationships and collaboration opportunities with external organizations.
She is co-chair and leads Suncor’s Indigenous employee network, Journeys. Her contributions in the network include leading and advising the company on cultural awareness activities through storytelling, sharing her lived experiences as a Nehiyaw Iswew, advising leaders on Indigenous knowledge to guide and incorporate Indigenous ways of knowing into company processes and programs. “A place to call home” within the corporate environment, Deborah is committed to Indigenous employees to thrive and take pride in who they are.