Senior Specialist Advisor, Indigenous Workforce Development
“When the time comes for me to go on my spiritual journey, I want to go knowing my People have freedom, safety,
liberation, justice and self-determination”
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 fair opportunities, racism, intergenerational trauma, and wanted to make her life’s work dedicated to drive change for future generations.
Deborah has 20+ years’ experience in Diversity and Indigenous HR solutions, keynote and panel speaking, and extensive community advocacy. She has developed and integrated workforce diversity strategies, policies, and processes, fostering inclusive work environments, and ensuring leader 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 specialist, and role model in the Indigenous Community, and within mainstream society. She is the recipient of the Urban Society for Aboriginal Youth “Changemaker” Award and was gifted an “Equao” Award from the Institute for the Advancement of Aboriginal Women. Her passion is evident in the changes she has driven from seeing pride in Indigenous youth, equitable Indigenous employment in Canada, and the education and awareness of all Canadians about the true colonial history of the country.
Deborah leads Indigenous Workforce Development, Indigenous Awareness at Suncor Energy as a Senior National Specialist, where she is responsible for 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 Iskwew, advising leaders on Indigenous knowledge to guide and incorporate Indigenous worldviews and ways of knowing and 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.
Deborah uses her voice, empowers others, and takes action in her advocacy work for Missing, Murdered, Exploited Indigenous Peoples; is part of an Indigenous Women’s Hand Drum Group “Sings Many Songs Women” and is entrenched in many Indigenous community and urban gatherings, social justice events, celebrations, and ceremony.
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