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Opinion: How to stop the Indigenous brain drain – Calgary Herald

Feb 03, 2023

The term “brain drain” refers to the effects of government policies, taxes or world events that cause highly skilled workers to leave their homes (cities, provinces or countries) and relocate elsewhere in search of work. While this global phenomenon is well studied and understood, it is also appropriate to apply this term to Indigenous Peoples in Canada.

With most Indigenous communities located in remote and rural areas, there is limited access to job opportunities, and the available jobs do not match the demand. As a result, skilled workers are forced to move to urban areas in pursuit of employment, resulting in a brain drain.

As highly skilled members leave their communities, the economy grows less, which results in rising poverty rates, a growing detachment from culture and the land, and a lack of motivation for Indigenous entrepreneurs to launch businesses in their communities. All of these outcomes are indicators of a functioning colonial system.

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