Labour Studies Index

Updated: 2022-05-16

Remembering the Civil Service: Work and Life Stories of Indigenous Labourers in the Canadian Federal Civil Service

Document type Thesis
Author Seguin, Alisha
Degree M.A., History
Publisher Carleton University; Ottawa, Ont.
Date 2015
Pages 166


This thesis examines the life stories of six Indigenous civil servants who worked in the Canadian federal public service from the late 1960s until today. To contextualize these lived experiences, this thesis also explores the development of a culture of merit, representation, and employment equity within the federal civil service in the twentieth century. Stories of work were provided within the frame of larger life stories, allowing narrators to speak to both their perceptions of the civil service as an employer and also the role and meaning of this work within their lives. As a result, this thesis argues that the complexity of individual experiences, identity formation, and memory make it difficult to generalize about “the Indigenous civil servant” in any meaningful way. Relatedly, this thesis also emphasizes both the enriching possibilities and the unique challenges of conducting life story oral interviews and “sharing authority” in collaborative research projects.