The Treaty Six First Nations kicked off their fourth annual career fair on earlier this week, hoping to draw more than 3,000 Indigenous job-seekers to the West Edmonton Mall for the two-day event.

Prospective employers, recruiters and job-seekers from Maskwacis, the Montana First Nation and the Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation attended the first day of the conference.

Organizers say 16,500 jobs are potentially up for grabs.

“The two-day event connects Indigenous professionals to government agencies, post-secondary institutions, private industry and not-for-profit organizations looking for qualified employees,” event organizer Charlene Bruno said in a news release.

The free event features workshops on topics ranging from resumé-making to dealing with racism in the workplace.

"We recognize that there are barriers. It could be a lack of education," said Chief Tony Alexis, chairman of the Yellowhead Tribal Development Foundation. "It could be a lack of experience — we all face that when we're just starting out. The companies who are here know that and recognize that."​