10/18/2012 10:22 EDT | Updated 12/18/2012 05:12 EST

Big boost coming in jobs for aboriginals in Saskatoon Health Region

SASKATOON - A deal has been reached to boost employment for aboriginal people in the Saskatoon Health Region by six per cent over the next two years.

The goal is contained in a memorandum of understanding announced Wednesday by the health region and the Saskatoon Tribal Council.

About four per cent of the region's 13,000-member workforce comes from a First Nations, Metis or Inuit background.

Bonnie Blakley, a health region spokeswoman, says employment of aboriginal people is as much about the health of the community as health care itself.

Council Chief Felix Thomas says another goal is to create work for more council companies by possibly outsourcing some services currently handled by the health region.

The council and region are also committing $10,000 each for 20 scholarships to First Nations and Metis people pursuing a career in health care.