File #14.23 First Nations Elder Acting as Cultural Advisor

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(Full time or two part time positions for a one year term with the possibility of extension)

Our Place Society is a unique community centre serving Greater Victoria’s most vulnerable citizens. We work as a team to create a nurturing atmosphere of home and family, where all are welcomed. A team approach is critical to living out our mission and values and to directing our work.

Position Overview:

Reporting to the Executive Director, the Elder will be dedicated to advising and guiding the leadership of Our Place Society toward a more focussed and knowledgeable approach to working with the local Aboriginal community. The Elder will also provide guidance and support to enhance and develop Aboriginal programming that is inclusive to any interested participants. They will also be an integral part of a team working to create a training model in cultural understanding for staff and volunteers. The Elder will be based in-house, but will also work and represent Our Place Society out in the Aboriginal community. They will be considered as an employee of the Society and therefore subject to the policies and workplace standards in place for employees.

Preference will be given to applicants of First Nations ancestry as per Section 41 of the BC Human Rights Code (please self-identify).

Duties and Responsibilities:

• Act as cultural advisor providing strategic advice to all levels of leadership at Our Place Society to nurture a better understanding of the specific needs of the Aboriginal community.

• Help to break down stigma and systemic barriers and provide support and guidance on culturally appropriate services and programs.

• Develop and facilitate in-house training for the Staff and Volunteers at Our Place Society in order to move toward a deeper understanding of the Aboriginal community and their needs.

• Help with building connections within the Aboriginal community.

• Develop culturally sensitive programs and establish new criteria for programming with the Aboriginal population, which we serve, in the downtown core.

• Represent Our Place Society at speaking engagements within the community.

• Strengthen the capacity and work of our Aboriginal spiritual program.

• Provide a positive, culturally relevant experience for Aboriginal family members who come to Our Place seeking support and spiritual guidance.

Desired Qualities, Skills and Abilities:

• Candidate is recognized and respected by his/her own community as an Elder for such attributes as having knowledge of their traditional teachings and carry themselves according to those teachings.

• Knowledge of or familiarity with Aboriginal languages of Vancouver Island.

• Extensive knowledge of the history and culture of the Aboriginal peoples of Vancouver Island.

• Knowledge of agencies, programs and supports for the Aboriginal community.

• Proven success working within a team of both Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal members.

• Comfortable with public speaking.

• Comfortable in an environment that includes individuals struggling with substance abuse.

• Has strong relationship building skills and influence within the Vancouver Island Aboriginal community.

Compensation/Working Conditions:

$50,000 per annum. Hours can be full time or part time. Some evening and weekend work may be required.

Interested candidates are invited to submit a letter indicating their interest and qualifications for the position by September 12, 2014 to or call Don Evans, Executive Director, 250-388-7112 ext. 239 or drop off to Our Place Society, Attention: Marion Hoadley, HR Manager, 919 Pandora Avenue, V8V 3P4. Please quote File #14.23 First Nations Elder in the subject line.