Director Indigenous Initiatives

Work Area: 
BCCSU, Remote work possible
Base Site: 
1045 Howe
Regular Part Time
Job Category: 
Management/Non Union


Within the context of a client and family centered model of care and, in accordance with the Mission, Vision and Values, and strategic directions of Providence Health Care, the person promotes a safe, respectful, and civil working environment for patients, residents, families, visitors and staff. This role is also connected to and supported by the VP of Indigenous Wellness and Reconciliation and the Indigenous Wellness and Reconciliation program (IWR) at Providence Health Care.

Functionally reporting to BCCSU’s Executive Director, and with a matrixed reporting relationship to the Vice-President, Indigenous Wellness and Reconciliation at PHC, and strategically supported by the First Nations Health Authority’s Office of the Chief Medical Officer, the Director’s responsibilities include:
• Identifying, developing and executing an Indigenous Initiatives strategy for BCCSU.
• Developing, maintaining and supporting relationships with Indigenous organizations and communities on matters related to addiction and substance use.
• Working with First Nations Health Authority to identify and address shared priorities.
• Collaborating with the Indigenous Wellness and Reconciliation (IWR) program at PHC and other relevant stakeholders, such as the Respectful Environment, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (REDI) team at UBC’s Faculty of Medicine.
• Building, supporting and supervising an internal ICS team.
• Overseeing the BCCSU/FNHA partnership initiative.
• Identifying with FNHA shared priorities for Indigenous health research and knowledge exchange.

ORGANIZATION: The British Columbia Centre on Substance Use (BCCSU) is the provincial resource for evidence-based information and treatment guidance in the field of substance use and addiction. The BCCSU plays an advocacy role for positive and public policy change, reducing stigma, and supporting patients and their families. The BCCSU is committed to conducting and translating leading-edge research into improved addiction care across BC. The BCCSU develops training curricula, program standards, and practice guidelines for delivery throughout BC. The BCCSU builds collaborative networks across regional health authorities, researchers, educators, and care providers, and other allied care professionals across the province, to ensure that research and innovation efficiently reach the people they are intended to serve. The administrative core of BCCSU is accountable for enabling the research, translation and practice of the organization through timely, innovative and sound management services. The BCCSU values and respects all members of its communities, each of whom individually and collaboratively contribute to transforming care, education, training, and research in this area.


Ability to engage in active processes that aim to identify and eliminate anti-Indigenous racism and colonial practices and structures and in work to address the harms of historical, current and ongoing colonization by changing systems, organizational structures, policies, practices and attitudes.
Ability to work collaboratively with a wide range of stakeholders, including researchers, clinicians, people with lived and living experience, elders and other community stakeholders
Ability to translate research findings for stakeholders and partners in ways that help mobilize evidence-informed action.
Knowledge of social determinants of health and commitment to addressing the needs of people who may be vulnerable and face barriers in managing their health and accessing care. Awareness of broader political, legal, structural and institutional issues that influence the public systems response to substance use and addiction.
Strong organizational skills.
Experience conducting research with Indigenous with lived or living experience of substance use and/or addiction.
Ability to quickly learn computer programs/interfaces.
Ability to multi-task with attention to detail.


A Master’s degree in a health discipline, Health Policy, Population & Public Health, or a related field.
A minimum five (5) years’ experience in planning, and implementing programming focused on community health and wellness, health system development, or equivalent community or system-level experience. Experience with evaluating programs an asset.
A minimum two (2) years’ experience developing and maintaining collaborative relationships with First Nations health system stakeholders, such as policy leaders, healthcare providers and decision makers, researchers, and community stakeholders, or equivalent experience with First Nations leaders and stakeholders in a sector outside health
Experience leading community or sector specific engagement/consultations, and work to build consensus among diverse groups.
Experience with initiatives, programs and tools that promote cultural safety and humility in public and/or private sector settings.
Experience with managing/overseeing a budget.
Highly developed analytical and critical thinking skills, and excellent written and spoken communication and presentation skills.
Experience facilitating applied research embedded within communities and/or the health system is an asset.


Develops, leads and executes a strategy on matters related to substance use and addiction-related Indigenous Initiatives, and seeks alignment with host institutions where possible.
Works in full partnership with FNHA to foster related organizational and community relationships; oversees the development and execution of shared priorities in partnership with FNHA leads in the Office of the Chief Medical Officer.
Collaborates with the Indigenous Wellness and Reconciliation program at PHC and others to:
establish and expand Indigenous Cultural Safety education in the BCCSU’s online and clinical education and training programs;
re-establish and expand Indigenous Cultural Safety (ICS) education among BCCSU staff, faculty, trainees;
coordinate engagement opportunities with Indigenous people, community organizations, and other partners;
contribute to advancing implementation of the PHC’s IWR Action Plan and related initiatives; and
align, integrate, and knowledge share between BCCSU, UBC and PHC on matters related to the organizational action plans, including wellness, equity, reconciliation, research, and leadership development.
Builds, supports and supervises an internal team of ICS program coordinators, contractors and Indigenous advisors for course content.
Oversees the development of culturally informed population-specific substance use and addiction care guidance and practice support tools.
Identifies opportunities to support guidance implementation through education and outreach activities.
Builds and maintains relationships with clinicians, researchers, elders, knowledge keepers, community experts, people with lived and living experience, funders and other stakeholders.
Works in alignment with the Respectful Environment, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (REDI) team at UBC Faculty of Medicine and aligns activities as appropriate.
Works to embed cultural safety and humility across the BC’s substance use and addiction system of care by:
Pursuing funding opportunities and responding to funding calls that support related projects and initiatives
Working with the IWR team at Providence Health Care and REDI in the Faculty of Medicine to advance shared and complementary activities, interventions, and approaches
Identifying new opportunities and supporting ongoing efforts to strengthen components of BCCSU’s educational programming to foster learning about cultural safety and humility
Working with FNHA and government to increase access to culturally safe mental health and wellness and substance use services.
Embedding ICS training in BCCSU’s online and clinical education and training programs
Developing and strengthening BCCSU staff, faculty, trainee and partner foundational ICS education and relevant ongoing education specific to the intersection of anti-Indigenous racism, colonialism and substance use and addition.
Contributes to the development and implementation of research policies and practices that ensure cultural safety of appropriate engagement of Indigenous people with lived or living experience of substance use and/or addiction.
Works to strengthen BCCSU’s partnership with FNHA’s Research & Knowledge Exchange Team (RKE) and the Office of the Chief Medical Officer (OCMO)
Facilitates relationship building, knowledge sharing and learning
Explores funding opportunities to expand the work of the partnership
Collaborates with BCCSU and/or FNHA to explore opportunities that would support shared research priorities, such as community-based projects that could improve wellness in Indigenous communities
Provides direction and advice across the BCCSU to fully adopt and implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada 94 Calls to Action, as per BCCSU’s Indigenous Anti-racism and Anti-colonial (ARC) Framework.
Provides direction and advice regarding BCCSU’s role in implementing the recommendations offered by In Plain Sight: Addressing Indigenous-specific Racism and Discrimination in B.C. Health Care, with particular focus on recommendations 17 and 18:
Leads the First Nations Addictions Care Partnerships Initiative, including:
Working with FNHA and the provincial government to expand Indigenous peoples’ access to culturally safe health services (e.g., prevention, health promotion, harm reduction, treatment and recovery)
Responding to innovative addiction prevention, harm reduction, treatment and recovery interventions identified by First Nations communities across the province; including those based in culture, ceremony & other traditional approaches as well as those using two-eyed seeing
Overseeing and supervising activities of the First Nations Addictions Care Partnerships Manager and other relevant program staff and contractors
Contributes to public discourse and represents BCCSU on matters relating to Indigenous health and cultural safety.
Supports the BC Node of the Canadian Research Initiative in Substance Misuse (CRISM) on relevant national and provincial research activities.
Develops budgets and work plans, monitors and reports on progress, and oversees finances.
Performs other related duties as required.