Indigenous Initiatives Lead, BCCSU

Work Area: 
1045 Howe
Base Site: 
1045 Howe
Regular Full Time
Job Category: 
Management/Non Union
Mental Health
Flexible hours, possibility of remote working within BC

This posting will remain open until filled.


Functionally reporting to BCCSU’s Senior Policy Advisor, and under the joint strategic leadership of BCCSU’s partnership with the First Nations Health Authority’s (FNHA)’s Office of the Chief Medical Officer, the Indigenous Initiatives Lead is responsible for:
leadership on matters related to addictions-related Indigenous Initiatives, and relationships with Indigenous organizations and communities on matters related to substance use;
leading the development of culturally informed substance use and addiction care guidance;
working to embed cultural safety within British Columbia’s substance use and addiction system of care;
responding to innovative addiction prevention, harm reduction, treatment and recovery interventions identified by First Nations communities across the province; and,
overseeing and supervising activities of the First Nations Addictions Care Partnerships Manager.

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 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.
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 actors, 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 of 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.


Leads BCCSU’s Indigenous Initiatives and works with FNHA to foster related organizational and community relationships. Develops, manages and updates priorities and work plans and keeps leadership at BCCSU and FNHA up to date on progress/issues/challenges.
Leads the development of culturally informed population-specific substance use and addiction care guidance and practice support tools by:
Building and maintaining relationships with clinicians, researchers, elders, knowledge keepers, community experts, people with lived and living experience and other stakeholders.
Working with knowledge keepers, elders, clinicians, people with lived and living experience, family members and other key stakeholders to centre cultural ways of knowing and healing into guidance documents to support health care providers and community to manage substance use disorders.
Identifying opportunities to support the implementation of these guidance documents through education and outreach activities.
Works to embed cultural safety and humility across the BC’s substance use and addiction system of care by:
Pursuing funding opportunities and responds to funding calls that support related projects and initiatives.
Identifying new opportunities and supports ongoing efforts to strengthen components of BCCSU’s educational programming (e.g. provincial Addiction Care & Treatment On-line Certificate; Provincial Opioid Agonist Treatment Support Program) that foster learning about cultural safety and humility.
Works to strengthen BCCSU’s partnership with FNHA Research & Knowledge Exchange Team (RKE) and the Office of the Chief Medical Officer (OCMO) by:
Facilitating relationship building, knowledge sharing and learning.
Collaborating 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:
That the B.C. government and FNHA demonstrate progress on commitments to increase access to culturally safe mental health and wellness and substance use services.
That the B.C. government require all university and college degree and diploma programs for health professionals in B.C. to implement mandatory strategies and targets to identify, recruit and encourage Indigenous enrolment and graduation, including increasing the safety of the learning environment for Indigenous students.
Oversees and supervises activities of the First Nations Addictions Care Partnerships Manager.
Develops budgets, work plans and oversees program finances.
Performs other related duties as required.