Assistant Vice President Indigenous Initiatives

Assistant Vice President Indigenous Initiatives

Job Information
Author pmnationtalk
Date October 17, 2020
Type Full Time
Company Wilfrid Laurier University
Location Waterloo, ON
Category Business / Management
Client Wilfrid Laurier University
Contact Information
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Assistant Vice President Indigenous Initiatives

Date: Oct 15, 2020

Location: Waterloo, CA

Company: Wilfrid Laurier University

Department: Office of the Provost & VP Academic

Job Type: Continuing

Full-time/Part-time: Full Time (>=1249 hrs/year)

Campus: Waterloo

Employee Group: Management

Requisition ID: 846

Wilfrid Laurier University is a leading multi-campus university that excels at educating with purpose. Through its exceptional employees, students, researchers, leaders, and educators, Laurier has built a reputation as a world-class institution known for its rich student experience, academic excellence, and global impact.  With a commitment to Indigenization and commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion, Laurier’s thriving community has a place for everyone.

Laurier has more than 19,000 students and 2,100 faculty and staff across campuses in Waterloo and Brantford, as well as locations in Kitchener and Toronto. The university is committed to providing an inclusive workplace and employing a workforce that is reflective of local and national demographics. Our locations are situated on the traditional territories of the Neutral, Anishnawbe, and Haudenosaunee peoples. We recognize the unique heritages of Indigenous peoples and support their intentions to preserve and express their distinctive Indigenous cultures, histories, and knowledge through academic programming and co-curricular activities. Laurier’s Centre for Indigegogy is one example of how Laurier honours Indigenous knowledge.

Position Summary:

As the most senior Indigenous leader at Laurier, the AVP Indigenous Initiatives will provide strategic advice, support and expertise to academic and administrative units across the institution in achieving goals related to Indigeneity including creating an environment of cultural competency and safety for Indigenous faculty, staff, students and visitors and further engaging Indigenous communities and strengthening partnerships.

Reporting to the Provost & Vice-President Academic, and as a member of the President and Vice-Chancellor’s Cabinet of senior executives, the AVP Indigenous Initiatives will play a key leadership role in strengthening and expanding Laurier’s reputation for excellence in Indigeneity and advancing its priorities and goals.

In this role, the AVP Indigenous Initiatives is responsible for providing leadership to six (6) staff, including one (1) direct report, the Director, Office of Indigenous Initiatives and one (1) Curriculum Specialist (this position is shared with Vice Provost, Teaching & Learning). As a key senior leader throughout the institution, the AVP will work closely with the following:

  • President’s Cabinet
  • Vice President Academic Council
  • AVP Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
  • Centre of Indigegogy
  • Senior Executive Officer, Brantford Campus
  • Office of Research Services
  • Indigenous Education Council
  • Indigenous Faculty Council
  • WLU Faculty Association

The AVP Indigenous Initiatives will hold an administrative appointment for a term of five (5) years, subject to renewal for a further term, as well as a tenured faculty appointment in a department or equivalent aligned with their teaching and research/scholarship/creative activity.

Key Accountabilities:

Strategic Leadership

  • Guides the development of a university wide Indigenization strategy and provides leadership to clearly identify the priorities, goals, commitments, action plans and assesses and measures and reports on progress to key communities;
  • Provides advice, support and guidance to the President’s Cabinet and SEO, Brantford Campus and other University leaders on strategies that support, engage and advance Indigenous student experiences and student groups, Indigenous research and scholarship, Indigenous teaching and learning, and Indigenous peoples’ perspectives and ways of knowing;
  • Provides leadership and support to Laurier’s Indigenous Education Council, an advisory committee of Indigenous community and Laurier representatives;
  • Works with leaders across the institution to advance Indigenous faculty members’ representation, retention and engagement, recognition of Indigenous teaching and learning in promotion and tenure, and annual performance assessments and collaborates with Human Resources to support Indigenous workplace planning strategies and staff recruitment, onboarding and retention;

Administrative Planning and Operations

  • Guides and supervises the work of the Director of Indigenous Initiatives in their ongoing efforts to support indigenization and decolonization, the strategic and operational plans and enhance the Indigenous student experience;
  • Supports academic and administrative units to embed Indigenization strategies, goals and priorities into their unit/department/faculty strategic plans;
  • Supports the work of Indigenous faculty and receives support and input from Indigenous faculty members at Laurier;
  • Supports initiatives to help advance Indigenous curriculum and grow support to Laurier faculty for Indigenous content teaching resources in partnership with the Vice-Provost Teaching and Learning, through the co-supervision of the Indigenous Curriculum Specialist;

Internal and External Relationship Building:

  • Builds, expands and strengthens mutually beneficial relationships across the institution founded on ethical reciprocity and partnerships with Indigenous communities and organizations to achieve institutional goals;
  • Build relationships with the Centre of Indigegogy around ongoing professional development of faculty to develop resources and incorporate Indigenous related co-curricular learning into the classroom;
  • Works with Laurier’s Advancement Office to maintain and enhance links with Laurier’s Indigenous alumni and prospective donors; identifies and seeks out appropriate funding resources to ensure sustainability and enhancement of Indigenous-focused academic programs, Indigenous student recruitment and retention;
  • Engages with Elders and traditional knowledge keepers on behalf of Laurier to ensure Indigenous traditions and cultures are incorporated in institutional proceedings and ceremonies, as needed;
  • Works with the Office of Research Services and different offices including SEO Brantford to nurture and grow resources to support Indigenous content research occurring at the university, as well as support Indigenous faculty researchers;

Communication Management:

  • Oversees the development of information and communications with the Registrar’s Office for Laurier’s annual reports regarding Laurier’s Indigenous student enrollment, graduation statistics;
  • Nurtures an inclusive campus culture that values Indigenous peoples, perspectives and knowledges;
  • Supports the advancement of Indigenous research and scholarship;

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  • Eligibility to be appointed with tenure within a relevant academic unit at Laurier (PhD or equivalent terminal degree an asset, but not essential);
  • Evidence of significant contributions (whether academic or community-based) with post-secondary education initiatives, programs and transformative practices in support of Indigenous education, student success and community engagement;
  • Ability to articulate an Indigenous worldview within a post-secondary education context, facilitating an environment of team work to identify and overcome institutional and system barriers to the successful attainment of post-secondary education for First Nations, Métis and Inuit students across the University;
  • Must be of Indigenous ancestry (i.e., Turtle Island – First Nations Status and non-Status, Métis, or Inuit);
  • Demonstrated commitment to Indigenous community-engaged research, teaching and learning across diverse cultures (meld with lived experience and Indigenous knowledge and worldview);
  • Expertise and lived experience of Indigenous worldviews, cultures and values and strong understanding of diverse Indigenous knowledge systems, research methodologies and epistemologies in partnership and alongside Indigenous communities;
  • Experience championing large scale-initiatives addressing complex issues related to Indigeneity
  • Expertise and knowledge of the political, legislative and governing bodies pertaining to Indigenous initiatives at a local, provincial and national level;
  • Knowledge of the Truth & Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action and relevant Federal and Provincial reports, programs and grant opportunities that are relevant to the post-secondary sector;
  • Demonstrated experience in engaging external Indigenous communities and stakeholders to support strategic priorities and to inform operational policies and practices;
  • Proven ability to manage in a complex and diverse environment while understanding and enabling diverse viewpoints and approaches;
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills; an ability to guide and facilitate an inclusive and collaborative approach that fosters consensus-building and creative problem solving;


  • Experience writing successful funding applications;
  • Competency in an Indigenous language or knowledge of Indigenous languages.

***DO NOT APPLY THROUGH THE CAREERS WEBSITE*** To apply, please submit a Cover Letter and Resume directly to Leaders International outlining your interest, qualifications and experience.

Wilfrid Laurier University endeavors to fill positions with qualified candidates who have a combination of education, experience, skills and abilities to successfully perform the duties of the position while demonstrating Laurier’s Employee Success Factors

Equity, diversity and creating a culture of inclusion are part of Laurier’s core values and central to the Laurier Strategy. Laurier is committed to increasing the diversity of faculty and staff and welcomes applications from candidates who identify as Indigenous, racialized, having disabilities, and from persons of any minority sexual and gender identities. Indigenous candidates who would like to learn more about equity and inclusive programing at Laurier are welcomed to contact the Office of Indigenous Initiatives at [email protected]. Candidates from other equity seeking groups who would like to learn more about equity and inclusive programing at Laurier are welcomed to contact Equity & Accessibility at [email protected]. We have strived to make our application process accessible, however if you require any assistance applying for a position or would like this job posting in an alternative format, please contact Human Resources at 519.884.1970 x2007 or [email protected].

Should you be interested in learning more about this opportunity, please visit for additional information and the online application system. All applications must be submitted online. Please note, a CV and letter of introduction will be required in electronic form.


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