Indigenous Harm Reduction Worker

Job Information
Author hiringteam
Date October 29, 2018
Type Full Time
Company OAHAS
Salary 0.0 - Per Hour
Location Ottawa, ON
Category Miscellaneous
Contact Information


We are seeking to hire for this job in the following communities:

London, Sudbury, Thunder Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Ottawa

Each location will be working 20 hours per week

The Indigenous Harm Reduction Worker (IHRW) is responsible for planning, developing, coordinating and delivering the OAHAS Indigenous Harm Reduction Program. The IHRW will engage up to 8 harm reduction peer volunteers with lived experience to work in coordination to create harm reduction kits, provide training to peers and work together to distribute harm reduction supplies to community members in areas where there exists community need such as the downtown core of the city. In addition, the IHRW will work closely with other OAHAS staff and community partners to provide services for community members affected by and/or at risk of acquiring HIV/AIDS, HCV and STBBIs via unsafe sex and/or substance use. The IHRW also conducts outreach and delivers education supports, harm reduction education and prevention strategies.

The IHRW will have experience working with harm reduction practices, philosophies and principles using an Indigenous lens. The IHRW will have demonstrated success in program coordination, street outreach and community development. In addition, the IHRW will demonstrate their experience in working with people who are living with or affected by HIV/AIDS, HCV, STIBBIs and those who use substances and engage in unsafe sex and/or sex work in a compassionate and non-judgmental manner. Lastly, the IHRW will have a comprehensive understanding of the social determinants of health of First Nations, Metis and Inuit people.

General Program Responsibilities:

  • Provide harm reduction supplies and support to individuals living with HIV/AIDS, HCV and those who are at-risk.
  • Assess community member needs in the areas of harm reduction, health care, housing, income, social support, legal, substance-use supports, and provide appropriate referrals.
  • Provide supportive traditional counselling and crisis intervention.
  • Develop continuum of care plans based on member-identified needs.
  • Ensure all program and service delivery is designed from an Indigenous perspective consistent with harm reduction philosophies and practices.
  • Work with traditional resource people and Elders to ensure culture is evident across all program areas.
  • Deliver workshops, talks and educational sessions as required to further advance education on Indigenous harm reduction practices, philosophies and principles to broader community and agencies and institutions with a focus on acceptance and non-interference.
  • Promote safer sex practices through a variety of methods, education and supplies materials.
  • Develop partnership opportunities with agencies, groups, committees, and other sources to promote the health of Indigenous people affected by HIV/AIDS, HCV, STBBIs and substance use.
  • Coordinate inventory and ordering of supplies and return of used materials to local Public Health units as well as maintain adequate stock levels at all times.
  • Coordinate information resources on harm reduction and overdose education and prevention.

Peer Harm Reduction Volunteers Coordination and Support

  • Design a peer model for training and recruitment of a base of 8 volunteer peers.
  • Provide weekly group and one to one support to peer harm reduction volunteers through debriefing, one-on-one or group meetings and check ins.
  • Plan outreach routes, coordinate and schedule outreach, engagement and other related activities, and performance management of peer harm reduction volunteers.
  • Provide education and support to peer harm reduction volunteers and substance using populations with a focus on health promotion, culture and community resources/referrals, etc.
  • Recruit, interview, hire or discharge peer harm reduction volunteers as necessary.
  • Oversee the collection of all street outreach data.


  • OCASE and OCHART database reporting on a weekly basis.
  • Manage peer timesheets, outreach schedules, records and financial matters pertaining to peer honoraria.
  • Ensure proper file maintenance and records management.
  • Ensure punctual and accurate reporting on activities as directed by the Program Manager.

Additional Expectations

  • Flexibility with schedule and ability to work evenings and weekends on occasion.
  • Responsible for other assigned duties as required.
  • Share in the responsibility and care for OAHAS traditional medicines and bundle items.


  • Combination of personal experience and post-secondary diploma or degree in a related field coupled with a minimum of two years’ experience working in the social services sector.
  • An understanding of HIV/AIDS, impacts of HIV/AIDS stigma, safer sex, and harm reduction principles and practices.
  • Strong knowledge of Indigenous health and gender equity issues.
  • Strong presentation and facilitation skills.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Excellent interpersonal, communication and organizational skills.
  • Demonstrated commitment to anti-racism and anti-oppression.
  • Strong community and program development and implementation experience.
  • Excellent computer skills and proficiency in Outlook 365.
  • Valid G class driver’s license and one-million-dollar liability coverage, and access to vehicle in that is in good working order.
  • Knowledge of Indigenous communities and cultural work place practices is an asset.
  • Experience working in the Indigenous community is an asset.
  • Ability to speak an Indigenous language is an asset.

Job Type: Part-time

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