Director, Communications and Digital Strategy
National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation
A shared vision held by those affected by Indian residential schools was to create a place of learning and dialogue where the truths of their experiences are honoured and kept safe for future generations. They wanted their families, communities, and all of Canada to learn from these atrocities so they would not be repeated. They wanted to share the wisdom of the Elders and Traditional Knowledge Keepers on how to create just and peaceful relationships amongst diverse peoples. They know that reconciliation is not only about the past, but also about the future that all Canadians will forge together. The historic Truth and Reconciliation Commission concluded that this was cultural genocide. This vision is a gift to all of Canada and the world.
The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR) is a place of learning and dialogue where the truths of Residential School Survivors, families and communities are honoured and kept safe for future generations. Located at the University of Manitoba, the NCTR educates Canadians on the profound injustices inflicted on First Nations, Inuit and the Métis Nation by the forced removal of children to attend residential schools and the widespread abuse suffered there.
NCTR was created to protect the memory of Canada’s Residential School system and the legacy of human rights abuses inflicted upon Indigenous peoples. It promotes continued research and learning and it honours Survivors in a way that fosters reconciliation and healing.
The Organization (continued)
Based on the foundation of truth telling, the NCTR was gifted the spirit name bezhig miigwan which means “one feather,” in Anishinaabemowin, the language of the Anishinaabe people. The name is a reminder that every Survivor needs to be shown the same respect and attention that an eagle feather deserves. The name also teaches us that we are all vital to the work of reconciliation.
The NCTR provides survivors and their families with access to their own history. It provides educators with accurate and sensitive material for the next generations of learners. It provides researchers with a pathway to understanding more deeply the Residential School experience. It provides the public with access to historical records and other materials to help foster reconciliation and healing.
And perhaps most importantly, the NCTR ensures that the history of Canada’s Residential School system will never be forgotten.
To confront and address past and present injustices, the NCTR will continue to listen and honour the voices of all residential school Survivors, their families, and communities. By braiding love, respect, and Truth, the NCTR will share, protect, and preserve Survivors’ truths to ensure a better future for all.
The NCTR honours, protects, preserves, and makes Residential and Day School history accessible. We are committed to opening pathways of understanding, healing, and reconciliation. It is our sacred obligation to provide opportunities for education and research centred on the experiences and memories of Survivors, families, and communities.
The NCTR leads with Truth, Respect, Safety, Collaboration and Courage.
The NCTR is guided by a seven-member Governing Circle that ensures Indigenous input in the control of the materials held by the NCTR. This Governing Circle provides guidance on the centre’s policies, priorities and activities, on ceremonies and protocols, on methods and sources for expanding the Centre’s holdings and resources, and on prospective partners.
The Position – Director, Communications and Digital Strategy
Reporting to the Executive Director, the Director, Communications & Digital Strategy oversees the NCTR’s news, media, publications, social media, websites, strategic development of communications and marketing campaigns, and advertising to promote and maintain the national level significance and reputation of NCTR programming and initiatives.
The Director oversees and ensures the NCTR’s vision and mission is upheld and seeks guidance and advice from the NCTR Survivors Circle and Governing Circle. They will have specialized knowledge of Indigenous peoples, proven community engagement and connections with all National Indigenous Organizations and media across the country – locally, regionally and nationally. They will fulfill NCTR’s responsibility for communicating its work and mandate related to public education, research, archives and ongoing Survivor statement gathering.
The Director oversees the communications team to lead and implement all aspects of NCTR’s strategic communications and digital strategies, including national special projects for all audiences. They are responsible for directing the hiring and professional development of the communications team and any performance management and discipline, as appropriate.
Given the sensitive nature and confidentiality surrounding the NCTR’s work, including missing children and burials, it is expected that crisis, emotional and/or significant issues of a national concern are at the forefront of NCTR’s work. The Director will lead the planning and development of a communications strategy, execute all responses and be expected to work with highly sensitive and confidential information and will ensure communications staff are working in a collaborative, culturally safe space.
The Position – Director, Communications and Digital Strategy (continued)
Responsibilities and Duties
- Works closely with the Executive Director and the NCTR leadership team to deliver on the organization’s mandate and uphold NCTR values
- Provides Senior Leadership in the planning, strategy development, implementation and evaluation of all marketing, branding and communications associated with the NCTR
- Provides Senior Leadership and directs all content development for all communication platforms (print, digital content, social media, video, national special projects) related to archives, research, education, outreach and public programming
- Acts as the NCTR spokesperson for media, events and Indigenous and non-Indigenous governments and other organizations and partners, as needed Provides direction to the communications team
- Directs and supports a collaborative effort between the communications team and all NCTR unit leads to develop marketing and communications plans according to NCTR objectives and its strategic plan
- Supports NCTR unit leads on all matters and risks related to NCTR reputation, public and government relations, branding and communications Directs, oversees, edits staff communication materials
- Produces an annual work plan and sets strategic communication directions for the NCTR in collaboration with the Governing Circle, and Survivors Circle and Senior Unit leads
- Leads special projects and initiatives and collaborates with unit leads and service providers to ensure alignment with the NCTR mandate
- Directs the communications team in best practices and strategies in project management to ensure projects achieve objectives and are implemented on time and on budget
- Directs the development and establishes tracking, reporting and processes on all marketing and communications activities; Conducts an annual review of the effectiveness of communications and branding strategies
- Designs and implements market research strategies to inform marketing and communications activities and to measure program success
- Directs the gathering of data, digital and social media analytics quarterly Oversees the NCTR’s response to crisis situations
- Hires, directs and oversees external service providers where necessary
- Directs team to maximize efficiencies for all program related areas and makes the most effective use of resources
- Assists the Executive Director and unit leads to uphold all NCTR brand values through communication, digital content, film, video and social media
- Directs market research on a national basis regarding public education to further reconciliation
The Position – Director, Communications and Digital Strategy (continued)
- Drafts communications budget and forecasts annual operating budget including salary and non-salary items
- Approves unit expenditures in alignment with the budget and delegated authorities
Provides leadership to ensure there is an appropriate staff complement to support the operational and strategic goals of the NCTR by:
- Developing and maintaining accurate job descriptions
- Establishing objectives for all unit staff and conducting regular performance evaluations Performing disciplinary action when necessary
- Developing training and development plans for unit staff Approving staff complement adjustments as needed
- Providing Senior leadership and mentorship to staff within the unit
- Ensuring there are competent and qualified leaders within all unit positions by:
- Recommending vacant positions, creating new positions and discontinuing redundant positions
- Developing job roles that identify responsibilities and qualifications associated with each position
- Acting as member of the selection committee for vacant positions
- Providing appropriate orientation, direction and training to new staff members
- Ensuring the smooth functioning of the unit including directing priorities, workplans, making adjustments/recommendation/feedback and assigning tasks as required
Experience and Qualifications:
The ideal candidate will be comfortable working with significant independence in establishing communications practices and procedures and maintaining objectives. Candidates who identify as First Nations, Inuit, and/or Métis are strongly encouraged to apply.
Strong consideration will be given to candidates who possess an Undergraduate degree or diploma in communications, marketing, or other specialization. An acceptable equivalent combination of education and work experience may be considered.
- 10 years of directly related communications and client management experience in a marketing, communications setting
- 10 years’ leadership and management experience
- 10 years’ experience working with Indigenous peoples, Indigenous Organizations, and/or Survivors of Residential School
Skills and Abilities:
- Exceptional verbal and written communication skills and a high level of creativity and problem-solving skills
- A proven track record of successful strategic communications planning and
- implementation Exceptional leadership and relationship building skills
Experience and Qualifications: (continued)
- A solid understanding of print and digital communications platforms and the ability to leverage in an integrated way to meet identified goals and objectives
- A solid understanding of audio and video production and digital programming
- Strong time management skills and the ability to prioritize conflicting demands
- Strong project management skills
- A proven track record working with Senior Executive level, Ministerial or Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Governments at all levels
- A proven track record in working with national organizations, Indigenous peoples and nations
- A high degree of independence, diplomacy and the ability to work collectively in a fast-paced environment
- Ability to effectively lead, collaborate and negotiate
- Ability to liaise successfully with external partners, senior leaders and Indigenous peoples
- Proven ability to engage and foster relationships with Indigenous peoples (First Nations, Inuit and Métis)
- Ability to motivate and inspire team members
- Ability to manage a broad range of marketing communications projects from concept to completion including but not limited to: communications strategies, print publications, social media strategies, digital content development, special event projects, advertising and market research Thorough
- Knowledge of the procedures and techniques in the field of communications
- Must have knowledge of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada and the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation
- Must be available to work overtime (includes evenings and weekends)
- Knowledge of French or Indigenous language(s) is an asset
- Possession of a Valid Class 5 Drivers license and ability to travel for work including via commercial airlines
It is important to note:
Regular exposure to secondary or vicarious trauma will occur on a daily basis, both through the archival records and in person meetings with Survivors and others who have been affected by the residential school system. The archival records, both in AV and textual format, repeatedly discuss sexual, physical, and mental abuse on children, and their lasting effects and are often points of communication. The incumbent must be aware of the effects of vicarious trauma and be well versed in dealing with people in a variety of emotional states including PTSD. The incumbent must be highly aware of the history, impact, and legacy of the residential school system. They will host interviews regularly that deal with highly, sensitive and confidential content.
Location – Winnipeg
The NCTR is located on Treaty One Territory, on the original lands of Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, and Dene peoples, and on the homeland of the Métis Nation. Its clean drinking water comes from Shoal Lake 40 First Nation, in Treaty Three Territory.
Winnipeg, from the Cree “win-nipi”, is one of the most multicultural cities in the world. With a population around 800,000, it is a place where more than 100 languages are spoken and where inclusivity and diversity are celebrated. Winnipeg is the perfect microcosm of all that’s best in Canada and North America. Everything you need to discover – the beauty, the artistry, the grit, the competition, the voices, the tastes, and the sounds of the whole world – come together here.
TIME magazine recently singled out Winnipeg as a global destination. Here, visit Qaumajuq, the Winnipeg Art Gallery’s Inuit-led cultural campus that is home to the largest collection of contemporary Inuit art in the world. At the heart of Qaumajuq is a revolutionary three-storey crystalline Visible Vault, which brings its thousands of cultural treasures forth, into the light.
Visiting Winnipeg, just like Qaumajuq, will open up the treasures of a whole continent and make them bright and visible. From the Forks National Historic Site to the Journey to Churchill Polar Bear Exhibit at the Assiniboine Park Zoo, to the FortWhyte Alive nature preserve, and its unparalleled network of trails for hiking, biking and skiing—Winnipeg is captivating to everyone who loves the natural world. And, as one of the world’s greatest winter cities, cold inspires us!
Home to several professional sports organizations and with a vibrant arts and culture scene, there is something for everyone – from cheering on the Winnipeg Jets or Blue Bombers to the virtuosity of the Winnipeg Symphony and the world-renowned Royal Winnipeg Ballet, to exploring the internationally acclaimed Canadian Museum for Human Rights, Winnipeg is a great place to not only raise a family, but to learn and reflect on a daily basis.
For more details or to further explore this important strategic leadership opportunity, please contact:
Laurie Sterritt • Partner
880-609 Granville Street
Vancouver, British Columbia
Telephone : 778-838-4569
Saxon Miller • Research Associate
201 Portage Avenue – 18th Floor
To apply, please submit a PDF Cover Letter and Resume directly to Leaders International outlining your interest, qualifications, and experience.
Leaders International specializes in the recruitment of Board of Directors, leadership succession and executive level positions. Our global network, Penrhyn International, is a world leader in the executive recruitment industry, with more than 47 offices in over 25 countries on 5 continents.