JOB: Vancouver, BC – Systems & Operations Manager, Working Group on Indigenous Food Sovereignty

Posted by JoHana Harcourt on May 26, 2023

The Working Group on Indigenous Food Sovereignty & UBC Centre for Sustainable Food Systems in Vancouver, BC are seeking a full-time Just Transition Coordinator!


The Working Group on Indigenous Food Sovereignty (WGIFS) was founded in 2006 out of a recognized need to carry Indigenous voice and vision in food systems research, action, and policy. The WGIFS has since become an internationally recognized grassroots organization consisting of Indigenous knowledge holders, scholars, researchers, and practitioners at a translocal scale. We aim to address the systemic issues underlying food insecurity in Indigenous Nations/communities, and we advocate for systems transformation and Indigenous food sovereignty through the re-conceptualization of frameworks for foodland conservation and food security within a more holistic, regenerative life-giving paradigm.

The WGIFS is seeking a Systems and Operations Manager who will work with supervision and direction from the WGIFS Curator to facilitate the development of administrative, financial, technical and human capacity to better support the WGIFS team in leading and living the reality of food sovereignty. This position offers the opportunity to support deep systems transformation, decolonizing food systems, and organizational change-making, and will play an integral role in co-creating and implementing a generational funding plan to support the next generation of leadership in the WGIFS and beyond.


The successful candidate will work closely with project teams to assess, develop, maintain and increase organizational capacity to shift the narrative and implement the WGIFS strategic framework “on the ground.” The individual will be a crucial team player for the organization in carrying out the day-to-day operations aligned with the wise practices of Indigenous food sovereignty and WGIFS principles:

  • Sacred responsibilities – upholding responsibilities to the land, water, people, plants and animals that provide us with our food through our original instructions to work with the regenerative, life-giving energy of nature.
  • Participatory – supporting communities of practice in their ability to participate in day-to-day activities of subsistence hunting, fishing, farming, gathering, preparing and preserving culturally appropriate foods in the forest, fields and waterways.
  • Self-determination – enhancing our ability to respond to our own needs for healthy, culturally adapted Indigenous foods at multiple scales (individual, family, community, Nation, international)
  • Decolonizing policy, planning and governance – applying a transformative framework to transcend the wicked systemic problems impacting Indigenous food sovereignty
  • The candidate will play a key role in the management of a generational funding plan and budget, day-to-day operations, team support, and the development and maintenance of a system of relational accountability with our project teams, partners, funders, oncoming Board of Directors, networks and allies. The expectation is that the successful candidate will spend 6 months of training on the Decolonizing Food System Framework methodology for evaluating organizational structures and processes and building trust in relationships. There is potential to advance to a core leadership role after 6 months of orientation and relationship-building with the team.

Main Responsibilities

Strategic Development and Leadership

  •  Facilitate a team process of assessing and establishing organizational structures, processes, priorities to support finance/administration, communications and media, human relations, and research projects, and operational plans
  • Work with the leadership team and staff to document and establish data sovereignty protocols and procedures for internal and external and media and communication platforms
  • Support the development and wider promotion and application of wise practices in a place-based approach to leadership development in the organization
  • Actively cultivate, enhance, and manage meaningful relationships with funders, partners, community organizations, government institutions, and media
  • Assist the Curator in the process of convening conversations about priorities in line with the purpose and vision of the WGIFS and help to operationalize those decisions
  • Help explore organizational structures/models that could improve the long-term sustainability of the WGIFS and reduce or streamline administrative redundancies
    Day-to-day Operations and Administration
  • Oversee management systems and operations to ensure they are operating optimally in support of the work of the staff and contractors “on the ground”
  • Create and manage reports on the organizational budget, finances, and strategy, as well as reports related to grant accountability
  • Manage internal structures and tools for organizational collaboration, communication, and file sharing/storage
  • Oversee development of materials that facilitate internal communications between WGIF staff/contractors, etc.
  • Support with key organizational events as needed (e.g., Funders’ Workshops, Wild Salmon Caravan, etc.)

Human Relations and Capacity-Building

  • Mentor and train staff to increase organizational capacity with financial literacy, project management, and human relations (recruitment, retainment, relational accountability)
  • Develop and monitor metrics and benchmarks to build a culture of regenerative practice within the WGIFS organization
  • Hire, mentor, and supervise and Finance/Administrative Assistant to support with bookkeeping, reporting, logistics, and internal and external communication
  • Manage recruitment and hiring processes, including topics related to salary, etc.
  • Apply transformative/decolonizing methodologies to the process of carrying out yearly performance and organizational evaluations
  • Ensure staff feel supported and engaged with the work by providing opportunities for reflection, feedback, professional development, and personal wellbeing
  • Balance the burden of capacity carried by the WGIFS staff/contractors in their efforts with recruiting experts for the development of programming in their special areas of focus including: Indigenous Land-based Leadership, Secwepemc Watchmen Development, Indigenous Food Sharing & Caring, etc.

Project Management and Financial Reporting

  • Support WGIFS staff/contractors in their efforts to ensure grant/project milestones or
    deliverables are being met according to project timelines and document them for financial reporting or accounting to funders and the WGIFS Board of Directors
  • Lead financial planning processes and manage organizational and project budgets
  • Ensure organizational financial integrity and work with relevant actors to support any necessary reporting (e.g. for tax purposes, grants, etc.)
  • Guided by a Decolonizing Wealth approach, develop and implement finance and administration policies and controls to support a comprehensive and systematic approach to accounts payable and receivable, and deductions for employees and contractors (i.e. taxes, CCP, WCB)
  • Promote integrity and transparency in a system of relationality with the WGIFS staff and Board of Directors in budgetary decision-making and management

Minimum Qualifications

Applicants are encouraged to apply if they meet 75% or more of the below qualifications:

  • Degree in a field related to Indigenous administration, management, accounting, or another relevant area of focus OR at least 5 years of relevant professional experience in operations, management, and/or administration, including with fundraising, budgeting, and accounting/financial reporting
  • Strong oral and written communication skills; ability to navigate conversations with a range of actors, from subsistence harvesters to government officials to funders, with cultural humility and responsiveness
  • Lived experience working with Indigenous Peoples in a trauma-informed environment
  • A strong knowledge of and commitment to social and environmental justice and Indigenous food sovereignty
  • Familiarity with conversations around deep and meaningful truth and reconciliation and decolonizing wealth and philanthropy
  • Proficient with Google Drive, Microsoft Office, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and other relevant technology; willing to research and learn about additional software useful for financial management and accounting
  • Fluency in English; proficiency in an Indigenous language would be a benefit
  • Organized, responsible, detail-oriented, self-motivated, receptive to feedback, transparent, collaborative, able to multitask, and able to facilitate high cultural context communication across cultures
  • Willingness to mentor others to build overall organizational capacity
  • Ability to work in Canada
  •  Comfortable with remote work and online meetings
  • Driver’s license or ability to meet transportation needs to and from Chase, BC, or other territories as needed

Other Factors

  • Indigenous candidates preferred. Non-Indigenous applicants will be considered only with a deep understanding of structural oppression and demonstrated ability to work in a decolonizing approach to creating ethical spaces of engagement with Indigenous Peoples.

Start Date: July 17, 2023
Hours: Full time, 35 hours/week
Location: Negotiable, requires travel to Secwepemc territory (Chase, BC)
Remuneration: CAD $85,000 per annum, depending on location and experience


Applications should be submitted in a PDF attachment by email to Dawn Morrison: with the subject “Operations Manager 2023″ and file name
“LastName.FirstName.pdf”. Please include:

  • 1-page cover letter stating your interest, key qualifications, and experience working in/with Indigenous or structurally marginalized communities
  • CV, including contact information for 3 references

Application Deadline: June 18, 2023. Applications will be reviewed as they are received and review will continue until suitable candidates are identified.

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