Indigenous Programs Specialist

Classified Categories: Archived

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Indigenous Programs Specialist

(Permanent, Full-Time)

We acknowledge that the land we gather on, Mohkinsstsis, is the ancestral territory of the Siksikaitsitapi—the Blackfoot people—comprising the Siksika, Kainai, and Piikani Nations, as well as Treaty 7 signatories, the Tsuut’ina Nation, and the Îyâxe Nakoda Bearspaw, Chiniki, and Wesley First Nations. This land is also the home of Métis Nation Region 3. We recognize all Indigenous people of Turtle Island who call Treaty 7 home.

We acknowledge that there has been art, music, dance, storytelling, and ceremony on this land since time immemorial and it is in the spirit of this land and its people that we do our work.

Employment Equity Statement

Calgary Arts Development is an equal opportunity employer and employs people without regard to race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, language, citizenship, creed, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, marital status, physical, and/or mental abilities.

While remaining alert and sensitive to the issue of fair and equitable treatment for all, Calgary Arts Development has a special concern with the participation and advancement of members of designated groups that have traditionally been disadvantaged in employment: Black, Indigenous, and people of colour, persons with physical or mental disabilities, and members of the 2SLGBTQIAP+ community.

We are currently working remotely to reduce the risk of COVID-19 contact for our staff, but it is important to note that our office in the Burns Building downtown is unfortunately not fully accessible in the following ways:

  • The Burns Building is not fully wheelchair accessible.
  • We do not have accessible or gender-neutral washrooms—the closest ones are in the building adjacent to ours–Arts Commons.
  • We are not presently equipped with technology that supports those with hearing or visual impairments.

While we seek to rectify this in the future, we feel it is important to be transparent about the limitations of our current facilities.

Who Are We?

Calgary Arts Development Authority is our city’s designated arts development authority. We provide grant investments to hundreds of arts organizations, individual artists, and groups. We value relationships, generosity, reciprocity, plain language, and curiosity.

We believe the arts have the power to build our city. Through the arts development strategy, Living a Creative Life, our vision is a creative, connected, prosperous Calgary where every resident has the opportunity to live a creative life. We foster a sustainable and resilient arts sector, and support arts-led city building.

Strong relationships are central to our work, and will be particularly central to this role. We honour artists and believe that art is a critical component of public good. We welcome new introductions and partnerships with artists and arts organizations as well as with others whose work may be outside the arts who are trying to make our city great through living a creative life.

Our team has been working towards creating shared environments where all people can feel safe, heard, and validated. A sensitivity to the lived experiences of diverse, marginalized, and equity-seeking people is very important as we continue valuing equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility in all aspects of our work.

The Role

We are recruiting a full-time Indigenous programs specialist to join our team. This position is responsible for the co-design and implementation of granting programs for Indigenous artists and organizations. This includes the direct administration of the Original Peoples Investment Program and support for other investment programs available to individual artists and arts organizations.


  • Co-design and implement the Original Peoples Investment Program for Indigenous artists and organizations, ensuring that the process is straightforward, transparent, and adheres to published program guidelines and timelines.
  • Work with members of the community investment team, Calgary Arts Development staff, and the Indigenous advisory group to ensure that the values of Truth and Reconciliation and right relations with First Nations, Métis, and Inuit communities in Treaty 7 are embedded in the design and implementation of all investment programs, including the local calls to action of the White Goose Flying Report.
  • Provide support for other community investment staff during the implementation of other investment programs.
  • Build relationships with artists and arts organizations through one-on-one meetings, feedback, and direct application support.
  • Communicate grant programs, host information sessions, and deliver grant-writing workshops.
  • Select and train assessment committees, and facilitate the assessment process in a neutral and fair manner according to the published program guidelines and criteria.
  • Identify opportunities to seek conversations and share resources with the Indigenous arts community in Treaty 7.

Who Are You?

For this position, we are looking for someone who is knowledgeable about the Indigenous arts community in Treaty 7 and of Indigenous history and culture in Canada, and has a personal connection to and respect for traditional ways of knowing for Indigenous people. You have a deep relationship with the nations of Treaty 7 and First Nations, Métis, and Inuit people who call Mohkinsstsis home.

You are not all things to all people, but you are probably already a few of these things:

  • You are connected to and in relationship with Indigenous Elders and Knowledge Keepers.
  • You are familiar with processes around Indigenous art and art making, both traditional and contemporary.
  • You are well connected in the arts scene in Treaty 7.
  • You are enthusiastic about acting as a resource for artists and arts organizations, and are curious and diligent in your work.
  • You enjoy both spending time with people one on one and are comfortable leading group conversations.
  • You are passionate about the importance of preserving, revitalizing, and innovating Indigenous art and art practices, and are curious about different approaches and ways of working.
  • You are committed to growing your awareness of equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility, and want to ensure that our systems reflect those values but this is not new work for you.
  • You are passionate about working with people, and interested in building relationships.
  • You are familiar with processes around grant investment, including project planning and budgets.
  • You are comfortable with public speaking
  • You adapt quickly to using new technologies.
  • You are comfortable working in a collaborative and open work environment.
  • You are a self-starter who is adaptable working both independently and with a team.
  • You’re a lifelong learner.

If you see yourself in this opportunity, we would love to have a conversation with you. And if you’re not sure, you can learn more about us by exploring our website.

We are also open to having conversations with individuals in advance of the submission of an application to clarify questions about this posting.

Please address those inquiries to Melissa Tuplin, Interim Director, Community Investment, at or Sable Sweetgrass, Indigenous Relations Liaison, at

How to Apply

Please indicate your interest by emailing with your resume and cover letter. Please use the subject line: Specialist, Indigenous Programs.

In your cover letter, please describe your sense of connection and relationship to Indigenous community, Indigenous art, and to the land here in Treaty 7.

If you would like to request application assistance, please contact or call 403.264.5330 to arrange assistance. Details around application assistance are listed in detail below.

For best consideration apply by August 3, 2021. We are hoping to fill this position by September 7, 2021 but our commitment to finding the right fit may require more time.

Minimum annual salary is $50,000 in addition to an extended health benefits package, and a matching RRSP program.

Application Assistance

We recognize that the job application process can create barriers to access for many applicants who are interested in applying. Our job calls are written in English, shared online and require applicants to email their applications in English. This creates technological, linguistic, communication, and cultural barriers, to name a few.

In recognition of these barriers to access, eligible applicants can request assistance to help alleviate some of the costs associated with preparing and submitting a job application.

Who Can Request Assistance?

Individuals who self-identify as:

  • An individual who is Deaf, hard of hearing, has a disability or is living with a mental illness.
  • An individual facing language, geographic, or cultural barriers.

To receive assistance, you will need to provide:

  • The name and contact information of someone who can help you (this could be a trusted friend or family member, or a professional service provider). We may be able to make recommendations depending on the service being requested.
  • The amount you are requesting, including the service provider’s hourly rate.
Types of Assistance
General Transcription or Editing Services & Organizing of Support Materials
  • Applicants who identify barriers within the writing process directly due to a physical or learning disability or due to living with mental illness.
  • Maximum Contribution: $75
Language Translation
  • Applicants writing an application in another language who require translation into English, including American Sign Language.
  • Maximum Contribution: $150
ASL Interpretation
  • Calgary Arts Development is able to make arrangements for reputable, in-person ASL interpreters for interviews, in consultation with the interviewee, and at no cost to the interviewee.
Interview Parking
  • Applicants who must drive to an interview at our request are eligible to have their parking costs paid by Calgary Arts Development.
  • Maximum Contribution: $26 per interview, or the equivalent of the daily rate for parkades or parking meters that are close to the Calgary Arts Development office. Please note that currently all interviews are being conducted via Zoom.
  • Applicants who require childcare services in order to attend the interview are eligible to be reimbursed for those childcare expenses.

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