Métis Knowledge Specialist

Classified Categories: Archived

Métis Knowledge Specialist

The deadline for this opportunity has passed.

It is an exciting time to join Lougheed House as we continue to grow as a cultural hub for Calgary and our Beltline community. We are expanding our programming and are looking for an individual interested in being a part of this journey.

Lougheed House was built in 1891 and is a Provincial and National Historic Site. Designed by Ottawa architect James R. Bowes for Senator James and Isabella Lougheed, it is one of the earliest surviving mansions of its kind on the Canadian prairies today. Located in the Beltline district of Calgary amid several acres of heritage gardens and green space, the House is also an accredited museum and significant Calgary landmark. It features a regular exhibition program, and hosts events, tours, and learning opportunities for visitors of all ages.

Project Description

Lougheed House is developing a temporary exhibit focusing on the topic of Métis identity.

Lougheed House was built by James and Isabella Lougheed in 1891. Isabella was a member of the Hardisty family, a Métis family with many connections to the Hudson’s Bay Company, the fur trade, and the early Canadian government. Several members of the family didn’t publicly identify as Métis and as we learn about the legacy of the Hardisty family, exploring the idea of what it means to be Métis is essential to our understanding of both the history of the Lougheed House, our city, province, and country, as well as the personal stories of the people connected to those histories.

The topic of Métis identity can be complex. In recent years, the term Métis has shifted to include various identities that have arisen from diverse historical instances of Aboriginal-European heritage. The Powley case in 2003, the first major Aboriginal rights case concerning Métis peoples, set the legal definition of Métis as people who have continued ties to a historic Métis community, and are accepted as such by a contemporary community. However, any sort of identity criteria could be seen as problematic as many people who do not fit this definition continue to self-identify as Métis.

This exhibit will explore various interpretations of what it means to identify as Métis through the lens of historical documents and contemporary artworks. We are undertaking this work in order to listen and to learn about the best way to talk about Isabella Clarke Hardisty Lougheed, who is a central figure in the story of this museum.

Project Goals:

  • To explore the various historical and contemporary considerations of what it means to be Métis.
  • To grow awareness of Indigenous perspectives on Canada’s early history.
  • To promote a greater understanding of the Canada of today though interrogations of our history and the long-term impacts of actions from the past in order to imagine a future that values a diversity of experiences and perspectives.

Position Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • This work is to be undertaken in collaboration and with the support of the Lougheed House Curator. All duties are to be shared with the Lougheed House Curator.
  • Co-curate an exhibit exploring Métis identity.
  • Conduct research utilizing databases, archives, and diverse tools on Métis history.
  • Consult with the Métis community and other stakeholders.
  • Develop a call for artists to respond to the theme of Métis identity.
  • Conduct artist visits with selected artists.
  • Select historical documents, photographs, and contemporary artworks to be included in the exhibit.
  • Develop a narrative or storyline for the exhibit.
  • Contribute to writing a curatorial essay to accompany the exhibit.
  • Be available for the exhibit opening, media interviews, potential programming, and a curator’s tour.


  • A Bachelor’s degree in Canadian studies, Western Canadian history, Indigenous studies, art history, or similar discipline; or a combination of equivalent education and experience related to research, contemporary art, culture, history, and/or writing.
  • Knowledge of Métis history and culture.
  • Knowledge of contemporary art practice.
  • Excellent research and writing skills.
  • Some familiarity with local archival holdings and experience using both primary and secondary sources for research is considered an asset.
  • Experience working in partnership development, building and fostering relationships, and engaging with the public is considered an asset.

Competency Requirements:

  • Proven skill and ability in working with subject matter that is complex and may have multiple interpretations.
  • Exceptional organizational and planning skills and the ability to work independently.
  • Ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing and to deal courteously, tactfully, and diplomatically with other employees, volunteers, and the general public.
  • Good team player and a self-starter.

Start Date: Possible start date December 2018 with some flexibility.

Duration: This is a part-time contractor position with work taking place between December 2018 and June 2019. The exhibit is scheduled to run from June 13 to September 29, 2019. Intensity of work over this time period will vary. Days and hours worked are highly flexible with some specific dates that may be required.

Compensation: $5,000 flat fee.

Items to Include in Resume: Resume and cover letter.

Preference may be given to applicants who self-identify as Indigenous with the required combination of education and experience. Lougheed House is committed to, and values, diversity in the workplace.

This position is dependent on grant funding and budget approval.

For more information on the Lougheed House, please feel free to call or email Caroline Loewen, 403.244.6333 ext. 109.

For more information visit go to lougheedhouse.com.

We will begin reviewing submissions on October 26, 2018 but the posting will remain open until a suitable candidate is found.

Submissions should be sent by email to Caroline Loewen, Curator at cloewen@lougheedhouse.com

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