Internship

Key Biodiversity Areas Indigenous Outreach Assistant

  Posted: April 4, 2024
  Location: Remote work with occasional visits to the Toronto office, Ontario
  Type: Virtual
  Internship Program: Clean Tech
  Hourly rate: $27
  Hours per Week: 35
  Start Date: July 2, 2024
  End Date: February 28, 2025

Job Description

WCS Canada’s Key Biodiversity Areas (KBA) program is seeking a KBA Indigenous Outreach Assistant with excellent interpersonal, communication, and organizational skills and a strong interest in supporting Indigenous-led conservation. The KBA program is a national effort to identify places in Canada that contribute significantly to the persistence of biodiversity, overseen by a coalition of partners including NGOs, academic scientists, governments and Indigenous communities.

KBAs represent sites that are globally and nationally important to the persistence of plants, animals, and ecosystems. These include places with globally and nationally recognized rare or threatened animal and plant species and ecosystems, places where animals gather in larger numbers for breeding, migration or other reasons, places where species and ecosystems exist that cannot be found anywhere else in the world, and places containing intact, undisturbed landscapes. WCS Canada and the KBA initiative are committed to supporting Indigenous values and stewardship efforts, respecting Indigenous knowledge, and enabling informed participation of Indigenous Peoples throughout the KBA identification initiative.

The Key Biodiversity Areas (KBA) Indigenous Outreach Assistant will contribute to the continued work of identifying and developing pathways for Indigenous Peoples to participate in and collaborate with the KBA program that are supportive of Indigenous values and conservation priorities.

Knowledge and Skills

• Familiarity with Indigenous-led conservation practices and priorities in different regions of Canada.
• Familiarity with reconciliation needs and ethical, non-exploitative approaches for working with Indigenous partners and shared knowledge on conservation projects.
• Experience engaging with people from a wide variety of backgrounds, including Indigenous Peoples.
• Proven ability to work both independently and within a team on multiple projects concurrently.
• Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail, including record keeping, note taking, and data organization.
• Experience supporting project coordination (could include designing projects, identifying funding opportunities, writing documentation, and/or training project staff/participants).
• Excellent communication skills, both oral and written.
• Strong problem-solving skills, detail oriented, and resourceful.
• A passion for the conservation of nature and wildlife.

Preferred Qualifications/Skills/Experience
• Previous experience working directly with Indigenous communities or community members on conservation-related projects is an asset.
• Familiarity with the Key Biodiversity Areas program in Canada and/or globally.
• Experience or training in project management/administration in a professional setting.
• Some familiarity with aspects of video production (filming, interviews, editing, etc.) is an a asset.
• Familiarity with GIS tools and methods for basic geospatial data manipulation and analysis (ArcGIS Pro an asset).

Duties and Responsibilities

• Support the Ecosystem Criteria Coordinator in developing an Indigenous youth-led, video-based storytelling project:
- Help with the video project pilot running in 2024 by recording training sessions, occasionally assisting with participant support, and transcribing shared knowledge when appropriate.
- Research and coordinate with communities in highly intact regions of Canada to assess their interest in collaboration on, and potential participants for, future iterations of the video project.
- Refine and share training materials and other resources for future project participants based on the initial pilot project work and results.
- Research funding options to expand the project into additional communities.
- Help the Ecosystem Criteria Coordinator develop documents and protocols to support project expansion into additional communities.

• Support the Assessment and Outreach Coordinator:
- Identify and contact appropriate representatives of Indigenous communities and groups around candidate KBA sites, and organize meetings to discuss engagement and collaboration
- Liaise with KBA Secretariat members and regional coordinators around Indigenous outreach at sites
- Organize and keep track of outreach and communications with Indigenous communities and groups around KBAs, as well as information and outreach needs
- Liaise with Indigenous communities and groups around engagement and collaboration with KBA Canada program
 Ensure Nations are aware of KBA program and potential sites in their territories
 Facilitate sharing of data and information from KBA program to communities
 Facilitate co-development of KBA proposals and/or participation in review of KBA materials with Nations
 Ensure input into site delineations, KBA information, place and species names and more
 Facilitate discussions on how KBA information may be relevant in supporting community goals and decisions, and informing lands management or conservation decision-making
 Begin discussions around long-term community-led monitoring/surveying and stewardship of KBAs
- Planning and logistics for meetings and workshops (including those in virtual settings).
- Provide input on how to improve Indigenous participation and involvement in the KBA process

• Regular meetings with Ecosystem Criteria and Assessment and Outreach Coordinators (and other team members as needed) for progress updates and information sharing.

• Support WCS Canada’s goal of transforming WCS Canada’s conservation practice through reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples.

• Contribute to creating a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace that promotes engagement and belonging.

Education Required

Post-secondary degree in environmental science, biodiversity conservation or other related field.

  How to Apply

To apply, send your resume to lpoley@wcs.org.

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We have used this program in the past and have two current employees that were brought into the company as interns. They both will hopefully have long established careers. The Natural Resources Internship program has certainly made it easier for our company to take a small risk by bringing in employees with little to no experience in the industry. The rebate we get helps cover the cost of training and teaching the employee the basic skills needed for a job at our company and their occupation. By bringing employees in early we can invest in them and hopefully have them for 5 or 10 years or longer with the company. 

Hannes Rupitsch
BC Passive House


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