Director, IRSHDC Digital, Strategic & Indigenous Partnerships

Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre (IRSHDC)

Full-Time, Ongoing General Librarian position with 5 year renewable Head term

Anticipated Start Date: June 3, 2019



When the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) report was published in June 2015, it documented a devastating history of abuse and neglect of Indigenous children. Non-Indigenous Canadians were confronted with the stark reality of the nation’s history as experienced by Indigenous peoples. It provided a sobering look at Canada’s history and a meaningful context for the complex reality many Indigenous people face today, including relationships between Indigenous peoples and non-Indigenous Canadians. Despite the work of the TRC, Canadians remain largely unaware of this history or its lasting effects. To respond to the need for more informed understandings, UBC is establishing the Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre (IRSHDC).

The IRSHDC at the University of British Columbia will provide access for former Indian Residential School students, their families, and communities to information and records of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and other sources for education and public information. The Centre will also support research and dialogue about IRS history and its legacies and bring together UBC researchers and educators with community-based experts to address key questions that underline economic development, health, and sustainability of Indigenous communities in British Columbia and across the country.

The design and development of the IRSHDC’s digital infrastructure privileges open, transparent and pluralistic design principles, collaborative development, and the incorporation of Indigenous research methodologies. The IRSHDC strives to provide those affected by the Indian Residential School (IRS) system, community and academic collaborators, with platforms designed to support partnership building, aid in improving understanding, and contribute to meaningful and effective dialogue.

The IRSHDC has an important, ongoing role in strategic initiatives in Indigenous research and knowledge organization, and the role of the Director, IRSHDC Digital, Strategic & Indigenous Partnerships is critical to that function. The nature and scope of this position may evolve as the IRSHDC grows and establishes its internal and external relationships and research program.


The Director, IRSHDC Digital, Strategic & Indigenous Partnerships has responsibility to work with the IRSHDC Academic Director in overall strategic leadership, visioning, planning, development and implementation of systems, programs and services to meet the Centre’s goals. This position has responsibility for working with the Academic Director in planning and developing the IRSHDC operating budget, special funds, and securing grants and partnerships; facilitating the effective use of the budget to meet the Centre’s mandate. As the digital lead, this position is responsible for the strategic leadership of people, services, and operations in the ongoing development and implementation of IRSHDC collection management and interactive systems, content collections, reference services and user spaces. The scope of this position includes the organization, administration, and operation of the IRSHDC information infrastructure, for the development of its collections, and digital infrastructure and systems, for the provision of effective reference, for instruction and for outreach to partners on and off campus, and Indigenous and archives, library, gallery, museum and information communities and organizations in Canada and abroad. This position is responsible for developing partnerships with stakeholders internal and external to the

University in support of the IRSHDC’s mandate and work. This position facilitates effective digital content and systems collaborations between internal and external partners. This role is responsible for engaging in ongoing research and teaching in the areas of digital records, digital systems design and development, and policy to ensure the IRSHDC is operating at the forefront in these areas.



A graduate degree from an accredited school of Library, Archival and Information Science and experience in information management and/or information & collection systems development and implementation, is required, including working with archival records and digital media collections, developing and managing digital information systems, including policy development and digital preservation and experience in developing data models and system requirements.

A proven record of successful strategic leadership, visioning and implementation of ideas and programs, preferably, within a large academic research environment, through the development and management of effective and collaborative working relationships and partnerships with internal and external stakeholders is necessary.

Knowledge of data access issues and applications, metadata standards, tools and systems is required. Knowledge of Indigenous and IRS histories, initiatives and materials, and related intellectual property issues and community access protocols, intellectual property laws and relevant knowledge management issues is required. Demonstrated effective administrative, management and leadership skills through progressively responsible work experiences.

Excellence in verbal and written communication skills. Experience managing complex budgets. Dedication to cultivating an inclusive environment that recognizes barriers faced by people and encourages and incorporates contributions from diverse groups and individuals is necessary.

Experience engaging with First Nations peoples and/or communities, demonstrated First Nations cultural competency including knowledge of Indian Residential School system, and prior work with Survivors of schools and their families, is required. If candidate does not have adequate experience and cultural competency with First Nations peoples, professional development requirements to achieve proven competency may be a requirement imposed during the probationary period.


The Director, IRSHDC Digital, Strategic & Indigenous Partnerships reports to the University Librarian and works under the general direction of the Academic Director of the IRSHDC. The Director, IRSHDC Digital, Strategic & Indigenous directly and indirectly supervises a team of professionals including librarians and archivists and M&P staff and provides indirect supervision of CUPE 2950 and student employees The Director, IRSHDC Digital, Strategic & Indigenous Partnerships consults with the Academic Director concerning the budget for systems development, collections, ordering and processing of materials, and collection development and preservation; financial and facilities matters; systems issues; human resources; and development. The Director, IRSHDC Digital, Strategic & Indigenous Partnerships cooperates with Heads and AULs in the UBC Library and information spaces in the provision of services and the development of collections and digital systems, and ensures that relevant issues are discussed with the Academic Director. The Director, IRSHDC Digital, Strategic & Indigenous Partnerships works with various

Indigenous and non-Indigenous academic concentrations across UBC, including First Nations and Indigenous Studies, Indigenous Research Support Initiative, First Nations and Endangered Languages, the First Nations Curriculum Concentration at the iSchool, the Centre for Teaching and Learning Technologies, etc. The Director, IRSHDC Digital, Strategic & Indigenous Partnerships consults with other members of the UBC information community (e.g. library, archives), First Nations House of Learning, community members, and an advisory committee. The Director, IRSHDC Digital, Strategic & Indigenous Partnerships also works in developing and fostering partnerships with relevant external organizations and community partners. The nature and scope of this position may change as the IRSHDC opens and establishes its role within the University and beyond.


  • Provides vision and leadership for the IRSHDC collections, data models and formats, and ongoing digital infrastructure and systems development upon which the effectiveness of the Centre
  • Develops and implements strategies, goals, and objectives in collaboration with the Academic Director, that support the IRSHDC mandate, UBC Aboriginal Strategic Plan and UBC Strategic Plan, and are responsive to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Calls to
  • In collaboration with the Academic Director assesses the needs of IRSHDC users by consulting broadly with IRS survivors, UBC’s Indigenous community and faculty, researchers, staff and students engaged in First Nations research and Maintains knowledge of curriculum changes, program development, and new areas of research. Leads in the development of content, services and programs in response to expressed needs.
  • Provides leadership in planning and developing the IRSHDC operating budget in collaboration with the Academic Director. Allocates and monitors resources by setting unit priorities, allocating funds/human resources and monitoring expenditures
  • Provides leadership and directly and indirectly supervises a team of professionals including librarians and archivists and M&P staff and provides indirect supervision of CUPE 2950 and student employees, including performance reviews, development and review of job descriptions and annual setting of goals and objectives; lead unit recruitment and
  • Liaises with internal and external partners such as the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation at the University of Manitoba, Library and Archives Canada, other University information systems and UBC Library staff (e.g., RBSC and digital infrastructure) regarding coordinated management of digital and physical collections, including long-term preservation and rights management
  • Strategic leadership to the ongoing development of the IRSHDC communications and promotions; liaising with the Communications Strategist and IRSHDC team to ensure development of materials and programs
  • Engages in ongoing research and teaching in the areas of digital records, digital systems design and development, and information policy; maintains awareness of trends and advances in digital and interactive systems and evaluates their application to the IRSHDC and UBC more broadly
  • Leads and participates in projects, working groups and committees related to areas of responsibility
  • Leads the IRSHDC in data governance and digital strategy, liaising with key University stakeholders (e.g. Chief Data Officer, UBC Legal, UBC Librarian)
  • Leads in the development of data sharing agreements with external partners; facilitates the acquisition and management of partner data and records
  • Oversees the development of collections ensuring ongoing stakeholder consultation and engagement with UBC Libraries (e.g. Technical Services, Xwi7xwa Library, Digital Initiatives, )
  • Leads in the development and implementation of policies, procedures, models, standards, technologies and processes that ensure the data and records are treated as high value assets
  • Participates in the long-term planning and development of the IRSHDC, assessment of resource requirements and annual budgeting
  • In collaboration with the Academic Director sets and implements the Centre’s strategic priorities. Plans, organizes and manages the people, services and operation of the IRSHDC to enable the successful fulfilment of its mission and Creates a supportive environment for the staff at the IRSHDC. Plans for employee development and training by determining the needs of the unit including individual staff needs. Allocates resources for training and development.
  • Participates in curriculum support and program development, maintaining liaison with faculty and CTLT, participating in departmental and faculty meetings as
  • Works with UBC Library Technical Services in the development of descriptive systems that are based in Indigenous Knowledge
  • Develops and maintains a plan for collection development and curation that maximizes the strategic value of the IRSHDC systems and collections and leverages relationships with other facilities and partners to support collection development and access
  • Develops and maintains a good knowledge of IRS and Indigenous issues, concerns, and programs to ensure that the IRSHDC continues to meet the needs of UBC faculty, staff, and students, and IRS and survivor Indigenous communities and organizations
  • Liaises with IRS survivors and community members to develop access and reference systems to NCTR and IRS related records and information, and provides professional and technical advice as appropriate. Provides leadership with Indigenous librarians, archivists, information managers, and researchers by participation in Indigenous and information management
  • Leads and participates in projects, working groups and committees related to areas of responsibility
  • Promotes and fosters a supportive and open environment built on appreciation, recognition, learning and professional growth; works to build a team environment built on positive working relationships, provides guidance and resources to teams while trusting them to
  • Supports fundraising initiatives for the IRSHDC and participates in the preparation of grant requests and administration of grants. Initiates involvement with the University Development Office as appropriate opportunities occur.
  • Participates in professional and university wide initiatives; represents the IRSHDC and acts as a delegate for the Academic Director as requested


This position will be filled as a full-time, ongoing General Librarian position with a five year renewable administrative term as Director, IRSHDC Digital, Strategic & Indigenous Partnerships. If eligible and qualified, the successful applicant may be appointed with a confirmed appointment. Otherwise, there will be an initial three-year probationary appointment. Normally, such an appointment is reviewed by the end of the second year of the appointment, and a recommendation is made at that time to grant or not to grant a confirmed appointment.

Salary will be commensurate with experience and academic/professional qualifications.

Equity and diversity are essential to academic excellence. An open and diverse community fosters the inclusion of voices that have been underrepresented or discouraged. We encourage applications from members of groups that have been marginalized on any grounds enumerated under the B.C. Human Rights Code, including sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, racialization, disability, political belief, religion, marital or family status, age, and/or status as a First Nation, Metis, Inuit, or Indigenous person. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.

Applications will include: a letter of application that includes a statement of citizenship/immigration status and indicates the candidate’s education, training and work experience in the areas listed above; a detailed and current curriculum vitae.

To view the complete job description and to submit an application, please visit the UBC Careers page at by midnight on May 1, 2019.

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