Elder/Knowledge Keeper In Residence

Job Opportunity by Native Child and Family Services of Toronto

Job type: Part Time


Native Child and Family Services of Toronto is an Aboriginal, community controlled multi-service agency. Our mission is to provide support, ensure safety and enhance the quality of life for Aboriginal families, children, and youth within the greater Toronto area. Our agency works within a holistic framework, which builds on individual and family strengths, and engages clients as partners in identifying issues and their solutions.


Position Summary NCFST is a child-centered, family focused, community driven organization built by the Aboriginal community for the Aboriginal community. The broad mandate of the agency requires a deep cultural grounding in the NCFST Service model- which was itself developed by leaders, knowledge keepers, and Elders through circles and ceremony. Implementing our service model and working to decolonize child welfare requires strong cultural supports on a daily basis. Elders and Knowledge Keepers in Residence will provide cultural guidance and supports to families connected to NCFST, as well as to NCFST employees. They will work closely with the Aboriginal Culture Program Liaison who coordinates direct and indirect cultural services across the Agency in order to develop and enhance the cultural service practice for the Agency. Elders and Knowledge Keepers in Residence will work with the Aboriginal Culture Program Liaison to determine where they can best support the Agency through sharing values and practices, leading ceremony and other engagements, and advancing our work of indigenization and decolonization.


Hours: 18 Hours/Week



  • Experience in a social services organization developing and delivering cultural programs and services.
  • Experience working with Aboriginal people, organizations and communities.
  • Recognized and respected by his/her own community as someone who has lived experience and a learned understanding of Aboriginal worldviews and their traditional teachings and they carry themselves within community according to those teachings.
  • Must have demonstrated a history of providing cultural support and ceremonies.

Knowledge Requirements

  • Extensive knowledge of the history and culture of Aboriginal peoples of Canada.
  • Ability to work collaboratively with employee/s in the preparation of agency ceremonies and/or events and ensure that appropriate cultural protocols are in place.
  • Engage, as a healthy member of the community, with a strong, demonstrated ability to work respectfully with stakeholders, co-workers, students, community knowledge keepers, children, youth, birth family members, caregivers and allies.
  • Knowledge of child welfare practices regionally and nationally.
  • Knowledge of NCFST programs and services.
  • Respect for, sensitivity towards as well as knowledge and understanding of Aboriginal cultures, values and traditions.
  • Knowledge of First Nation service delivery, customs and traditions in relation to child welfare.
  • Knowledge of the Child and Family Services Act is considered an asset.

Special Skills & Abilities

  • Excellent facilitation skills, especially in a cultural setting (talking circles, teachings, and various ceremonies).
  • Excellent interpersonal skills.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Excellent conflict resolution skills.
  • Excellent problem solving skills.
  • Ability and willingness to support both traditional and contemporary healing practices.
  • Ability to display a positive and helpful attitude.
  • Ability to use good judgment in assessing difficult situations.
  • Ability to guide and support individuals in their desires and efforts to embrace Aboriginal values and traditions.
  • Ability to work with confidential and sensitive information.
  • Ability to understand and speak Aboriginal language is a definite asset- but not required.

Other Requirements

  • Must provide a Criminal Records Check deemed satisfactory by the employer upon offer of employment.
  • Access to a vehicle and a class “G” license is considered to be an asset.


Selection Process: The position will be filled through a review of submissions and resulting interview process. We thank you for your interest, however, only those applicants selected for an interview will be contacted.


NCFST is committed to staffing a workforce representative of the Aboriginal population we serve. We encourage First Nations, Métis and Inuit applicants to apply and to please self-identify in their cover letter.