Briefing for the Role of Executive Director
About the Survivors’ Secretariat
The Survivors’ Secretariat is a Survivor-led, community-involved organization. The Secretariat’s actions, processes and decisions are guided by the experience and knowledge of Survivors.
In May 2021, when the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation announced that they had confirmed the presence of over 200 unmarked burials of children on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School, Indigenous people across Turtle Island took action. At Six Nations of the Grand River, a group of Survivors created a new organization to direct and support the Sacred work of searching the grounds of the Mohawk Institute, the longest-running Indian Residential School in Canada.
At the end of July, the Survivors called on police to initiate a criminal investigation in connection with the search for unmarked burials, and the Six Nations of the Grand River Elected Council provided $1 million in interim funding. The work of establishing the Survivors’ Secretariat then started.
In August 2021, Survivors hired Kimberly Murray as the Executive Oversight Lead to assist them in establishing the Secretariat. In the summer of 2021, the Secretariat purchased a new ground-penetrating radar machine and updated a second machine that was already in the possession of Six Nations’ environment office.
For further background on the organization, please refer to this blog post.
About the Board of Directors
Anthony (Tony) Bomberry
Jerome (Geronimo) Henry
Robert (Bob) Sutherland
The Survivors’ Secretariat, as a Survivor-led organization, is governed by a Board of Directors comprised of Survivors of the Mohawk Institute. The Board guides and directs the operations of the Secretariat.
As a Survivor-led, trauma-informed, community-involved organization, we strive to create a safe environment for Survivors. The Survivors chose not to assign roles such as “President”, “Chair “, and “Treasurer” for the Board of Directors and determined that all Board Members would have equal and shared responsibilities to the organization. Decision making is done by consensus.
About the Successful Candidate for the Executive Director Role
The ideal Candidate is an excellent communicator, leader, fundraiser, and manager. They are committed to equity and human rights as well as Indigenous autonomy and action.
Comfortable dealing with ambiguity, and as the face of the organization, the ideal Candidate is charismatic, professional, respectful, has an excellent sense of judgment and inspires trust and confidence. The ideal Candidate also brings knowledge about Indigenous rights, the residential school system, the importance of archival records and research and death investigation systems in Ontario.
About the Role
The core mandate areas and responsibilities of the Executive Director are as follows:
In working with the Indigenous Human Rights Monitor and several Cultural Monitors, the Executive Director will assist in overseeing the Police Task Force in their search for the unmarked burials of Indigenous children on over 600 acres of land associated with the Mohawk Institute. This work includes overseeing the coordination of the ground-penetrating radar (GPR) search, as well as the collection and analysis of data, maps, records, and documents to determine what areas to search.
The Executive Director will work alongside the historical researchers at Know History in creating a Survivors’ Secretariat Archive, that is informed by Indigenous data-sovereignty principles, and will be accessible to Survivors, their families, and the community.
Nation to Nation
The Executive Director will keep Survivors, leaders and community members informed, on an ongoing basis, about the work of the Secretariat and liaise with over 30 Impacted First Nations by facilitating Nation to Nation dialogues.
The successful Candidate for the Executive Director position will be a Survivor or Intergenerational Survivor of the Mohawk Institute and/or a member of Six Nations of the Grand River, or a member of one of the other First Nations impacted by the forced placement of children at the Mohawk Institute. They will have leadership/executive experience through work in an Indigenous organization as well as a deep understanding of the legacy of the Mohawk Institute and Indian Residential Schools as a whole. The Executive Director will provide leadership in delivering the mandate of the Secretariat as set out by Survivors.
The Executive Director will oversee the work of the Secretariat and direct employees, including full-time and part-time staff, summer students, Indigenous monitors, and volunteers as well as provide advice, support and managerial assistance to the Board of Directors. The Executive Director will also be required to speak with the media, governments at all levels, liaise within the community, and speak on behalf of the organization to other Survivor groups, as well as the Police Task Force.
The Executive Director will be responsible for understanding and developing policy and procedures, setting annual goals and objectives, long-term planning and designing programs to meet the future needs of the organization. This position also entails advising the Board of Directors, with a specific emphasis on the Secretariat’s internal operations and finances. Strong political and financial acuity is required.
In addition to overseeing the general direction of the Secretariat, the Executive Director will also be responsible for annual continuity, oversee training, staff management, as well as supervise the day-to-day administration of the organization.
Interested Candidates are encouraged to review the full website of the Survivors’ Secretariat and Volume 4 of the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.
The Board of Directors of the Survivors’ Secretariat thanks all Applicants for their interest in this position. Only those Candidates who are chosen for interviews will be contacted.