Open Call for Indigenous Applicants

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OCAD University


Open Call for Indigenous Applicants: Four Tenured/Tenure-Track Positions


OCAD University (OCAD U) acknowledges the ancestral and traditional territories of the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Haudenosaunee, the Anishnaabe and the Huron-Wendat, who are the original owners and custodians of the land on which we stand and create.


OCAD University invites applicants to four (4) Tenured/Tenure-track positions at any rank within all disciplines of the Faculty of Design. This opportunity is open only to qualified individuals who self-identify as Indigenous Peoples of North America or Peoples of Turtle Island, including those who identify as First Nations (status, non-status, treaty or non-treaty), Métis, Inuit, or Alaskan Native, Native American, and Native Hawaiian Peoples. This initiative is a special program under the Ontario Human Rights Code.


OCAD University (OCAD U), Canada’s university of the imagination, provides a vibrant and stimulating environment for its faculty and students. It is an exciting time to join the OCAD U community as the University is moving even deeper into its institutional transformation with the implementation of its academic plan that articulates a commitment to decolonization, diversity, and equity. This is the University’s second Indigenous cluster hire and seeks to build a critical mass of Indigenous faculty to accelerate the decolonization of design.

The Faculty of Design is the largest of OCAD U’s three faculties. Under an ethos of Respectful Design, it boasts six undergraduate programs: Advertising, Environmental Design, Graphic Design, Illustration, Industrial Design, and Material Art & Design (i.e. textiles and jewelry). The design-related Graduate Programs include Inclusive Design, Design for Health, Strategic Foresight and Innovation, Interdisciplinary Art, Media, and Design; and Digital Futures. It is a strong supporter of the Indigenous Visual Cultural Program as the heart of OCAD University.

The Faculty of Design seeks qualified Indigenous candidates who can demonstrate how their lived experiences and community connections inform their work and whose theoretical, technical, and making/design expertise provide offerings that meet current areas of need within the Faculty:

  1. Visual sovereignty and the self-representation of Indigenous communities through various graphic, digital interactive, and/or audio-visual mediums;
  2. Indigenous Futurisms in dialogue with emerging technologies, robotics, and/or the inclusive interaction design of digital products and/or objects, services, systems, or spaces;
  3. Water and Land Protection, critical placemaking, and Indigenous ways of building and gendering the land and water; and/or,
  4. Radical relationality as expressed through “moose-hide” and/or other ancestral technologies and deep materiality in the making of meaningful objects of use.


Summary of Responsibilities


The successful candidate will:

  • teach across multiple year levels at the undergraduate and or/ graduate level;
  • liaise with Indigenous faculty, students, and community members in the Indigenous Visual Culture Program, Wapatah: Centre for Indigenous Visual Knowledge, and Indigenous Student Services Centre;
  • commit to outreach with local and regional Indigenous communities and the mentorship of Indigenous students and youth;
  • assume a key role in contributing to Indigenous success at OCAD U through the ongoing development, decolonization, and bringing of Indigenous knowledges into the undergraduate/graduate curriculum, policies and promotion through participation in Faculty and Program meetings and initiatives;
  • maintain an active creative community activism, research program, professional practice and/or scholarship within relevant design discipline(s); 
  • provide service to the faculty and University-wide governance system, as well as participate in building the University community and promoting the quality of student life and University culture.




The ideal candidate will have:

  • at least thirteen years (without academic degrees) to four years (with a Bachelor’s degree) of peer recognized career achievement within the relevant design disciplines. Official community recognition, a Master’s degree, or PhD will be considered an asset.
  • three to four years demonstrated ability to work intergenerationally through structured lessons and the potential to teach and develop innovative Indigenous-community engaged curriculum at the post-secondary level. Previous experience teaching in the post-secondary sector, interdisciplinary programs, and/or experience teaching and supervising graduate students will be considered assets;
  • a proven record of creative community activism, professional practice, and/or research relevant to qualifications, experience, and design disciplines;
  • experience proactively advancing decolonization, equity and Indigenous relationality to land and water in teaching and knowledge structuring, and creative/professional/community activities. Post-secondary curriculum development in these areas will be considered an asset;
  • demonstrated understanding of the ways in which equity, Indigenous Knowledges and relationality to land and water are fundamental to the quality of the student experience, to innovative knowledge sharing, and to design production;
  • a proven record of promoting a respectful and inclusive work environment across diverse ages and positions. Record of promotion within learning environments for students, staff, and faculty will be considered an asset;
  • knowledge of an Indigenous language or languages will be considered an asset.

Salary and rank will be commensurate with experience and qualifications with access to full benefits, and pension contribution after one year of service.

Application Deadline

Applications should include:

  • a letter of intent stating the candidate’s interests in (a) the areas of teaching related to OCAD U’s undergraduate design programs, (b) research/professional practice related to the listed areas of need 1, 2, 3, or 4 above and (c) service to Faculty- and University-wide governance;
  • a curriculum vitae;
  • a statement of teaching philosophy that responds to the profile of the position;
  • a statement of approach to decolonizing design praxis for Indigenous communities;
  • evidence of teaching effectiveness (such as sample assignments, youth feedback on knowledge transfers, or any form of teaching evaluation)
  • a digital portfolio of recent work/publications; and
  • the names and contact information of three referees.


Interested applicants are invited to submit their application in confidence, addressed to Chair, Indigenous Cluster Hire Tenured/Tenure-Track Search Committee, Faculty of Design online by visiting the Employment Opportunities page of the OCAD University Website:

The review of applications will begin on January 29, 2021 and will continue until the position is filled.

As an institution committed to art, design, digital media and related scholarship, OCAD University (OCAD U) recognizes the profound and essential value that diversity brings to the creation, reception and circulation of creative practices and discourse.  OCAD U understands that valuing diverse creative practices and forms of knowledge are essential to,and enrich the institution’s core mission and vision as an art and design university with a local and global scope.

As an employer committed to employment equity, we encourage applications from members of equity-seeking communities including women, racialized and Indigenous persons, persons with disabilities, and persons of all sexual orientations and gender identities/expressions.

We encourage members of equity-seeking groups to self-identify within the voluntary Applicant Questionnaire


In order to alleviate the under-representation of Indigenous tenured/tenure-track faculty, this opportunity is open only to qualified individuals who self-identify as Indigenous Peoples of North America or Peoples of Turtle Island, including those who identify as First Nations (status, non-status, treaty or non-treaty), Métis, Inuit, or Alaskan Native, Native American, and Native Hawaiian Peoples. This initiative is a special program under the Ontario Human Rights Code.

As defined by the United Nations Special Rapporteur to the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities, OCAD University recognizes that “Indigenous communities, peoples and nations are those which, having a historical continuity with pre-invasion and pre-colonial societies that developed on their territories, consider themselves distinct from other sectors of the societies now prevailing in those territories, or parts of them. They form at present non-dominant sectors of society and are determined to preserve, develop and transmit to future generations their ancestral territories, and their ethnic identity, as the basis of their continued existence as peoples, in accordance with their own cultural patterns, social institutions and legal systems.”

OCAD University is committed to providing an inclusive and barrier free experience to applicants with accessibility needs. Requests for accommodation can be made at any stage during the recruitment process. Please contact Human Resources for more information or refer to OCAD U’s Policy of Accommodation in Employment for Persons with Disabilities


All qualified persons are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents of Canada will be given priority. While we thank all candidates for their interest, only those short-listed will be contacted.