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Executive Director

Day Scholars Revitalization Society
Canada (CA)
To be negotiated
Closing date
Jun 23, 2023

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Contract Type

Day Scholars Revitalization Society
The Indian Residential Schools Day Scholars Class Action was brought on behalf of the thousands of Day Scholars (the “Survivors”)—students who attended Indian Residential Schools (“IRS”) during the day only but did not sleep there overnight, and their children (the “Descendants”). The Plaintiffs in the Gottfriedson v. Canada lawsuit claimed that IRSs destroyed Class Members’ language and culture, violated their cultural and linguistic rights, and caused psychological harm. As outlined in Article 8.2 of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People, it is Canada’s obligation and duty to provide redress for “any form of forced assimilation or integration” and any actions that deprived Indigenous people of their cultural values or ethnic identities.

The Federal Court recently approved the Day Scholars Survivor and Descendant Class Settlement Agreement (the “Settlement Agreement”) that recognizes and compensates Day Scholars and their children for these past harms. This recognition was a significant part of the process—the Day Scholars Survivors and Descendants were not just fighting for compensation; they were also fighting for Canada to recognize that they are accountable for their actions and duty-bound to support Day Scholars and their children in their healing processes.

In consideration of the devastating loss of culture, loss of language, the spiritual and psychological abuse endured by Day Scholars, and the harms suffered by their children, the settlement concluded that Canada would fund $50 million (the “Day Scholars Revitalization Fund” or “Fund”) to establish the Day Scholars Revitalization Society (the “Society”). The newly formed Society will enable the Survivors’ vision to come to life—to remediate the harms suffered by the Survivors and their Descendants—through the creation and implementation of activities and programs designed for healing, wellness, education, language, culture, heritage and commemoration activities and programs.

More specifically, the monies will be used by the Society to support activities and programs for the benefit of the Survivors and Descendants as follows:

  • to revitalize and protect the Survivors’ and Descendants’ Indigenous languages;
  • to protect and revitalize the Survivors’ and Descendants’ Indigenous cultures;
  • to pursue healing and wellness for the Survivors and Descendants;
  • to protect the Survivors’ and Descendants’ Indigenous heritage; and,
  • to promote education and commemoration.

To learn ‍more about the Indian Residential Schools Day Scholars Class Action, please visit:

The Opportunity
Safeguarding and administering the Day Scholars Revitalization Fund will require a steady leader who takes a highly ethical and compassionate approach. In administering and stewarding the Fund to support healing, wellness, education, language, culture, heritage, and commemoration for the benefit of Survivors of Indian Day Schools and their children, the Executive Director (the “ED”) will ensure the Funds are granted in alignment with the Survivor’s vision. Providing overall leadership to stand up and manage the Society in the best interests of the Survivors and their children, the ED will provide leadership to a small staff in establishing the Society’s inaugural strategic plan, business plan, and budget. Actively building trust through regular communications with the Board and communities of interest, the ED will act as the main spokesperson for the organization and ensure Survivors and their families are informed of the processes, protocols, and impacts of the Fund.

Key Responsibilities
Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director is responsible for implementing the vision and goals for the Society. This includes leading and managing all services and administrative operations, directing and supervising staff to achieve organizational goals and implementing services and board-approved plans and policies. The ED will guide the development of budgets and will provide regular financial and written reports for the Board and the Society’s constituents.

Corporate Social Responsibility              

  • Provide overall leadership to management in support of the Society’s commitment to corporate social responsibility
  • Set the ethical tone for the Society and its management, including:
    - overseeing the development, administration and implementation of, and compliance with, policies and procedures
    - taking all reasonable steps to create a culture of integrity throughout the Society; and,
    - fostering ethical and responsible decision-making by management
  • Develop a framework for reporting and regularly publicizing the activities of the Society and its goals

  • Ensure the Board is kept apprised of all implementation-related activities through regular meetings, briefing notes, presentations and reports
  • Enable strong processes for elections/selection of Board Members, rules and order of governance decision-making and procedures, and development and implementation of policies and administrative procedures

Strategic Planning

  • On an annual basis, collaborate with the Board to develop a strategic plan to maximize organizational value
  • Ensure the implementation of the strategic plan, as approved by the Board, and report back in a timely fashion on progress toward goals
  • Ensure the Society has the human, physical, and technological resources to carry out the required work effectively and efficiently

Business and Organizational Management

  • In alignment with the strategy, ensure the development of an annual business plan and budget for Board consideration and approval
  • Plan and make recommendations on organizational and management structures
  • Oversee the adequacy and soundness of the financial structure
  • Ensure that all commitments requiring approval are done so within the limits of delegated authorities and guidelines
  • Identify, develop, and maintain all business, political and stakeholder contacts and relationships necessary to facilitate the implementation of the strategic plan
  • Oversee the implementation of all board-approved policies to ensure the maintenance of the highest standards of business conduct and ethics, as well as full compliance with all applicable laws, rules and regulations and the Corporate Disclosure Policy
  • Ensure the efficient acquisition and allocation of the financial, human and other resources required by the Society to implement and achieve its strategic plan
  • Develop and implement effective systems and controls as well as monitoring and performance standards relative to maximize and safeguard Society resources

Risk Management and Disclosure

  • On an annual basis, and more frequently as required, identify and review with the Board, the principal business risks associated with the Society’s operation; design and implement appropriate systems and procedures to monitor, manage and mitigate risks effectively
  • Establish and maintain the Society’s policies and procedures related to disclosures and controls
    • Ensure the Society complies with all regulatory requirements for financial information, reporting, disclosure requirements and internal controls over financial reporting
    • Ensure that the disclosure of material information is both appropriate and timely
    • Retain professional advisors as needed



  • Master’s degree in business, finance and/or public administration or equivalent experience


  • Minimum five (5) years’ experience at the executive management level working with First Nations organizations or within the not-for-profit sector
  • Five (5) or more years’ management or supervisory experience
  • Experience working with Indigenous peoples, Indigenous Organizations, and/or Survivors of Residential School
  • Ability to speak an Indigenous language is preferred; ability to speak French would be an asset

Skills and Attributes

  • Leads with Indigenous values, kindness, and compassion; demonstrates tact, diplomacy, initiative, and flexibility
  • Brings a clear and solid understanding of the issues faced by the Society, including, but not limited to, the struggles of Indigenous peoples, impacts of Intergenerational trauma, loss of culture, language, wellness, and heritage
  • Knowledge of the legislative, legal, strategic, and technical framework associated with the provision of services provided by the Society
  • Able to identify key issues and respond appropriately; able to creatively and strategically overcome internal and external challenges or obstacles
  • Demonstrated effective leadership and team development skills
  • Proven ability to make administrative and procedural decisions and judgments on sensitive, confidential issues
  • Able to work independently and expeditiously under tight timeframes and competing priorities
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills with an ability to communicate complex information and capability for drafting and editing a variety of written reports and materials
  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work effectively with a wide range of individuals in the Society, communities, and federal and provincial representatives
  • Excellent relationship-building and conflict-resolution skills with an ability to interact and work effectively with senior individuals
  • Demonstrated ability to manage key constituent relationships, including members, directors, advisors, government agencies, etc.
  • Knowledge of all federal and provincial legislation applicable to the voluntary sector organizations, including, employment standards, human rights, occupational health and safety, charities, taxation, CPP, EI, health coverage etc.
  • Strong knowledge of fiscal management and responsibility, business finance, capital funding, contracts, and partnerships
  • Sound understanding of risk management
  • Superior level of computer literacy, especially word processing, spreadsheets, presentation software, and research engines and tools

It is important to note:

  • Must have knowledge of the reports from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada and the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, as well as other reports and literature that will assist in fulfilling the DSRS’s mandate while supporting Survivors and Descendants
  • The incumbent must be aware of the effects of trauma and be well versed in dealing with people in a variety of emotional states, including PTSD
  • The incumbent must be highly aware of the history, impact, and legacy of the residential school system

Working in a hybrid setting, the new Executive Director will establish a small office on an Indian Reserve in a location that is accessible to a major airport. They will be required to travel regularly for work, so will require appropriate documentation to travel regionally and nationally.

To Apply
Preference will be given to qualified peoples who are of Indigenous descent. Please submit a resume and cover letter that provides evidence of Indigenous knowledge, relevant lived experience, established community connections, cultural involvement/activities, and Indigenous heritage. Your cover letter should include a description of how these elements have prepared you for this critical leadership role with the Day Scholars Revitalization Society.

To apply, please submit a PDF Cover Letter and Resume directly to Leaders International outlining your interest, qualifications, and experience. Email:

For more details or to further explore this important strategic leadership opportunity, please contact:

Katy Gottfriedson-Jasper, Senior Consultant
Telephone: 250-318-6788

Laurie Sterritt, Partner
Telephone: 778-838-4569

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