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Indigenous Relations Manager

Sustainable Forestry Initiative
United States
Closing date
May 23, 2024

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Contract Type

Position: Indigenous Relations Manager, United States

Supervisor: Senior Indigenous Relations Advisor

Location: Washington, DC (hybrid) or Flexible in continental U.S. (remote)

Status: Full-Time, Exempt from Overtime



The Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®) is a non-profit leader dedicated to advancing sustainability through forest-focused collaborations. A key driver of SFI’s success is its ability to engage diverse communities to deliver across its 4 pillars: Standards, Conservation, Community, Education.

SFI has a proud history of forest-focused collaboration with Indigenous Peoples and strives to be an Indigenous Relations partner of choice in the forest. We recognize and respect Indigenous Peoples’ rights and believe our shared quality of life improves when forests are sustainably managed for current and future generations. We take a flexible, respectful approach to relationship building that helps us to effectively address the issues that matter most to each of our community partners. Every day, we strive to co-create meaningful change, while also listening, learning, and growing as an organization to become the best possible partner we can be. Supporting opportunities for Indigenous youth is an important part of this work.

We are proud to provide our employees with a collaborative, dynamic, and rewarding professional experience, with a competitive compensation and benefits package and growth opportunities. Our benefits include (but are not limited to):

  • Medical, dental, and vision coverage for you and your family.
  • Retirement plan with generous employer contribution and additional matching contribution up to 11% of your salary, provided you also contribute 4%.
  • Paid Time Off – generous vacation policy ranging from 2 weeks to 5 weeks, increasing with experience, all federal holidays, plus 4 floating holidays annually that may be used to observe additional religious, cultural, or traditional occasions that are meaningful to you, and 12 sick days annually.
  • Educational assistance and investment in professional development.


The Indigenous Relations Manager, United States is responsible for developing partnerships with Indigenous communities, businesses, and organizations, as well as SFI Certified Organizations and other forest sector partners throughout the United States, that respond to their individual forest-related priorities and elevate SFI as an Indigenous Relations partner of choice in the forest. The Manager also plays a key role in supporting Indigenous nations and their businesses in obtaining SFI forest certification through responsive individualized service, and supporting SFI’s diverse pillar and programmatic teams in meaningfully integrating Indigenous knowledge, priorities, and participatory pathways into all SFI programs and services, contributing to a whole-of-organization Indigenous Relations approach.


  1. Proactively identify, engage, and grow respectful relationships with Indigenous communities and forestry businesses across the United States to understand their self-determined forest-related priorities, and leverage SFI’s diverse programs and partnerships to support their advancement.
  2. Promote the growth of SFI Certification among Indigenous-owned forest sector businesses through proactive outreach, collaborative exploration of innovative certification pathways, and direct service provision that aligns with diverse Indigenous community interests.
  3. Build strategic regional partnerships, including those with Indigenous- and non-Indigenous-led organizations, that contribute to the creation of a comprehensive, no-wrong-door Indigenous Relations toolkit, and increase external promotion of SFI certification and programming.
  4. Help strengthen SFI Certificate Holders’ relationships with Indigenous Peoples across the United Stated by providing relevant individualized supports, training, resources, employer education, and program connections across SFI pillars that respond to their priorities and investment interests.
  5. Contribute to storytelling and communications initiatives that highlight creative Indigenous community utilization of SFI programs and services, and effective SFI Network Indigenous Relations partnerships.
  6. Contribute to Indigenous Relations professional development initiatives throughout the organization and collaborate with programmatic teams to support the further integration of Indigenous considerations and participatory pathways across SFI pillars and programs.
  7. Contribute to the development and implementation of community-oriented fee-for-service programs, funding models, and associated marketing materials designed to attract sustainable investment into SFI's Indigenous Relations programs and services.
  8. Collaborate with programmatic teams across pillars to guide the respectful, culturally informed integration of Indigenous perspectives, priorities, and traditional knowledge into SFI’s policies, programs, and educational resources.
  9. Represent SFI at events across the United States that interface with Indigenous issues and/or relationship building in forest sector through attendance, exhibiting, and presentations, and contribute to other strategic communications initiatives as they relate to Indigenous Relations issues.
  10. Support the SFI team in the delivery of other objectives, as
  11. Be creative! If you can think of ways to meaningfully further grow our relationships with Indigenous Peoples, bring them to the table.


The Indigenous Relations Manager role does not currently have direct employee supervisory responsibilities.


Physical requirements include the ability to work from a desk at a computer for prolonged periods of time.

This position requires occasional travel within the US and Canada, with an emphasis on the US, up to 25% of time.


SFI has offices in Washington, D.C. and Ottawa, Ontario.  Employees located withing commuting distance of Washington, D.C. or Ottawa are required to work from the office 2-3 days per week, with Tuesdays and Wednesdays as designated in-office days.  Individuals that work elsewhere in the continental U.S. will be considered, provided they are in close proximity to major commuting hubs.


The ideal candidate will bring:

  • Strong working knowledge of Indigenous issues, perspectives, and knowledge systems, as they relate to sustainable forest management and forest-focused relationship building across the United States;
  • Proven ability to develop and lead collaborative efforts to achieve specific outcomes, and to work strategically in a team environment with a variety of rights-holders and stakeholder groups;
  • Strong presentation and language skills, comfortability with external outreach, and proven ability to develop written, oral, and online communications that are compelling and linked to organizational objectives;
  • Ability to prioritize effectively and manage multiple complex projects in a dynamic fast-paced environment, handling tasks with diplomacy, tenacity, patience and a drive for results;
  • Drive to generate solutions, and proven experience in navigating complex scenarios;
  • Ability to clearly set, manage and communicate expectations with internal and external groups;
  • Strong ability to knit together partnerships, and to develop and manage outcomes;
  • A positive attitude and high energy;
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills and superior attention to detail;
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office 365 (particularly, Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint), and Zoom.


  • Bachelor’s degree or higher in forest or natural resource management;
  • 3+ years of experience building meaningful relationships with Indigenous communities, businesses, and organizations across the United States in an elected, volunteer, or professional capacity;
  • 3+ years of professional experience within the field of sustainable forest management, with direct experience implementing the SFI Forest Management Standard strongly preferred.


Applications requested by May 3, 2024. Early applications encouraged.

We strive to be a diverse and inclusive organization that strongly supports the growth and development of its people.  As such, we realize that not every candidate will perfectly meet all the requirements outlined in this (or any) posting.  If you believe you bring the “must have” experiences, skills, and qualifications, and are confident that you can learn the rest, we encourage you to go ahead and apply for a position with us.

The salary range for this position is $65,000-$90,000; the successful candidate’s actual salary will be dependent upon a number of factors, including supervisory responsibilities, geography, education/training, experience, time-in-role, management qualifications (as applicable) and skillset.


SFI is proud to provide our employees with a collaborative, dynamic, and rewarding professional experience, with a competitive compensation and benefits package and growth opportunities. We are committed to creating a diverse environment and being an equal opportunity employer. Our team represents a broad range of cultures, education, disciplines, and work and life experiences, and we strive to leverage these differences in our daily work. We will not discriminate against any employee or applicant on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, age, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, disability, or any other protected characteristic. We believe in creating an empowered and supportive team that is committed to advancing sustainability through forest-focused collaborations.

Learn more about SFI Staff Culture, read our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Policy, and review our Indigenous Relations Commitment.

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