Manager of Communications and Outreach
The Atlantic First Nations Water Authority (AFNWA) represents progress, innovation, and a long-term solution for water and wastewater issues that affect Atlantic First Nations communities. Incorporated on July 18, 2018 as a non-profit organization under the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act, the AFNWA is a ground-breaking First Nation owned organization that will provide water and wastewater services to participating communities. This approach will ensure a culturally appropriate, service oriented, and technically strong First Nations water utility which will own, operate, and maintain water and wastewater services on their reserves.
As of April 2020, fifteen (15) First Nations communities have confirmed their commitment to the AFNWA by signing Band Council Resolutions (BCRs) indicating their desire to formally participate. These communities, located within Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island represent 61% of the total Atlantic First Nations by population. An additional seven (7) Atlantic First Nations communities have declared their interest, with others in the region being potential candidates. Using a scalable delivery model, the AFNWA governance and organizational structure shows promise for a model which can be utilized by other First Nation communities across Canada.
With oversight through an independent Board of Directors, the management structure of the AFNWA is aligned to deliver full water and wastewater services for First Nation communities with a central main office and decentralized approach to operations. This model reflects current best practice for service delivery to First Nation communities in Canada. It incorporates a hub and spoke approach to operations for optimal service delivery and to foster a deeper relationship with the communities served by the utility.
Reporting to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), the Manager of Communications and Outreach will be responsible for the development, coordination, and oversight of communications, media, and public relations activities. They will, in many ways, be a spokesperson for AFNWA and will represent its missions and values to partnered Indigenous communities and other stakeholders. They will also coordinate with strategic Committees, the Executive Team, staff, and the AFNWA Board to ensure accurate and consistent correspondence with all audiences.
The Manager will be a strong communicator and relationship builder that will help effectively manage the relationships and engagement with Indigenous communities, Chiefs, Elders, and educational institutions. They will develop and implement external communications and public relations strategies, producing high quality content that prioritizes and welcomes feedback.
Internally, the Manager will serve as a key member of the executive team and will create an internal communications strategy to increase employee involvement and promote productivity. They will strive to create an inclusive environment where employees are aware of changes and new projects within the organization.
The Manager of Communications and Outreach will be ready to help transform water and wastewater service delivery for First Nation communities. The right candidate will be dedicated and passionate about representing a brand-new organization and building a sustainable team from the ground up. The Manager of Communications and Outreach will be a well-seasoned articulate leader with experience in capacity building, public relations, and relationship with Indigenous communities.
- Formulate, develop, and implement communications and public relations strategies and related activities for multiple platforms.
- Serves as company spokesperson as necessary.
- Develops outreach programs, creates and maintains relationships and interactions with internal and external audiences.
- Coordinates the development and maintenance of corporate web site.
- Coordinates the development and distribution of various publications including announcements related to construction activities, Water and Wastewater Quality Reports, and Annual Report.
- Coordinates research and surveys to determine community needs and expectations.
- Oversees internal communication to ensure timeliness and consistency of corporate message delivery.
- Co-ordinates employee celebration events such as Awards Banquet, and other AFNWA sponsored community events.
- Provides public relations support for applications and submissions to federal regulatory agencies.
- Participates in strategic planning, analysis and information acquisition on major initiatives.
- Participates in employee relations issues.
- Act as liaison for AFNWA departments, consultants or external agencies while maintaining effective communication.
- Provides support in the interpretation of the Bylaws, Rules and Regulations approved by the AFNWA Board, and general specification and regulations governing the utility.
- Perform other duties as assigned.
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
- Thorough knowledge of utility/municipal administration, rules and regulations of the utility, general specifications, and customer service/public relations function.
- Very comfortable public speaking and interface with external stakeholders.
- Social media savvy, with an understanding of website design.
- Ability to work within a team environment with other AFNWA departments as well as outside agencies to accomplish organizational goals.
- Excellent leadership, motivational and interpersonal skills.
- Demonstrated supervisory and labour relations skills.
- Strategic thinker with strong analytical skills.
- Fluent in English; Mi’kmaq, Wolastoqiyik, and French languages are considered an asset.
- High degree of professionalism with demonstrated ability to communicate effectively (oral and written).
- High degree of confidentiality.
- Must have Valid Driver’s License.
Experience and Education
- Education: Post-secondary degree in business, public relations or a related field or suitable combination of formal education and experience may be considered.
- Five (5) years of relevant experience in public relations or customer service preferably in a community facing operation for First Nation communities or agencies.
o Managing an operational budget of 350K.
The Location The East Coast
The AFNWA is connected to various Indigenous communities throughout the East Coast of Canada. In this role you will have the opportunity to travel around the region and visit multiple locations throughout Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island; the ancestral lands and unceded territories covered by the “Treaties of Peace and Friendship” which Wəlastəkwiyik (Maliseet), Mi’kmaq and Passamaquoddy Peoples first signed with the British Crown in 1726.
There is an extensive diversity of Indigenous cultures in the East Coast. The Mi’kmaq Peoples whose traditional lands encompass Nova Scotia Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick. Western New Brunswick and Maine are the traditional territory of the Wəlastəkwiyik Peoples. Within the communities there are many young thriving families living on and off reserves. In this region you may enjoy Indigenous festivals, events and pow wows which celebrate and embrace native language and uphold Indigenous heritage.
In the summer there are also various festivals based on the abundance of art and culture the East Coast has to offer such as the Acadian Festival, Annapolis Valley Apple Blossom Festival, Shediac Lobster Festival and much more. The population is mixed and multilingual, with many Acadian families holding onto their French roots, alongside Indigenous and English language speakers.
Surrounded by water, the national presence in water and marine science research in the Maritimes is extraordinary. A hub of post-secondary education, these provinces are home to many post- secondary institutions – University of New Brunswick, Dalhousie University and Acadia University, all of which boast Oceanography and Environmental science research programs.
The East Coast is also known for its transportation and trade by rail and boats with its proximity to the ocean and closely surrounding provinces. There is a strong and active boating community, where many people’s livelihoods are dependent on the sea’s resources. The East offers a very unique environment full of natural beauty, along with rich history and culture. From hiking and camping in Cape Breton all the way modern and dynamic city life, there is something for everyone.
This is an exciting leadership role that offers the unique opportunity to lead change in water management and help First Nations grow their operations for further future success. For more details, please contact:
|Cynthia Labonté • Partner
||Joy Beshie • Senior Search Associate
|1155 boul. René-Lévesque Ouest
||1 Rideau St. Suite 700
|Telephone : 613-788-8254 ext. 307
||Telephone : 613-788-8254 ext. 109
To apply, please submit a PDF Cover Letter and Resume directly to Leaders International outlining your interest, qualifications and experience.
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