Cultural Wellness Worker (0.6 FTE)
We are seeking an individual who is passionate about promoting health and wellness equity in the Downtown Eastside (DTES) to join our Cultural Wellness (CW) program. This program provides Elder-led cultural wellness care to new and existing members of the Kilala Lelum Health Centre and the Downtown Eastside community (DTES) through a culturally-safe, trauma-informed, member-centered, and harm reduction approach.
The Cultural Wellness Worker (CWW) is an integral part of the Cultural Wellness team, working directly with the CW Manager, Elders and Knowledge Keepers, Primary Care team, and Kilala Lelum’s community partners. The CW program employs a spectrum of in-clinic (both group and 1:1), outreach, and virtual approaches to connect our members, staff, and community members with culture-based wellness health and support.
The CWW (0.6 FTE) performs a combination of duties to deliver cultural wellness care, including: building relationships and supporting members’ access to care through community outreach; acting as an Elders’ + Knowledge Keepers’ assistant; alongside the CW team, creating and holding safe spaces for one another and for members while assisting in facilitating workshops, circles, and outings and participating in community events. The CWW also performs a range of logistical support (ex: preparing and caring for medicines and cultural materials) and some basic administrative and communication duties (ex: data entry, program support, food preparation.)
- Establish relationships with new and existing Kilala Lelum members and the broader DTES community to provide culturally safe, kind, and empathetic support.
- Provide care, support, and assistance to our Elders and Knowledge Keepers by building safe and trusting relationships and ensuring their wellness is taken care of in their work for Kilala Lelum. Follow cultural practices and protocols related to caring for Elders and Knowledge Keepers and humbly and respectfully assist their work.
- On designated days, act as the Elders’ and Knowledge Keepers’ assistant (main point-person and support) in their provision of group Cultural Wellness services. Build relationships with each Elder to determine what types of supports and assistance works best for them, including: greeting them when they arrive onsite; preparing and providing for them in terms of food/drinks, cultural materials, and medicines; arranging logistics for their groups (including video conferencing and room set up); and attending groups, as needed, to provide support and follow-up debriefing.
- Assist with the planning, organization, delivery, and facilitation of cultural outings, events, ceremonies, and virtual initiatives (ex: land-based teachings, medicine harvesting, and community gatherings) for members and staff.
- Foster engagement with the Cultural Wellness program by facilitating cultural activities and information-sharing in partner programs.
- Work with Medical Office Assistants (MOAs) and the Cultural Wellness Manager to facilitate referrals and schedule 1:1 appointments with Elders and Knowledge Keepers and help document these interactions using the EMR (Electronic Medical Records).
- Manage and operate program equipment (including digital devices) and maintain clinical, cultural, and non-clinical materials and supplies.
- Distribute harm reduction and other basic needs + supplies.
- Develop and maintain collaborative relationships with other Indigenous health and social services partner organizations, local First Nations, and wider Indigenous communities.
- Maintain and care for healing spaces at Kilala Lelum, particularly shared spaces where medicines are grown or kept (ex: Hummingbird Room, Budzey Building Community Garden).
- Find opportunities to learn about medicines, cultural protocols, and other Indigenous teachings and share that knowledge with members and Kilala Lelum staff in order to deepen our practices.
- With the CW team, strengthen relationships with the host nations of Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh to recognize our responsibilities.
Qualifications & Skills:
- Familiarity working with Indigenous Elders and Knowledge Keepers; knowledge of cultural protocols and Indigenous approaches to wellness.
- A desire to, and experience with, leading and facilitating group sessions considered a huge asset.
- Minimum of Post-Secondary Diploma or equivalent, with preference for social services, community health, or Indigenous studies. Equivalent learning experiences, especially in cultural spaces and relationships, considered and encouraged.
- Minimum one year of work experience in a health or social service environment (ex: health centre, outreach, housing, community services) that serves Indigenous community members and/or communities with multiple barriers to health and wellness equity.
- Desire to work with the residents of the Downtown Eastside (DTES) and bring cultural wellness services to people with multiple barriers to health and wellness equity, including ongoing substance use.
- Ability to work both independently and collaboratively, and to maintain good working relationships within the team and with community partners.
- Training and ability to manage aggressive behaviour and use non-violent crisis intervention and behavioural management techniques. Experience working with people with mental health and substance use an asset.
- Excellent organizational skills and time management.
- Good computer skills with strong willingness to learn, including word processing, email, social media communication, posters, video conferencing, spreadsheets, and EMR (Electronic Medical Records).
- Demonstrated commitment to culturally-safe, trauma-informed, member-centered, harm reduction and recovery-oriented practices.
Work will be performed at Kilala Lelum. Working schedule is generally three weekdays per week with some evening and/or weekend shifts for outings and events (approximately 1 per month) based on programming needs. Possibility of additional days per week to cover team absences or on an as-needed basis.
This position is supervised by the Cultural Wellness Manager and will receive support and mentorship from Elders, Cultural Wellness team, the Indigenous Health Lead, the Primary Care Co-Leads, and the Administrative Lead.
- Successful candidates will be required to complete a Criminal Record Check.
- Wage is $29.00/hour plus extended health and dental benefits.
- Ideal start date is September 2023.
- The Cultural Wellness program is guided and supported by KL’s Elders and Knowledge Keepers; its goals are to create and foster connection to Indigenous community, cultures, teachings, and traditional medicines. As such, preference will be given to Indigenous candidates who exemplify the qualifications and skills outlined above.
Please send a resume and cover letter by Friday, August 18, 2023 to [email protected]. Your cover letter should clearly articulate why you are interested in this role and working with Kilala Lelum, how your background is a good fit for this specific role and our organization, and your current availability and desired schedule. Incomplete applications (those without cover letters) will not be considered.