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Program Manager – Cultural Wellness Program (0.8 FTE)

We are seeking a passionate, creative, and community-oriented person to continue to develop and help lead our Cultural Wellness program. Along with coordinating all aspects of our Elder-led cultural wellness services, you will work collaboratively with our Indigenous Health Lead to continuously ground all aspects of Kilala Lelum Health and Wellness Cooperative in Indigenous ways of being. 

You will have demonstrated leadership in providing culturally-safe, trauma-informed, member-centered and harm reduction services and enjoy moving between supporting service delivery and administration/planning. This is an exceptional opportunity for an individual committed to ongoing innovation and striving for excellence as we work toward promoting health and wellness equity in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (DTES). 

Job Summary:

The Cultural Wellness (CW) Manager (0.8 FTE) will manage the ongoing development and implementation of our innovative Elder-led cultural wellness services. Our goal is to employ a spectrum of in-clinic and outreach-based activities, as well as outings (land-based teachings, medicine harvesting, community gatherings, and ceremonies), to connect our members, staff, and community members with culture-based health and wellness supports while working to integrate cultural wellness and culture-as-medicine into the evolving health centre model.

Working with an interprofessional care team, the CW Manager will: lead the support and coordination of our circle of Elders and Knowledge Holders; lead ongoing program development and service delivery; develop and maintain strong working relationships with members, staff, and community partners; perform documentation, communication, monitoring, and evaluation; and manage all relevant logistics related to the Cultural Wellness program. The CW Manager will also participate in supporting service delivery, including supporting Elder- and Knowledge Holder-led cultural groups, and coordinating outings.


  • Lead the ongoing design and delivery of the Cultural Wellness program, in line with the goals and deliverables outlined within the funding contracts, in collaboration with KL’s Elders, Knowledge Holders, and Cultural Wellness team.
  • Lead the care and support for our circle of Elders and Knowledge Holders by building safe, trusting, and supportive relationships to ensure their wellness is taken care of; follow cultural practices and protocols related to caring for Elders and assisting their work; ensure that shared areas utilized by CW (Hummingbird Room, Elders Room, etc.) are safe, clean, and optimized for healing.
  • Support cultural safety and the integration of cultural wellness into all KL services and programs, including participation in education, committee work, and professional development; participate in the building and sharing of Indigenous knowledges and medicines.
  • Coordinate the services of our Elders, Knowledge Holders, and Cultural Wellness Workers for 1:1 visits, groups, outreach, outings, and virtual care services (including charting and statistics); track and distribute honoraria for visiting Elders and Knowledge Holders.
  • Support the Cultural Wellness team in service delivery including member outreach and engagement, acting as an Elder and Knowledge Holder assistant, supporting and co-facilitating cultural groups and outings, intake and collaborative care planning (as it relates to CW programming), and maintaining EMR (electronic medical records).
  • Working with the Cultural Wellness team, connect with members, both those accessing CW programming and others (including members in the Relational Care space), to support wellness, foster cultural connection, and increase KL-wide communication; solicit member feedback both formally and informally.
  • Perform and/or oversee administrative duties, including record keeping, EMR reporting, monitoring, evaluation, and budget management; lead ongoing program evaluation and improvement in conjunction with the Indigenous Health Lead.
  • Oversee the referral process between clinical staff and Elders + Knowledge Holders and Cultural Wellness services. 
  • Assist the Indigenous Health Lead with advocacy work related to cultural programming and with the development and maintenance of relationships with the host nations.
  • Support the cultural wellness team staff with daily check-ins and check outs, debriefing, and cultural wellness practices.
  • Develop and review protocols and guidelines to deliver culturally safe and relevant wellness programs and activities for members.
  • Build on the strengths of individual team members; support team building, collaboration, and professional development; implement and maintain team communication and accountability processes.
  • Onboard and train new Cultural Wellness team members.
  • Develop a Cultural Wellness manual to support knowledge transfer.
  • Assist with Dream Canoe program deliverables and provide support to Dream Canoe Coordinator, including engaging the CW team to support ceremonies and outings.

Qualifications & Skills:

  • Minimum of a Bachelor’s degree and 1-3 years of program/project leadership experience, preferably in an environment that serves Indigenous persons and/or persons with multiple barriers to health and wellness equity. Consideration will be given to comparable experience.
  • Minimum of three years of direct service experience (ex: cultural wellness, outreach, social work, housing support, counselling) in an environment that serves Indigenous community members and/or communities with multiple barriers to health and wellness equity.
  • Experience and knowledge of cultural practices and protocols, working with Elders and Knowledge Holders, and/or Indigenous governance and leadership models. Interest in continuing to nurture and develop in this way.
  • Demonstrated passion for promoting Indigenous health and wellness practices and ways of knowing. Knowledge of and commitment to culturally safe, trauma-informed (including intergenerational trauma), member-centered, harm reduction, and recovery-oriented practices.
  • Ability to provide leadership in conflict, 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 interpersonal skills with the ability to form collaborative and respectful relationships with other professionals, community partners, and members.
  • Willingness to engage in ongoing learning and innovation as we strive for excellence.
  • Good computer skills including word processing, spreadsheets and/or databases, and email. Additional skills or experience with virtual conferencing technology and/or EMR (electronic medical records) an asset.
  • Excellent organizational skills and time management.
  • Effective verbal and written communication skills.
  • Accuracy and attention to detail.
  • Ability to work independently and meet deadlines.
  • Experience and knowledge of Indigenous peoples and Indigenous culture required. Completion of a cultural competency course or willingness to participate required.

Supervision Provided:

Work will be carried out with support, oversight, and mentorship from the Indigenous Health Lead. The CW Manager will also seek guidance and support from KL’s Elders and Knowledge Holders to ensure the safety and wellness of CW staff and members.

Supervision Responsibility:

This position will be directly responsible for supervising and providing leadership to and coordination of the Cultural Wellness Workers within the Cultural Wellness program.

Additional Information:

  • Anticipated start date May 2024.
  • Hourly salary starts at $38.38/hour with scheduled annual raises and inflationary adjustment as per the Kilala Lelum wage grid and compensation policies.
  • Schedule of work will be agreed upon to meet the requirements of 0.8 FTE (32 hours/week). 
  • Our compensation includes a robust extended health and dental benefits package.
  • Kilala Lelum Health Centre is committed to equity and diversity, and we encourage applications from members of groups that have been marginalized on any grounds enumerated under the B.C. Human Rights Code, including sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, racialization, disability, political belief, religion, marital or family status, age, and/or membership or self-identification as a First Nation, Metis, Inuit, or Indigenous person.
  • Preference may be given to candidates who are Indigenous, Black or racialized, people with diverse gender identities or expressions, and/or, people with disabilities. It will greatly assist us with screening if you refer in your application to these stated preferences. Recognizing the impacts of discrimination, we ask for a brief statement only, to the degree you feel comfortable sharing. One of our guiding principles is to operate in a trauma-informed manner and thus, it is your choice whether to volunteer information. We will hold your application in strictest confidence, sharing it only with the hiring panel.

To Apply:

Please send your resume AND cover letter to [email protected]. Applications without a cover letter will not be considered. Your cover letter should outline your interest in the role, how your background and experience meet the requirements, and what makes you a good fit for the role. Applications will be assessed and interviews scheduled until the position is filled.