Wolastoq River Restoration Collaboration Coordinator
Term Job Position
The Maliseet Nation Conservation Council is seeking a qualified individual to become the first-ever coordinator of a Canada US cross-boundary collaboration around the restoration of the Wolastoq River.
The Wolastoq Restoration Collaboration Coordinator (WRCC) would support the day-to-day work of the collaboration between the Maliseet First Nations and Tribe of the Maliseet Nation and various Canadian and US federal agencies. The Coordinator is to be dedicated solely to building and strengthening the collaboration as expressed in the Interim Statement of Cooperation. While the Coordinator will work for the MNCC and report to the MNCC Executive Director, the Coordinator will work with a diverse set of stakeholders and coordinate closely with the Wolastoq Restoration Collaboration Committee.
On November 2, 2016, the Maliseet Nation invited their U.S. Federal Trustees (Trustees) and Crown Representatives (Crown) to affirm their joint commitment to the restoration of the entire Wolastoq and reconciliation with the Maliseet people. A Joint Statement of Cooperation was signed. Based on the long-held spirit of peace and friendship in the Nation-to-Nation relationship, the Maliseet seek to collaborate with both United States and Canadian Governments to address fish passage, habitat restoration and ecosystem rehabilitation for the management, benefit and use for all future generations.
Currently, the approach to management in the Wolastoq River watershed is lacking coordination. Prior to the signing of the Statement of Cooperation, the Maliseet Nation and federal agencies had no common vehicle for communication, building understanding, aligning goals and interests, exploring options for action, and acting in a joint and coordinated way. The current international border causes a large amount of variation in every aspect of watershed management, from authority over statutes and regulations to how data is gathered and mapped. This variation creates challenges as simple as maps that cannot portray the watershed in its whole and as complex as two federal agencies with limited ability to coordinate or connect. Even agencies within each country, with their own budgets, programs, and responsibilities, may not coordinate effectively. Furthermore, because of the long history of mistreatment of Indigenous peoples in North America, the Maliseet Nation has been actively left out of decisions and overruled in decision-making over centuries. Provinces and States have often been given authority over decisions directly and powerfully affecting the Maliseet Nation and its vital and integral natural resources, including the Wolastoq. Lastly, because of the jurisdictional distance between current Maliseet communities and the International border, there are no forums for the Maliseet people to fully coordinate with each other across the border.
Thus, a common forum for coordination, communication, and action is required to ensure coordinated and consistent information, government-to-government communication, a drive toward co-governance, and harnessing programs, staff, and funding to achieve common goals and objectives. The collaboration has four primary goals, including, but not limited to: 1) reconciliation of First Peoples and governments to the governments of Canada and the U.S.; 2) shared management of the resource; 3) effective collaboration around various activities related to restoration among the parties; 4) learning and building understanding. This new Coordinator position would seek to maintain, advance, and sustain this innovative, important collaboration.
The Coordinator would be responsible, working with the resources of the MNCC and partners, for the following tasks.
Communication and Administration
Set up and maintain a basic project website with meeting summaries, agendas, background documents, and other information.
Maintain and manage a list of all participants’ contact information.
Manage on-going communication via emails, phone calls, and other methods.
Project Management and Coordination
Schedule, plan, facilitate, and track action items from Coordinating Team calls.
Reach out to experts, consultants, academics, agency personnel, and others to inquire about interest, knowledge or funding opportunities.
Schedule, plan, and facilitate webinars: identify presenters, review presentations, develop agendas, and summarize discussions.
Plan summits: create agendas, reach out to potential speakers, arrange venues and other logistics, communicate with all parties, host planning calls, and draft summit summaries.
Plan Leadership Board meetings: create agendas, reach out to members, identify decisions to be made, assemble the documentation necessary for the Board to make decisions, arrange venues and other logistics, and capture leadership decisions and direction in summaries.
Organize and support teams such as project, technical, and communication teams.
Support the oversight of the Collaboration’s budget in terms of travel, event, and project costs through reporting expenditures regularly to her/his supervisor.
Identify funding from multiple sources to advance the Collaboration overall and draft proposals for Board approval.
Skills and Education
The Collaboration Coordinator would need to possess: 1) strong project management skills; 2) the ability to work independently while working closely with others from multiple organizations and countries; 3) strong communication, and interpersonal skills, including writing and speaking; 4) significant knowledge of indigenous issues, particularly those in the Maritimes; 5) experience or expertise in natural resource planning, water management, aquatic science, or related fields and 6) knowledge of International models of watershed management and/or Indigenous collaboration.
This person would be of indigenous descent and must live in or close to the watershed. This person may have an undergraduate or Masters’ degree in the areas noted above. Comparable work and experience with a proven track record can substitute for education level.
The Coordinator will be either an employee of MNCC, located in Fredericton, New Brunswick.The Coordinator is expected to travel extensively, including across the Canadian and US border and to Maliseet First Nation communities and to the Maliseet Tribal Reservation and trust lands of the Houlton Band of the Maliseet. The Coordinator’s position is expected to be full-time. The pay range is commensurate with abilities and experience.
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