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Indigenous Counsellor, Student Wellness Services

Job ID: 31643
Location: Main Campus
Updated April 26, 2024

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We would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the traditional territories of the people of the Treaty 7 region in Southern Alberta.
The City of Calgary is also home to Métis Nation of Alberta, Districts 5 and 6.


The University of Calgary (UCalgary), located in the heart of Southern Alberta, both acknowledges and pays tribute to the traditional territories of the peoples of Treaty 7, which include the Blackfoot Confederacy (comprised of the Siksika, the Piikani, and the Kainai First Nations) as well as the Tsuut’ina First Nation, and the Stoney Nakoda (including Chiniki, Bearspaw, and Goodstoney First Nations). The university recognizes that the City of Calgary is also home to Districts 5 and 6 of the Métis Nation of Alberta. By virtue of the signing of Treaty 7 in 1877, the university recognizes that we are all treaty people. The City of Calgary is home to diverse community. Together, we share this land, strive to live together, learn together, walk together, and grow together “in a good way.”

In the spring of 2016, The UCalgary set out to build the Indigenous Strategy (ii’ taa’poh’to’p) by gathering stories and perspectives from Traditional Knowledge Keepers, cultural advisors, agencies, and communities. The strategy was adopted in November 2017 with a foundation in transformation, renewal, and shared ethical space. It includes 27 recommendations that address ways of knowing, ways of doing, ways of connecting, and ways of being, touching on all aspects of the university. The university is enacting the strategy’s directions through an Elders/UCalgary leadership Circle of Advisors, the UCalgary Indigenous Strategy Implementation Committee and its seven sub-committees, Circle of Indigenous Scholars, and the ii’taa’poh’to’p Student Circle of Advisors, as well as several other Faculty based committees and action plans.

ii’ taa’poh’to’p guides UCalgary on its path of transformation and communicates its commitment and responsibility for truth and reconciliation. The strategy is and will remain a living document within the institution, whereby progress will be monitored, and content and direction will be renewed through a process of evaluation and evolution.

The clear and compelling imperative for the development and realization of UCalgary’s Indigenous Strategy is based on an authentic foundation of compassion encouraged through intercultural learning opportunities that promote awareness, education, and understanding. Building knowledge and understanding of Indigenous perspectives, worldviews, histories, cultures, and belief systems is essential to enabling and realizing steps towards true reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. UCalgary is committed to a position advanced by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that educational institutions have a profound responsibility in initiating, securing, and sustaining reconciliation.

The University of Calgary Student Wellness Services is the collaboration of Student Health, Mental Health Services, Student Accessibility Services, and Health Promotion to provide wellness in body, mind, and spirit to support academic success and personal wellness. We support the University of Calgary by providing integrated and expanded health and wellness services promoting the physical, mental, and spiritual well-being of students within a supportive community. The Mental Health Services’ mission is to support positive mental health by providing students direct care and connection to accessible services through collaboration and consultation with other campus and community partners.

As part of our commitment to ii’ taa’poh’to’p, Student Wellness Services at the University of Calgary invites applications for a tenure-track Indigenous Counsellor (Instructor) position. This hiring initiative was developed in accordance with Section 10.1 of the Alberta Human Rights Act. This position is only open to qualified Indigenous scholars (First Nations, Métis, or Inuit). Candidates will be required to provide verifiable evidence of their Indigenous identity/citizenship.

Reporting to the Associate Director (Counselling) in close consult with the Vice Provost (Student Experience), the Indigenous Counsellor position will focus on supporting Indigenous students through an Indigenous lens of wellness grounded in Indigenous ways of knowing, doing, being and connecting. Additionally, the Indigenous Counsellor will work closely with the Associate Director (Counselling), the Vice Provost (Student Experience) to increase the intercultural capacity within Student and Wellness Services. In consultation with the Associate Director and Vice Provost (Student Experience), the counsellor will explore cultural parallels in professional practices, policies, and procedures (ways of doing) to decolonize access, processes and approaches to wellness services and holistic wellbeing that may marginalize Indigenous Peoples.  Aligned with the priority of increasing access to wellbeing support to Indigenous students, the Indigenous counsellor will provide individual counselling as well as deliver group programming, as needed, to University of Calgary undergraduate and graduate students, with a specialization and approached grounded in Indigenous wellness frameworks. This position will also provide cultural advice and professional mentorship/guidance to other key Student Wellness positions supporting Indigenous students. 

Overall, the Indigenous Counsellor must work effectively with a diverse inter-professional Wellness Services team and build strong relationships with Indigenous students, faculty, other Student and Enrolment Services units and external stakeholders. These Academic positions are also required to contribute scholarly professional knowledge through research projects, oral and written publications, and presentations that inform the counselling practice through an Indigenous epistemological lens. To further support inclusivity and support transformative reconciliation in line with the TRC (2015) calls to action, the Indigenous Counsellor will research, share, and implement wise practices in Indigenous approaches to counselling in large institutional and/or educational settings. This position will also develop workshops and resources to further the intercultural capacity of their professional colleagues within the Student Wellness, Access and Support Services and across Student and Enrolment Services. 

This Counsellor position is focused on providing culturally appropriate, culturally informed, and culturally safe spaces within Student Wellness, Access and Support Services for Indigenous students to access counselling services grounded in Indigenous approaches to wellness. The Indigenous Counsellor will have a student-centred focus and demonstrate leadership in service, collaboration and mentorship within Student and Enrolment Services and across the university. The Counsellor must demonstrate strong ties to Indigenous communities and knowledge systems and understand the importance of building reciprocal relationships with First Nations, Metis, and/or Inuit students, organizations, and regional communities. The goal of these relationships is to increase capacity to engage in appropriate and meaningful initiatives that positively impact the Indigenous communities and students as directed by Indigenous communities. Key collaborators on campus will be the students and staff at Writing Symbols Lodge, the Office of Indigenous Engagement, and the Indigenous Research Support team to offer learning opportunities to build intercultural capacity of the campus community with respect to Indigenous peoples’ histories, cultures, and experiences.
Due to the nature of this position, the emphasis/weightings of duties and responsibilities will be developed in consult with the Associate Director of Counselling and approved by the Vice-Provost (Student Experience). Generally, the workload assignment includes: 

  • Clinical time dedicated to Counselling/Teaching (direct student support through individual counselling sessions).
  • Guidance and direction on scheduling and coordination of counselling services procedures are provided by the Associate Director, Counselling to support indigenization efforts as well as client experiences.
  • Operational coverage for the Center may be required and can be negotiated in consult with the Associated Director, Counselling.

Please note that the workload assignment for this role can change over time, in accordance with our collective agreement (see the link below) and the needs of students.


  • Provide culturally informed individual counselling for undergraduate and graduate Indigenous students. In addition, group counselling and workshops may also be required.
  • Where and when appropriate, provide individual and group counselling for undergraduate and graduate UCalgary students informed by Indigenous approaches to wellness.
  • Demonstrate range, depth, and flexibility in responding to client needs for preventative, developmental or therapeutic counselling within a brief counselling model, including single session format. Issues might include educational, vocational, personal, interpersonal, and social concerns.
  • Function as an independent, responsible professional in accordance with professional codes of ethics, and consult and collaborate with Student Wellness, Access and Support Services staff and faculty/staff on campus within an inter-professional model.
  • Respond to urgent mental health situations, as appropriate.
  • Provide information to students to facilitate the appropriate use of on-campus and off-campus resources.
  • Show diplomacy and good judgment in applying various aspects of university policy and procedures to clients, members of the campus community and the public. 
  • Respond to requests by members of the campus community for participation in specialized educational activities (e.g., workshops, seminars).
  • May provide clinical supervision for graduate trainees in practicum and internship experiences within Student Wellness, Access and Support Services (Counselling).

Scholarly activity may include the creation, organization, and dissemination of knowledge to peers in the academic/professional community.

  • Participate in continuing professional education, as required by the scientist/practitioner model and professional code of ethics while locating parallels with Indigenous ethical frameworks for counselling.
  • Research, share, and implement wise practices in Indigenous approaches to counselling in large institutional and/or educational settings.
  • Engage in innovative scholarship that aligns with institutional strategies and explores and locates cultural parallels between traditional counselling practices and Indigenous approaches to wellness that furthers reconciliation in the counselling profession.  
  • Engage in Indigenous research topics, methodologies, and teaching though presentations,  seminars, colloquia, workshops, lectures, or papers for academic/professional audiences; abstracts, reviews, reports and papers published in the academic/professional literature; the publication of books or monographs; addition to data bases, computer programs; the publication of manuals or handbooks; participation in research or program evaluation; or activity as an editor, referee, program or conference chairperson.  
  • Within Student Enrolment Services the development of workshops, websites, outreach, and programs.


  • Service shall be measured by the academic appointee’s record of active participation in academic governance and development in matters relevant to the progress and welfare of the unit, and the institution. 
  • Service includes increasing the intercultural capacity of colleagues within of the Wellness Services as well as the decolonization, and indigenization of one’s counselling practices. 
  • All Counsellors have a responsibility to contribute through service, internally within departments, Student Enrolment Services, and the University and externally, where appropriate, in professional organizations and the community.  
  • Service activities can include participation on institutional committees, policy consultation, unit process development, external professional and community outreach, internal hiring committees among a variety of other activities.  

The successful candidate will have support from a variety of sources including, but not limited to, the Office of Indigenous Engagement, the Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning, and the Indigenous Research Support team. The Office of Indigenous Engagement also hosts the Circle of Indigenous Scholars within the to further support and connect Indigenous scholars in research, teaching, and learning. 

The candidate must have education and skills, including:

  • Graduate Degree in Counselling Psychology, Clinical Psychology, or Clinical Social Work (Designation as a Canadian Certified Counsellor (CCC) will not be considered for this position) 
  • At least five years related counselling experience, particularly with Indigenous community members and/ or within Indigenous organizations.
  • Knowledge to support and promote Indigenous approaches to wellness, Indigenous knowledge systems, and culturally informed models of practice grounded in Indigenous ways of knowing, doing, connecting and being.
  • Knowledge and experience working with Indigenous persons in a counselling setting.
  • Knowledge, skills, and commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion, decolonization, and social justice. 
  • Eligibility to register with Alberta College of Social Workers or a Professional designation as a Registered Psychologist is required.
  • Previous academic scholarship in Indigenous areas would be an asset.


  • Visionary, collaborative, respectful, relational, strategic, and able to maintain an authentic Indigenous presence.
  • An exceptional communicator with oral, written and presentation skills with the capacity to advocate, influence and inspire in a wide variety of settings across diverse demographics of stakeholders using an intersectional lens.
  • Demonstrates an impactful understanding of equity, diversity, inclusion, and decolonization principles and Indigenous engagement.
  • Proven capacity to build and sustain trust through openness, listening, and engagement while demonstrating an uncompromising commitment to ethical values and the highest level of integrity.
  • Models leadership for the transformation of the campus identity to one that promotes cultural inclusivity, humility, safety and respect as emphasized in the Indigenous Strategy.
  • Enable success of Indigenous students, and community outreach in support of Indigenous initiatives within the University.
  • Demonstrates ability to lead transformative change that advances the parallel relationships and ethical space with Indigenous communities and peoples.
  • Understanding of trauma and its impacts.
  • Excellent skills in intercultural relationships, including cultural humility and safety.
  • Models effective methods of working with intercultural capacity.


Commensurate with qualifications and experience, at the Counsellor (Instructor) level.
For salary and benefits information, please refer to Schedule A of the Collective Agreement (pg. 146) at:


Interested individuals are encouraged to submit an application online via UCalgary Careers ( Please include:

  1. Cover letter
  2. Curriculum vitae (including the name and contact information of three references), 
  3. Equity, Diversity, Inclusivity, and Decolonization statement, and 
  4. A 1-page statement of counselling and scholarly interests. 

Applications without all 4 of the above documents will not be considered.

All applicants must self-identify as an Indigenous scholar (First Nations, Métis, or Inuit) in their cover letter and be prepared to provide documented verification of their Indigenous identity. Please provide all documents in one file. 

Applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis, the position will remain open until filled.

The University of Calgary recognizes that candidates have varying career paths and that career interruption can be part of an excellent academic record. Candidates are encouraged but not required to provide any relevant information about their experience and/or career interruptions to allow for a fair assessment of their application. Selection committees have been instructed to carefully consider, and be sensitive to the impact of career interruptions when assessing the candidate’s application.  

As an equitable and inclusive employer, the University of Calgary recognizes that a diverse staff/faculty benefits and enriches the work, learning and research experiences of the entire campus and greater community. We are committed to removing barriers that have been historically encountered by some people in our society. We strive to recruit individuals who will further enhance our diversity and will support their academic and professional success while they are here. In particular, we encourage members of the designated groups (women, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, members of visible/racialized minorities, and diverse sexual orientation and gender identities) to apply. To ensure a fair and equitable assessment, we offer accommodation at any stage during the recruitment process to applicants with disabilities. Questions regarding [diversity] EDI at UCalgary can be sent to the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion ([email protected]) and requests for accommodations can be sent to Human Resources ([email protected]).

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority. In this connection, at the time of your application, please answer the following question: Are you a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada? (Yes/No)

About the University of Calgary

UCalgary is Canada’s entrepreneurial university, located in Canada’s most enterprising city. It is a top research university and one of the highest-ranked universities of its age. Founded in 1966, its 36,000 students experience an innovative learning environment, made rich by research, hands-on experiences and entrepreneurial thinking. It is Canada’s leader in the creation of start-ups. Start something today at the University of Calgary. For more information, visit

About Calgary, Alberta

Calgary is one of the world's cleanest cities and has been named one of the world's most livable cities for years. Calgary is a city of leaders - in business, community, philanthropy and volunteerism. Calgarians benefit from a growing number of world-class dining and cultural events and enjoy more days of sunshine per year than any other major Canadian city. Calgary is less than an hour's drive from the majestic Rocky Mountains and boasts the most extensive urban pathway and bikeway network in North America.