Indigenous Librarian

Website University of Waterloo

Full Job Description


Term: 2 Years

The University of Waterloo Library is the campus’s partner in learning, research, and innovation. Its two main locations and three satellite spaces act as interdisciplinary hubs, bringing together the knowledge, expertise and resources needed by our diverse campus community. The University was built for change and the Library exemplifies Waterloo’s agility as we continuously transform our approaches to creating, discovering, using, sharing and preserving information. With a commitment to open and equitable access to information, we equip researchers and students with the critical research skills to improve our world as active citizens, creative problem solvers and agile leaders. All of our work is done with a strong commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility. We acknowledge that we live and work on the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishinaabeg and Haudenosaunee peoples. The University of Waterloo is situated on the Haldimand Tract, the land granted to the Six Nations that includes six miles on each side of the Grand River.

The Indigenous Librarian provides leadership and support for students, researchers, and colleagues in the areas of Indigenous research and ways of knowing. The incumbent works in close collaboration with campus and community partners to ensure reconciliation and decolonization efforts are coordinated, wellintegrated, and support both the Library’s and University’s strategic plans. This role is integrated into the University’s overall commitments to building and strengthening Indigenous education programs, curriculum, research, and community. The Indigenous Librarian advises on, and participates in, the integration of Indigenous knowledge with library services and functions, including research methodologies, teaching and learning activities, information services, and collection development. Over time, the Indigenous Librarian may assume an additional area of specialization based on their knowledge, experience, and/or interest.

The University of Waterloo’s Strategic Plan 2020-2025 states, “We particularly recognize Indigenous students, faculty, staff and alumni. We are committed to learning about the rich history and culture of Indigenous people of this land and an institutional response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls for action.” In line with the University’s Strategic Plan, and the Indigenization Strategy, the Indigenous Librarian strives to address the underrepresentation of Indigenous people and to increase specialized support for Indigenous students, faculty, staff, researchers and alumni.

To enhance the effectiveness of this activity, the successful candidate will meet the articulated qualifications below and will be an Indigenous person (First Nations Status or Non-Status, Métis, or Inuit). Lived experience in an Indigenous community or communities is required. We ask each interested applicant to include a statement if they self-identify as an Indigenous member from First Nations, Metis, or Inuit with lived experience of Indigenous world views, cultures and values and strong ties to First Nations, Metis and/or Inuit communities in their cover letter.

Please note that our recruitment system has limitations. Hiring managers will only see the last updated version of the the application (cover letter and resume) as olders versions will be overridden. Therefore, if you are applying to more than one job simultaneously, your self-identify will be available to all hiring managers.

External Candidates: To ensure consideration, please submit your application by July 29, 2022.



  • Acts as the Library’s primary contact with the Office of Indigenous Relations
  • Consults and collaborates with campus stakeholders on the integration of Indigenous knowledge systems into the Library
  • Engages and collaborates with peers in similar roles in the Academic Services Units (ASUs) and the Office of Research, including but not limited to the Manager of Research
  • Program Development and Partnerships and the Project Manager of Indigenous Initiatives at the Office of Research, the Senior Educational Developer of Indigenous Knowldeges and Anti-racist Pedagogies at the Centre for Teaching Excellence
  • Demonstrates strong leadership, including a commitment to equity, shared responsibility, and accountability
  • Contributes an Indigenous inclusive perspective to Library policies, procedures and services and to Library space and strategic planning efforts related to decolonization
  • Provides advice and guidance to colleagues regarding Indigenous knowledge, topics, and service provision
    Acts as an advisor, coach, and/or team lead relating to Indigenous issues, initiatives, and engagement
  • Contributes to the goals and strategic initiatives of the Library and advances the work of the Library’s Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Accessibility (EDIA) committee

Indigenous research and ways of knowing

  • Shares expertise in Indigenous research methodologies, ways of knowing, and ethics
  • Explores Indigenous intellectual property and copyright issues with faculty, students, and staff in collaboration with the Copyright & Licensing Librarian
  • Engages with Cataloguing and Metadata Services and Special Collections and Archives on decolonizing description and discovery of resources
  • Applies an Indigenous perspective to scholarly communication conversations
  • Ensures that Indigenous scholarship is collected, preserved and made accessible
  • Researches and contributes to knowledge regarding national and international trends in Indigenous librarianship

Partnerships and relationship building

  • Contributes Indigenous perspectives to institutional decision-making through participation in Indigenous-related University committees and working groups, and via regular consultation and collaboration with the Office of Indigenous Relations and other Indigenous campus advisors
  • Liaises with campus partners to support Indigenous students, researchers and their allies, with priority given to Indigenous students and researchers
  • Develops collaborative relationships with academic departments, programs and schools to support teaching and research needs related to Indigenous scholarship
  • Liaises with Indigenous campus and external communities to ensure programming and initiatives honour the traditions of Indigenous peoples and supports the University’s Indigenous strategies
  • Collaboratively develops projects and programming related to, and respectful of, Indigenous peoples, languages, and cultures
  • Advances the understanding of Indigenous matters in the academic library community and other scholarly communities through research, service, and participation in provincial, national and international membership organizations, groups or projects

Teaching, Information Services, and Collections

  • Maintains currency in Indigenous ways of knowing, learning and educational approaches
  • Encourages information literacy and identifies areas to broaden and include Indigenous knowledge within the curriculum
  • Provides library instruction incorporating Indigenous ways of knowing
  • Collaborates with colleagues to develop and deliver in-depth information services to meet the research and learning needs of students, faculty, and staff
  • Ensures equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) considerations are integrated into collection policies and consults on the acquisition of Indigenous collections and resources
  • Engages with subject librarians and Collection Development on decolonizing the collection
  • Collaborates on the acquisition and management of research tools
  • May act as a subject liaison for Indigenous-focused academic programs and/or assume an additional area of specialization


  • The successful candidate will be First Nations, Metis, or Inuit with lived experience of Indigenous world views, cultures and values and strong ties to First Nations, Metis and/or Inuit communities
  • A Master’s degree in library, archival or information studies from an ALA- accredited or equivalent institution. Recent graduates are encouraged to apply. Individuals working toward a degree may be considered. *Individuals working toward a degree may be considered at USG 9
  • Asset – Degree or diploma in First Nations or Indigenous studies or equivalent
  • Lived experience of Indigenous world views, cultures and values and strong ties to First Nations, Métis and/or Inuit communities
  • Experience building effective working relationships with institutional and external colleagues, and communities
  • Experience integrating knowledge to inform equitable and inclusive decision-making
  • Experience developing, delivering, and assessing instructional content
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Cultural fluency for Indigenous contexts
  • Understanding of Indigenous ways of knowing within a higher education setting
  • Knowledge and understanding of Indigenous research methodologies, resources, and services and the use of them to advance research and scholarly communication on campus
  • Dedicated to cultivating an inclusive environment that recognizes barriers faced by people and encourages and incorporates contributions from diverse groups and individuals
  • Demonstrated ability to initiate, plan and carry out projects, both independently and as a member of a team
  • Time management skills, and the ability to balance multiple responsibilities, and adjust according to changing priorities
  • Ability to create, sustain, and enhance effective partnerships
  • Excellent organizational, analytical, and problem-solving skills
  • Creative, flexible, adaptable thinker
  • Knowledge of current issues in Indigenous scholarship and librarianship, with a commitment to continued learning and growth
  • Communicates effectively in an academic context, acting as a resource to the department, University, and broader community
  • Ability to promote the Library and its services to clients and present a positive image of the Library to clients
  • Ability to understand and respond to priorities and trends in the Library and University environments
  • Asset – Some spoken and/or written fluency in an Indigenous language
  • There may be work hours outside of normal operating hours, time-sensitive activities, and competing priorities, as well as occasional travel for professional development and networking purposes

Vaccination Requirement Statement:

Effective May 1, 2022, the University suspended its Vaccination Requirement. Prior to May 1, pursuant to this Requirement, all University employees were required to submit proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 (subject to the University’s obligations under the Human Rights Code to accommodate employees who were unable to receive a vaccination). The University’s Vaccination Requirement website can be found here:

The pandemic is ongoing and public health advice continues to evolve. Accordingly, the University reserves the absolute right to reinstate the Vaccination Requirement on short notice, and upon such reinstatement you will be required to comply. You shall also be required to comply with any new health and safety policies/requirements implemented by the University from time to time, including new policies/requirements related to mandatory employee vaccination. As the University may need to reinstate the Requirement on short notice, it will continue to collect and maintain up-to-date information on employee vaccination status. Please submit your Covid-19 vaccine status (QR code) to:

Failure to comply with the Vaccination Requirement if it is reinstated, including failure to comply with any future amendments to the Vaccination Requirement, or failure to comply with new health and safety policies/requirements implemented by the University, including those related to new mandatory employee vaccination, shall result in discipline up to and including termination of employment.

The requirement to be vaccinated, if reinstated, will be subject to the duty to accommodate pursuant to the Human Rights Code. If you are unable to be vaccinated for reasons related to a ground protected under the Human Rights Code, you may submit a written request for accommodation with an explanation of the reasons and/or any supporting documentation. If you request accommodation, the University may follow up with you for further information if necessary.

Equity Statement:

The University of Waterloo is committed to implementing the Calls to Action framed by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. We acknowledge that we live and work on the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishinaabeg and Haudenosaunee peoples. The University of Waterloo is situated on the Haldimand Tract, the land granted to the Six Nations that includes six miles on each side of the Grand River.

The University values the diverse and intersectional identities of its students, faculty, and staff. The University regards equity and diversity as an integral part of academic excellence and is committed to accessibility for all employees. The University of Waterloo seeks applicants who embrace our values of equity, anti-racism and inclusion. As such, we encourage applications from candidates who have been historically disadvantaged and marginalized, including applicants who identify as First Nations, Métis and/or Inuit/Inuk, Black, racialized, a person with a disability, women and/or 2SLGBTQ+.

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.

The University of Waterloo is committed to accessibility for persons with disabilities. If you have any application, interview, or workplace accommodation requests, please contact Human Resources at or 519-888-4567, ext. 45935.

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