Rural Routes to Climate Solutions (RR2CS) shines a spotlight on the climate solutions that Alberta’s farmers, ranchers and rural communities can benefit from. RR2CS is happy to announce that we are seeking a Project Manager to lead one of our most unique initiatives yet–Siksikaitsitapi Agriculture Project (SAP)–and join our great team of community organizers, facilitators and communications specialists.
The Project Manager will be responsible for the following activities:
- Communications, organizing and logistics for SAP
- Recruiting, managing, supporting and assisting the SAP team (3 project coordinators) in design and delivery of workshops, webinars and other participant interactions
- Creating and working with an advisory committee or committees of Blackfoot Elders and Knowledge Holders
- Building relationships and collaborating with government and non-government organizations serving the Blackfoot people.
- Budgeting and analytics of SAP and its participants
- Securing resources and recruiting participants to take part in SAP
- Ensuring that the above activities are designed and undertaken with the appropriate Blackfoot cultural lens.
The Project Manager will contribute to and support the rest of the RR2CS team with the following activities:
- blog, podcast, video production
- social media channels and the website
- webinars, workshops and field days
- grant writing and sponsorship development
- meetings with stakeholders
- attending fairs, expos and events on behalf of RR2CS
Who you are
You’re awesome. Come on, don’t be modest. We know you were thinking it when you were looking in the mirror this morning.
Some might say you’re a wizard at the three C’s: communication, coordinating, and comfortability. You make people feel welcomed and wanted. The past few years have been hard, but you’ve taken the changes in stride, and can thrive when working remotely and independently. You understand the challenges of managing a team that works independently too, so you strive to stay connected and positive. We’re not the type to hover over your shoulder, asking “Whatcha doing? Whatcha doing?”, which you’re relieved to hear. At the same time, the rest of the RR2CS team is there to help during times of uncertainty or when clarification is needed, which you greatly appreciate.
You see mistakes as an opportunity for growth. You know how and when to pivot, and when to ask for help. We’re all in this together, after all, and a high tide raises all boats.
You’re a delight to speak with, thoughtful, flexible, and passionate about either traditional Blackfoot knowledge, agriculture, community health and food security (or maybe it is all of the above). Empowering Blackfoot Nations is something you’re almost too excited about (we love that!).
You believe in people and their ability to bring about positive change.
If this describes you, we’d love to hear from you!
What the Project Manager does
Full transparency: this isn’t your usual project management role. Unique initiatives like the Siksikaitsitapi Agriculture Project require unique leadership.
Part of the role is very much what you would expect from a Project Manager role: scheduling, communicating, follow-up, logistics, designing and delivering project activities and guiding, managing and delegating tasks to the SAP team. In addition to this, the Project Manager manages SAP’s budget and reporting requirements and builds the strategic partnerships that are so crucial to ensuring the success of the project.
What makes the Project Manager role a tad bit unusual is the Project Manager isn’t really leading SAP, the participants are. SAP is a participant-driven project where the participants ‘lead’ by determining the project’s direction. The Project Manager works alongside the SAP advisory committee and project coordinators who invite and connect with current and potential SAP participants through the project activities. Working with these groups, the Project Manager builds out and maintains a bigger picture of the Siksikaitsitapi Agriculture Project at all times.
The Project Manager has to stay up-to-date on key issues facing the Blackfoot Confederacy and have a good sense of what is happening within the project. Anticipating next steps for SAP will also be important in ensuring the project has the resources it needs to grow and evolve.
Experience in facilitating and hosting groups is a plus; flexibility, strong listening skills, planning and project management are required and; thinking outside of the box is helpful. After all, Rural Routes is in the solutions business.
What is the Siksikaitsitapi Agriculture Project
A “participant-driven project” may sound like some sort of Lord of the Flies-esque management nightmare. Rest assured, this is not the Siksikaitsitapi Agriculture Project.
SAP empowers Siksikaitsitapi agricultural producers and traditional harvesters with traditional knowledge, resources and peers to engage with and implement culturally-appropriate agricultural climate solutions (i.e. they align with Blackfoot culture). The vision of SAP is the widespread adoption of these solutions within the Siksikaitsitapi helping to address the social, economic and environmental issues its members and many Indigenous Peoples face.
SAP began its journey in 2021 and in 2023-2024, the project aims to build a collaborative platform for Siksikaitsitapi members to learn together and decide on two things:
- which agricultural climate solutions align with Blackfoot culture, and
- how these solutions can positively impact community health and food security.
‘Building’ this collaborative platform looks a little like this:
- Organizing ‘community convening moments’ (e.g. meetings, workshops, field days) for Blackfoot agricultural producers and harvesters to learn about and discuss agricultural climate solutions together and explore where they intersect with traditional knowledge, food security and community health.
- Celebrating, widely sharing and learning from Blackfoot success stories in land stewardship by using Rural Routes’ tried and tested communications tools (e.g. podcast, Farmer’s Blog, videos) to support and supplement the conversations happening in the community convening moments.
There are likely project activities we haven’t even thought of yet for SAP and that’s the beauty of a participant-driven project. If it fits into the ‘bucket’ of agricultural climate solutions that align with Blackfoot culture and can address either community health or food security, we can consider it for the project. Don’t let this job posting hold you back.
Wages: $30.00-$33.00/hour (depending on level of experience). You will be working as a contractor and are responsible for ensuring that necessary payments for income tax / CPP have been made.
Hours: 30-35 hours/week (depending on level of experience). A typical work week with Rural Routes is Monday to Thursday.
Duration: July 1, 2023 – June 30, 2024. Rural Routes is currently fundraising to extend this role beyond June 30, 2024. There is the possibility of a contract extension if we are successful in our fundraising efforts.
- Knowledge of Siksikaitsitapi (Blackfoot) culture
- Strong planning and interpersonal communication skills
- Previous project management experience
- Knowledge of agriculture, traditional land-use and/or rural Alberta social, economic and environmental issues
- Experience in developing and stewarding relationships with potential and current partners
- Strong team-communications skills, especially when working with the advisory committee, participants, RR2CS team and partners
- Member of one of the Blackfoot Nations
- Knowledge of issues and challenges on reserves
- Ability to communicate clearly and confidently
- An inclusive and supportive management style
- Experience in fundraising, especially completing grant applications
- Understanding of climate change mitigation and adaptation including agricultural and/or nature-based climate solutions.
- A willingness to problem solve to overcome the challenges and evolution the project may face
- Related to the above, an ability to ask for help when needing clarity or support
- Natural ability to take charge, speak up, and make sure others are heard
- A sense of humor. Listen to our podcast episodes The Coordinators, What We Do and 50 More to better understand our sense of humor.
Requirements and Expectations:
- Report to the Director
- Participate in 2 weekly team meetings–one with the RR2CS team and one with the SAP team—and participate in quarterly advisory committee meetings.
- Overnight travel. SAP will likely have 3 one-day, in-person events per year. In addition to this, Rural Routes has two 2-3 day team building meetings per year. Your mileage and accommodation will be covered by Rural Routes and if child care is a barrier to participation, we’ll work with you to try and address it. Most of our team has kids so we get it.
- Using online tools like WordPress, Google G-Suite, Zoom and Trello
- Keep track of and manage your own hours, invoices and expense claims
Interested applicants should submit a cover letter and resume as a PDF and email it to email@example.com by Monday, May 15th, 2023. Please include “SAP Project Manager Application” in the subject line of your email. Only considered candidates will be contacted for interviews.
In the event a successful candidate is not found, the application process will be reopened in late May or early June.
The Siksikaitsitapi Agriculture Project is also seeking part time project coordinators to undertake project activities in Siksika, Kainai and Piikani. The job postings for these roles will be advertised this summer. However, if you are interested in one of these roles, please feel free to send us your cover letter and resume in advance. Please include “SAP Project Coordinator Application” in the subject line of your email and indicate in your email which Nation you would prefer to work with.
Rural Routes to Climate Solutions (a Stettler Learning Centre initiative) was established in 2017 to assist Alberta’s agricultural producers and rural communities to become aware of, engage in and implement climate solutions. Rural Routes achieves this through educational and capacity building activities and innovative projects like our Regenerative Agriculture Lab (RAL) and Siksikaitsitapi Agriculture Project
The vision of Rural Routes is for all rural Albertans to benefit from the climate solutions that make sense for where they live, work and play.