Director, First Nations, Inuit and Métis Cancer Strategy


The Canadian Partnership Against Cancer “The Partnership” is seeking a dynamic leader to join the organization at a time of growth and transition. We have begun the first year of our 2022-2027 business plan focused on implementing the refreshed Canadian Strategy for Cancer Control (CSCC). A key focus is building on 15 years of work with Indigenous partners to implement the self-determined, People-specific priorities: culturally appropriate care closer to home; Peoples-specific, self-determined cancer care; and First Nations-, Inuit- or Métis-governed research and data systems.

The Partnership acknowledges that historical and ongoing colonial practices and policies continue to impact the well-being of generations of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis. First Nations, Inuit and Métis governments, organizations and communities are leading transformative work that will result in improved well-being with the development and implementation of Peoples-specific, self-determined solutions. Supporting this work is key to sustainable system change and addressing inequities in cancer care and outcomes between First Nations, Inuit and Métis and other people in Canada.

We are committed to working in a reconciliatory way with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis to improve the cancer system by:

  • Implementing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action
  • Supporting self-determined, regional, and Peoples-specific priorities in the Canadian Strategy for Cancer Control
  • Supporting all partners in their efforts to improve the quality of life and health outcomes of all First Nations, Inuit and Métis patients and families
  • Encouraging an organization-wide approach to implementing the Canadian Strategy for Cancer Control guided by First Nations, Inuit and Métis governments, organizations, advisors and partners and supported by ongoing, mandatory cultural awareness training for all Partnership staff and Board members.

We are focused on fostering a positive organizational culture that supports Indigenous ways of knowing and embraces new ideas for evolving the organization. Developing trustful relationships to collaborate on shared priorities is at the centre of all our work with partners.

Overview of role

Reporting to the Vice President of Strategic Partnerships, this role is an exciting opportunity for a senior leader who is energized by the idea of evolving how a pan-Canadian health organization works in collaboration with First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples towards sustainable system change across cancer care.

The Director, First Nations, Inuit and Métis Cancer Strategy has several core accountabilities. The Director is responsible for the oversight and successful implementation of the First Nations, Inuit and Métis- specific funded projects that are grounded in the Peoples-specific and self-determined priorities of the Canadian Strategy for Cancer Control. This involves providing strategic leadership to the organization as well as leadership with humility and respect to develop and strengthen relationships and partnerships, lead meaningful, culturally safe engagement and implementation approaches, coaching and guiding a dedicated 11-person team, and strategically connecting this work throughout the organization.

Currently, much of this work supports Indigenous-led development and/or implementation of Peoples- specific strategies and cancer plans in all provinces and territories. Over 130 First Nations, Inuit and Métis governments, organizations and community partners are involved in the resulting initiatives. This body of work is focused on delivering against a set of target outcomes including enhanced equity within the cancer control system and improved quality of care experienced by First Nations, Inuit and Métis patients and families.

In addition to accountability for the Peoples-specific priorities 6,7 and 8 of the Canadian Strategy for Cancer Control, the Director is also responsible for supporting the organization-wide commitment to embed First Nations, Inuit, and Metis priorities within all priorities of the CSCC (including 1-5). The Director supports the organization to work in trusting, respectful partnerships with Indigenous governments, communities, and organizations on self-determined priorities for cancer prevention and care. The Director will convene Indigenous and non-Indigenous national, provincial/territorial, regional, and local leaders with a focus on lessons learned, opportunities for collaboration and building relationships to support First Nations, Inuit and Métis self-determined priorities and actions.

The Director also plays a cornerstone role in building trustful and reciprocal relationships with additional key partners working within Indigenous health. This includes First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities, organizations, and governments; National Indigenous Organizations, federal agencies, cancer agencies and programs, health care delivery organizations and health-related charities and others.

In addition, the Director will lead the implementation of a refreshed model for meaningful engagement and seeking advice and input from Indigenous governments, health leaders, patients, families, Elders, knowledge keepers and youth.

In response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action, the Director is a leader in the organization’s Commitment to Reconciliation. This includes advancing cultural awareness learning opportunities and partnering with teams across the organization to ensure all work is grounded in cultural safety, respect, reciprocity, and humility. The Director is a member of CPAC’s Strategic Management Committee, contributing a strategic voice to the management of the organization, from strategy development to people and culture.


  • Work internally with the VP, Strategy, and management team, and externally with First Nations, Inuit and Métis partners and the cancer system to advance Peoples-specific and self-determined priorities by focusing on the following:
  • Engaging First Nations, Inuit and Métis partners, governments, organizations, and communities to work in partnership on shared priorities for better cancer outcomes for Indigenous peoples
  • Leading efforts to advance large-scale initiatives in all provinces and territories, and identifying opportunities to further spread and scale work
  • Leading the transformation of the team and the approach to ensure work across the organization to address First Nations, Inuit and Métis priorities is implemented in a culturally appropriate way. This includes supporting cancer control program teams (e.g., screening, prevention, diagnosis and care, person-centred perspective, etc.) in engaging with First Nations, Inuit and Métis partners in a reconciliatory way and through culturally appropriate engagement processes
  • Creating strategic linkages and collaborating on work plans within the Partnership:
  • Work with all program areas on strategies to ensure First Nations, Inuit and Métis priorities are integrated in all work. This includes ongoing collaboration with Cancer Control, Strategic Partnerships and Cancer Systems, Performance and Innovation divisions within the organization
  • Lead the implementation of a program evaluation with First Nations, Inuit and Métis funded partners to identify lessons learned and next steps
  • Identifying opportunities for strategic linkages and synergies with other programs, initiatives, and partners outside the organization, including National Indigenous Organizations, federal agencies, cancer agencies and programs, community providers, health care organizations, and health-related charities
  • Providing strategic recommendations regarding the culturally appropriate advisory mechanisms for the First Nations, Inuit and Métis work, and support those advisory mechanisms to ensure insights and guidance lead to implementation/action and support reciprocal relationships with partners and advisors
  • Active participation in long- and short-term planning, including defining the First Nations, Inuit and Métis-related outcomes for projects/programs; developing annual plans and budgets in collaboration with Strategy and Project Management teams; overseeing the development of project plans and providing leadership to support their implementation; evaluating; assessing and reporting on progress and program health on a regular basis
  • Contributing to the strategic leadership and direction of the organization through participation on the Partnership’s Strategic Management Committee, which includes the CEO, Vice Presidents, Directors and Regional Leads, among other mechanisms
  • Providing leadership on the continued implementation of the organization’s Commitment to Reconciliation

General accountabilities

  • Drive innovation and culture change with a focus on improved outcomes for all First Nations, Inuit and Métis patients and families by creating integrated, cross-functional teams that collectively deliver on work in support of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis priorities
  • Lead and coach direct reports; mentor others in the organization with accountability for delivering First Nations, Inuit, and Métis-focused work
  • Shared accountability for collaboration across divisions and portfolios and with external partners, particularly to ensure opportunities for strategic alignment with all aspects of the refreshed Strategy
  • Support VP accountabilities and achievement of strategic priorities
  • Contribute to setting division strategy and goals, allocating resources, and delivering results on time and within budget


The Partnership’s core competencies are a key element to reviewing performance. While the duties and responsibilities of a position tell you the “what,” the competencies tell you the “how.” We have developed five universal competencies which we expect to be exhibited by all employees regardless of level or position, as well as five leadership competencies which we expect to be exhibited by staff in people management positions.

Universal competencies

  • Inclusive – values diversity and applies an equity lens; consciously thinks about who needs to be included
  • Agile – is constantly adapting to partners, priorities and outcomes; is committed to continuous learning and improvement; promotes new ways of doing things
  • Collaborative – partners and builds strong relationships; works effectively with team members, focusing on delivering individual contributions to meet collective outcomes
  • Outcomes-focused – focuses on the ultimate impact, priorities work with a focus on underserved groups
  • Systems-thinking – connects the dots between their work and the broader system, has political acuity

Leadership competencies

  • Builds capability (internally and externally), and focuses on people managemen
  • Creates a safe space for people to lead, exercise agency, and take initiative
  • Eliminates barriers to success (e.g. inefficient processes)
  • Leads transparently
  • Demonstrates authentic leadership and builds energy for change internally and externally
  • Cultivates common purpose by promoting the Partnership brand to partners, and driving collaboration and collective action
  • Translates vision and strategy in a way that people understand
  • Builds and leverages strong relationships
  • Drives change without authority
  • Helps others to ‘see’ themselves in the work, and brings people along
  • Understands what levers to pull (internally and externally) to effect change
  • Focuses on what’s important
  • Thinks ahead and knows when to act
  • Brings everything they know to the table
  • Is an effective decision-maker
  • Delivers value from budgets and resources to drive a return on investment (ROI)
  • Holds themselves and others accountable, and takes ownership for outcomes
  • Prioritizes work with a focus on under-served groups, such as First Nations, Inuit, and Métis
  • Seeks new ways of doing things
  • Possesses financial acumen
  • Seeks to contribute to the organization beyond their team


  • Demonstrated experience in and knowledge of:
  • First Nations, Inuit and Métis health, social and cultural perspectives on health and wellness, and experience working with First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities, organizations, and health systems to advance efforts
  • Awareness of the various First Nations, Inuit and Métis governance processes
  • Understanding of cancer systems, including provincial, territorial and inter-jurisdictional contexts
  • Stakeholder relations and strategy development; non-profit experience an asset
  • Managing a team of motivated direct reports and cross-functional teams
  • Providing strategic recommendations that result in effective outcomes and knowledge management
  • Strong political acumen and internal and external relationship building skills, including the ability to engage with and align efforts among multiple stakeholders in the development and implementation of strategy, particularly within the health care sector and First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities and organizations. A well-developed network of relationships across Indigenous health portfolios is an asset.
  • Demonstrated ability to navigate and translate both Indigenous and non-Indigenous worldviews, especially as these pertain to health and healthcare
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills
  • Strong mentoring, coaching, and knowledge-sharing skills, ability to interact and work effectively with staff and ability to proactively lead and respond to change
  • Degree in policy, public health, health policy, health management, Indigenous studies or related area is an asset but not required
  • Demonstrated management experience in implementing strategic initiatives, ideally on a large scale multi-jurisdictional basis; responsibility for managing budgets and program risks
  • Equivalent combination of education and experience may be considered
  • Preference will be given to self-identified First Nations, Inuit or Metis candidates
  • Ability to travel, when required, to partner meetings across Canada

Apply now

To apply, please forward your CV and cover letter combined in one file in Word or PDF format to:

The Canadian Partnership Against Cancer thanks all applicants; however, only those selected for an interview will be contacted. If contacted for an interview, please inform us should accommodation be required.

The Canadian Partnership Against Cancer has a diverse workforce and is an equal opportunity employer.

Position Details

Reports to:

Vice President of Strategic Partnerships


Hybrid/Remote. The Partnership’s head office is in downtown Toronto. Candidates can work anywhere in Canada with the expectation to travel to the head office on occasion.

Employment category:


Job level:

Level 9 salary range: $139,542 - $192,075; compensation offered will be based on an assessment of the candidate’s knowledge, skills, competencies and experience, while ensuring internal equity.

Posting date:

September 9, 2022