Indigenous School Mental Health Project Coordinator

First Peoples Wellness Circle / School Mental Health Ontario 

Contract Opportunity

The First Peoples Wellness Circle (FPWC) is a national not-for-profit corporation governed and managed by Indigenous leaders. FPWC receives its mandate from the First Nation Mental Wellness Continuum Framework (the Framework) and exists to improve the lives of Canada’s First Peoples by addressing healing, wellness, and other mental health challenges. FPWC’s work focuses on implementation of the Framework through leadership, research and partnerships providing a network of supports to the mental wellness workforce in First Nation communities. FPWC team works with federal, provincial, territorial and Indigenous government and non-governmental partners to advance mental wellness for Indigenous people.

School Mental Health Ontario (SMH-ON) works together with Ontario school districts to support student mental health.  As a provincial implementation support team, SMH-ON provides leadership, resources, implementation coaching and a community of practice in order to promote the uptake, scaling, and sustainability of evidence-based, implementation-sensitive, culturally-responsive practices in school mental health.  SMH-ON serves the 72 English and French school boards in Ontario, remote school authorities, and provincial demonstration schools.  The team works alongside the Ministry of Education and has a role within the wider system of care, linking with partner ministries and organizations to advance child and youth mental health.  

Together, FPWC and SMH-ON are jointly hiring for a contract position for January through August 2021 (with possible extension), in the role of Indigenous School Mental Health Project Coordinator.  This role will focus on setting the stage for the development of promotion and prevention programming designed to meet the needs of Indigenous students at school.  In this first phase of development, the Project Coordinator will lead mapping, review, engagement and mobilization activities in order to arrive at a well-scoped Indigenous-led program proposal.  

We recognize diversity as a source of organizational strength. We welcome applications from those who have demonstrated a commitment to advancing student mental health with clear focus on human rights, and on reducing disproportionality and disparity in outcomes.  Those with experience in serving Indigenous communities, and those with identities that have been historically disadvantaged and marginalized, will bring particular assets that are highly valued within the organization.

Contract position to August 31, 2021, with extension contingent on needs.

Role includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Support the development of an Indigenous School Mental Health Advisory Network to imagine and guide the project.  
  2. Engage, mobilize, and document the input of thought leaders who help to shape the development of related mental wellness and prevention programming.   As part of a key informant interview process, include consultation with Indigenous students and educators.
  3. Conduct a resource mapping exercise to identify mental wellness, prevention, and early intervention resources currently available to support Indigenous students in Ontario and federally-funded First Nation schools.  This exercise should include Indigenous-specific programming, as well as other approaches that have been adapted effectively to support Indigenous students.  
  4. Conduct a jurisdictional scan to identify promising mental wellness innovations that could be considered to support Indigenous student mental health in Ontario and/or federally-funded First Nation schools.
  5. Review and curate existing SMH-ON resources, with a view to enhancing relevance and benefits for Indigenous students in Ontario’s publicly-funded schools.  
  6. Coordinate Advisory Network and project team meetings and provide overall project management.
  7. Attend SMH-ON meetings to learn about the provincial School Mental Health Strategy and Action Plan, and to provide guidance and consultation related to enhancing mental health outcomes for Indigenous student mental health.  
  8. Co-develop a detailed action plan for selecting/adapting/developing school-based mental wellness programming for Indigenous students, based on resource mapping, research review, jurisdictional scans, student consultations, and Advisory Network guidance.  


  1. Completion of undergraduate degree in a field such as psychology, social work, education, human development, or public health.  A graduate-level degree is preferred. 
  2. Strong knowledge of Indigenous culture, protocols, processes, and organizations.  Understanding of mental wellness from Indigenous perspectives (e.g., First Nations Mental Wellness Continuum Framework, National Inuit Suicide Prevention Strategy) is desirable.
  3. Strong demonstrated interest in school mental health, and the promise of wellness promotion, prevention and early intervention with children and youth. Experience working in schools and Indigenous education approaches is an asset. 
  4. Demonstrated experience in Indigenous community engagement, mobilization and project planning.
  5. Proven research skills with the ability to find, collate, and summarize findings to support decision-making. 
  6. Excellent interpersonal and communication skills in English, planning, organizational, and time management skills. Proficient computer skills including database management systems, Microsoft 365, and web meeting (virtual interview) methods. 
  7. Bilingualism in English and French, or other languages, is an asset. 
  8. A clear, mandatory vulnerable sector check must be presented prior to hiring.

Deadline for submission is 4:00 p.m. on January 22, 2021.

Please apply to:

and include the position title you are applying for in the subject line of your email

Attention: Dr. Brenda Restoule, Chief Executive Officer, FPWC and Dr. Kathy Short, Executive Director, SMH-ON

Applicants are thanked in advance for their interest; however, only those who have been short-listed for an interview will be contacted. Accommodation for applicants is available in the recruitment process. All interviews will be held virtually by web meeting.