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Indigenous Foodland Conservation Postdoctoral Position

Indigenous Foodlands Conservation Area
Postdoctoral Research Position

The Working Group on Indigenous Food Sovereignty (WGIFS) was founded in 2006 out of a recognized need to carry Indigenous voice and vision in food systems research, action, and policy. The WGIFS has since become an internationally recognized grassroots organization consisting of Indigenous knowledge holders, scholars, researchers, practitioners, representatives of community, regional, tribal and inter-tribal networks and non-profit organizations. Our work has been foundational to the building of an Indigenous Food Systems Network consisting of social actors who see the critical need to reconceptualize frameworks for Indigenuos foodland conservation within a more holistic, regenerative life giving paradigm and narrative. The placement for this position is in collaboration with Dr. Hannah Wittman at the UBC Faculty of Land and Food Systems.

The WGIFS is led by Indigenous Matriarchs and the men and 2 spirits who support us, and is inclusive of non-Indigenous friends and allies who demonstrate deep and meaningful willingness and ability to work within the Decolonizing Food System Research and Relationships: Cross Cultural Interface Framework developed by the WGIFS. Our analysis framework focuses on multiple intersecting scopes and scales, as they are defined by bio-cultural heritage, geography, and areas of focus outlined below.
The successful candidate will work with the direct supervision and direction of the WGIFS, and will support the WGIFS in applying their Decolonizing Food Systems: Research and Relationships Framework to the creation of ethical spaces of engagement in the interface where grassroots voice and vision of traditional hunters, fishers and gatherers meets the Pacific IPCA’s Innovation Centre, and Canadian Mountain Network knowledge hub. The PACIFIC INDIGENOUS PROTECTED AND CONSERVED AREA (IPCA) INNOVATION CENTRE network brings together western and Indigenous science.

Main Responsibilities
The Working Group on Indigenous Food Sovereignty (WGIFS) is seeking a postdoctoral Researcher to work with the Research Curator, Circle of Indigenous Experts, and Project Team to research concepts, cases and conversations, and advocate for the establishment of Indigenous Foodland Conservation Areas. The researcher will assist with coordinating the research team and participants, conducting oral history interviews, and conducting literature reviews to inform the development of decolonizing food system research matrix and articles.

Apply the WGIFS Decolonizing Food System: Cross Cultural Interface Framework to the development and design of a research matrix and plan, Research Ethics file, and transformative evaluation framework in conversation with Circle of Indigenous Experts and community participants.
Develop research protocols, ensuring consistency with established Indigenous methodological approaches and models, adherence to project timelines, and completeness of documentation;
Conduct literature reviews of Indigenous case law, legal frameworks, and oral history/traditional land use studies and history interviews with Elders/hunters, fishers and gatherers focused on traditional harvesting as in situ conservation;
Coordinate consultations with Indigenous law and governance experts.
Community engagement with Traditional knowledge holders to develop Indigenous Land Use Principle and relational indicators
Access, gather and analyze land referrals maps, and assist with the establish a database to gather and interpret environmental monitoring observations gathered by traditional harvesters (hunters, berry pickers, subsistence farmers)
Review literature/statistics on hunting, fishing licensing process;
Compile, analyze and translate research in a culturally responsive, community engagement process;
Draft progress reports and project materials for the project team and Circle of Indigenous to ensure information and issues are of implemented
Develop concept paper and co-author articles in peer-reviewed journals/digests that highlight findings from research and activities ensuring consistency with the highest standards of Indigenous scholarship and showcasing the case study of Secwepemc Foodlands Conservation leadership;

Main Areas of Focus: Indigenous Law/Governance/Environment, Land and Resource Management, Sustainable Food Systems.
Status: Temporary Full time - with potential to extend pending future funding
Start Date: June 6, 2022
End Date: May 31, 2023
Location: Negotiable, requires travel to Secwepemc territory (Chase, BC)
Remuneration: $55,000 per annum (plus benefits)

Minimum Qualifications
PhD in a field related to Indigenous Law and/or Indigenous Governance or another relevant area of focus
strong research knowledge in social and/or environmental justice and success with relevant academic publication environment
experience with decolonizing and Indigenous research methods, qualitative interviewing
Lived experience working with Indigenous Peoples
Driver’s license or ability to meet transportation needs to and from Chase BC.

Other Factors:
Non-Indigenous applicants will be considered only with a deep comprehensive understanding and demonstrated ability to work in a decolonizing relationship based approach to creating ethical spaces of engagement with Indigenous Peoples.

How to Apply
Applications should be submitted in a pdf attachment by email to and Hannah Wittman with the subject "Indigenous Foodland Conservation Area Postdoc 2022", and file name “LastName.FirstName.pdf”, and should include:
1-page cover letter stating your interest and key qualifications
CV including contact information for 3 references, and
1-3 writing samples (e.g. recent peer-reviewed publications).

Application Deadline: May 15, 2022
Indigenous researchers preferred. Applications will be reviewed as they are received and will continue until suitable candidates are identified.


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