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Counsellor - Tungasuvvingat Inuit TI

Oct 18, 2019
Ottawa Area, Ontario

It is the Mission of Tungasuvvingat Inuit (TI) to broadly provide Inuit-specific programs that contribute to the health and wellbeing of Inuit and to encourage and support similar programs for Inuit across the country.

With over 30 years of highly successful experience in crafting the design, development and delivery of a wide range of effective, client-centered services, TI continues to deliver quality programs and services that directly benefit our growing urban Inuit population.

Position Summary:

The main focus of this position is to provide abuse and trauma related specialized Inuit counselling and supportive services to individuals, families and the community. The Counsellor helps clients understand and address substance abuse and related problems, including mental health issues, problem gambling, family dynamics and lifestyle changes. The incumbent is expected to work collaboratively with a multi-disciplinary team of Elders, community members and professionals within the organization and to establish and maintain partnerships with related community organizations. This is a non-supervisory position except for students or volunteers who may become involved in service or training purposes, when required.

In addition to providing individual and group counseling services, the Counsellor role is to coach and guide Mamisarvik staff in traditional Inuit ways and teachings. The incumbent works closely with the Treatment Manager to ensure excellence in the delivery of Inuit specific clinical services to clients. The Counsellor also collaborates with external groups and agencies in order to ensure effective and comprehensive client service delivery when feasible and may represent TI in groups and coalitions to enhance mental health, trauma and addictions services to Inuit.


  • Interview clients from diverse backgrounds and determine their suitability for participation in a particular program
  • Conduct bio-psychosocial assessments and collaborate with clients to design client-centered, strength-based change strategies, reflecting evidence-based practices, Inuit traditional healing and clinical experiences
  • Conduct individual, group and family counselling sessions in a professional and ethical manner, following all recognized standards, legislation and guidelines relevant to Inuit traditions and clinical practice
  • Counsel family members and significant others to assist them in understanding, dealing with and supporting clients
  • Respond to client requests and crises in a responsible, timely and flexible manner
  • Develop discharge plans in consultation with clients and related professionals and organizations
  • Match treatment services and interventions to clients’ and their families’ unique circumstances whenever possible
  • Work collaboratively and openly with team members to ensure the safest care is provided and seek advice in situations that may be beyond the Counsellor’s scope of practice
  • Utilize Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit principles and other Inuit traditional teachings for healing and counseling purposes
  • Develop, implement and evaluate public education, treatment, prevention and health promotion programs related to substance abuse and trauma based on best practices, traditional healing methods, and in collaboration with related professionals, organizations and communities
  • Develop, implement and evaluate substance abuse and trauma treatment programs within the organization that are in keeping with Inuit culture, principles and values
  • Present self in an approachable and friendly manner as an ethical representative of TI
  • Maintain current and accurate confidential records of client files, and attend to related requests for documentation in a timely and consistent manner
  • Follow the policy and procedures of TI and consult with supervisor as needed
  • Work collaboratively and actively with administrative staff who will also be working in support of clients in a non-counseling role i.e. transportation to medical appointments, housing issues, gathering of statistical data
  • May provide on-call services during treatment cycle
  • Occasional provision of short trips with clients and support during other activities may be required on occasion i.e. supportive of CAS cases and access issues
  • Other duties as assigned

Other Responsibilities

Community Consultation

  • Establish and maintain professional working relationships and regular communication with the community and other related organizations
  • Participate on committees, teams or work groups at the local, provincial, regional and national levels
  • Participate in knowledge exchange activities with related organizations by maintaining regular correspondence, sharing and inquiring about resources and advocating for quality service delivery
  • Coordinate referrals, admissions and discharges with related organizations
  • Actively network with other Inuit organizations within Ontario and other areas

Professional Development

  • Participate in ongoing professional development activities and engage in reciprocal relationships of learning with colleagues to stay current in the field
  • Participate in regular individual and team supervision meetings
  • Implement related learning and professional development plans as discussed with the supervisor
  • Maintain professional credentialing, certification and continuing education requirements on own initiative and in conjunction with organizational resources where available
  • Actively participate in setting and achieving career planning and development of skills especially toward Inuit culture and obtaining university credentials

Education and Experience

  • Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in social work, psychology or a related discipline or recognized community college diploma in the helping profession with 2-4 years of related experience and willingness to work towards obtaining a related degree in an agreed upon and timely fashion
  • Some combination of education plus substantial Inuit specific experience may also substitute at time of hire but with the expectation of working towards a further college or university level diploma or degree in a related field of trauma or substance abuse with an agreed upon time frame for start and completion with TI support (i.e. substantive help with tuition and books. This option will be for capacity building for those within the Inuit culture
  • Minimum 2 years’ experience in community-based human services, preferably in the alcohol/chemical dependency or mental health field
  • CPR, Crisis Intervention and Prevention, Suicide Intervention and Prevention skills and training, Food Handling and Preparation and other relevant certifications will be maintained and secured either individually or with organizational support

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Thorough knowledge of substance abuse and trauma causes and effects, evidence-based models of treatment intervention including traditional and non-traditional and their application to diverse populations including urban Inuit adults and youth
  • Thorough knowledge of individual, family, group and crisis counselling methods
  • Ability to deal with life-threatening situations is required
  • Comprehensive skills in case management, collaboration, program development and evaluation and emergency responses
  • Proficiency in the use of computers for word processing, spreadsheets, e-mail and Internet
  • Fluency in English is required. Fluency in Inuktitut, written and oral is preferred
  • Flexibility to work evenings and respond to occasional crisis calls from colleagues and clients outside of working hours
  • Valid Driver’s license without restrictions
  • Provide a satisfactory police records check for the Vulnerable Sector and maintain it
  • Proven good attendance record and able to maintain it to meet the program’s needs
  • A positive attitude and healthy work life balance and collegial working environment and exemplifying Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit

Working Conditions

  • The Counsellor works in a comfortable office environment, with steady interaction with clients and staff
  • Potential exposure to crisis and risk situations
  • Varying work schedule including emergency call-in when required
  • Occasional travel within and outside the city may be required. Travel to Northern regions may be required

Behavioural Competencies

  1. Adaptability/Flexibility
  2. Analytical Thinking and Decision Making
  3. Client-Centred Change
  4. Continuous Learning
  5. Diversity and Cultural Responsiveness
  6. Effective Communication
  7. Ethical Conduct and Professionalism
  8. Interpersonal Rapport/Savvy
  9. Self-Care
  10. Teamwork and Cooperation
  11. Collaboration and Network Building
  12. Planning and Organizing

Deadline for applications is October 18, 2019

To apply, please submit your resume and cover letter to

Preference in hiring will be given to qualified Inuit candidates, applicants are encouraged to self-identify.  The applicant hired for this position will be required to obtain a vulnerable sector police records check with results acceptable to TI.  We thank all interested candidates in advance, but unfortunately, we are only able to respond to those selected for an interview.

Accommodations for applicants with disabilities is available upon request.


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