Indigenous Gardens Intern

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Founded in 2001, the rare Charitable Research Reserve is a community-driven urban land trust, nature reserve and environmental institute with its headquarters and first three locations comprising over 900 acres within the Haldimand Tract that spans six miles on either side of the Grand River from source to mouth, land granted to Indigenous Peoples in 1784 to recognise their support for the British in the American Revolution. In Wellington County, rare is creating an Eramosa River Conservation Corridor to protect forever the river and its adjacent forests and uplands –– lands of the highest ecological significance and which are so far largely unaffected by direct human impact –– ensuring connectivity of spaces and survival of species in an increasingly and rapidly developing area. For all its properties, rare acknowledges and is grateful to all of the original stewards of the land. Understanding that this land has been rich in diverse Indigenous presence since time immemorial rare would like to honour and respect the sovereignty of both First Nations in the area: the Onkwehon:we Peoples of Six Nations of the Grand River and the Anishinaabe Peoples of the Mississaugas of the New Credit. In addition, rare acknowledges the Neutral people and earlier peoples for whom there is archaeological evidence on the property dating back 10,500 years, and also those Indigenous Peoples who currently live, work, play and learn in the urban landscape around the properties, such other self-identified and status First Nations, Métis and Inuit.

While the goal of rare is to steward its sites and ecosystems intact in perpetuity, for the community to enjoy, forever, in a natural state, it also promotes the lands as a living laboratory for research — including in-house monitoring programs and partnerships with other institutions, citizen scientists, artists and Indigenous Peoples. Research then informs restoration practices and education programs through a Chain of Learning that reaches even the youngest learners in a program called Every Child Outdoors (ECO), a model of active, hands-on, problem-based environmental learning, driven by inquiry in the out-of-doors.

Responsibilities of the Indigenous Gardens Intern will include, but not be limited to:

  • Work under the guidance of rare’s Garden Coordinator and Indigenous and other community volunteers and advisors, within the Indigenous food and medicine garden and other sustainable food gardens at rare. This work may include weeding, watering, working the land, seeding, seed saving etc. Assist with the organization and delivery of public workshops related to the cultural heritage values of the site
  • Assist with teaching students and summer campers to learn about related gardening practices
  • Work with other seasonal garden staff in an extensive garden space, producing fresh, organic, Indigenous and contemporary foods that are grown for donation to community organizations including local food banks.
  • Maintain the landscape surrounding a conceptual Longhouse and an Indigenous art installation and gathering place that acts as a point of connection between Indigenous and settler populations
  • Plant propagation in greenhouse
  • Supervision and leadership of garden volunteers from corporate groups, schools, non-profits, and individual members of the community

Required Qualifications 

  • Demonstrated interest in Settler-Indigenous relations, Indigenous resurgence, ecology, the arts, and environmental interactions as they relate to education
  • Demonstrated knowledge of local Indigenous histories and perspectives, preferably through lived experience, awareness of the effects of colonialism in Canada, and a keen openness to learn, unlearn and braid knowledges
  • Demonstrated passion for being outside, working the land, gardening and cultural heritage
  • Strong leadership skills and the ability to work as part of a team

Eligibility Requirements

  • Canadian citizen or a permanent resident, or have refugee status in Canada (non-Canadians holding temporary work visas or awaiting permanent status are not eligible);
  • are legally entitled to work in Canada;
  • will be between 16 and 30 years of age at the start of employment;
  • are willing to commit to the full duration of the work assignment;
  • will not have another full-time job (over 30 hours a week) while employed with the program;
  • are an unemployed or underemployed college or university graduate, that is, not employed full-time;
  • are a recent graduate who has graduated from college or university within the last 24 months at the start of employment;
  • are not receiving Employment Insurance (EI) benefits while employed with the program; and
  • have not previously participated in or been paid under this or any other Career Focus internship program funded under the Government of Canada’s Youth Employment Strategy.

This is a 6 month contract, pending funding approval, with a tentative start date of May 6, 2019.

Please submit one (1) PDF document that includes a cover letter, résumé, 3 references and confirmation that you meet the eligibility requirements (references will not be contacted until you have been short-listed and informed) to:

Taryn Jarvis – Property, Facility and Gardens Coordinator