Website Ontario Aboriginal Housing Services

Position: Director of Policy

Closing: Posting will remain open until filled Term: Full Time (35 hours per week)

Salary Range: $93,400 to $134,300 (under review)

We are currently seeking a Director of Policy for any of our offices located in Sault Ste. Marie (Baawating), Dryden, Sudbury, Timmins, Peterborough, Hamilton or London. Consideration may be provided for residency in Toronto or Ottawa. This position currently has a hybrid work arrangement that includes travel. This includes regular travel to Sault Ste. Marie, Toronto, Ottawa and other provincial, national and international locations as required.

Reporting to the Chief Executive Officer, or as assigned, the Director of Policy is responsible to provide strategic leadership and the application of Indigenous values and traditional knowledge in an interwoven and complimentary manner next to the western culture in which we also live. The Director of Policy will apply an urban and rural Indigenous rights and a humanrights approach that honours, respects and restores an environment where Housing at individual, family and communitylevels is supported throughout the life journey of Indigenous people.

The Director of Policy will support the OAHS’ vision: To lead, through an Indigenous-led organisational structure, the design, development and delivery of sustainable, culture-based housing that promotes excellence and well-being in communities; and the OAHS mission which is: To provide safe and affordable housing throughout the life journey of Indigenous people living in urban and rural areas of Ontario.

Working closely with the Director of Programs and Research, other Directors and Team Members, the Director of Policy will oversee the gathering of data to inform the policy positions of the organization. This data will then influence public policy that advocates for positive change at local, provincial, federal and international levels. They will move the agency’s key positions and priorities forward to shift legislative and policy change that reflects an Indigenous lens. The Director of Policy will build relationships with Indigenous organizations, federal and provincial governments, and key Canadian and international partners to influence the development and support for Indigenous housing in urban and rural areas.

The Director of Policy is responsible for the development of a policy portfolio strategy and framework that aligns to the

organization’s vision, mission, and strategic goals. The Director of Policy must ensure that the work produced in the

policy portfolio directly and clearly supports OAHS’ vision, mission and strategic goals and leverages OAHS operational excellence as an implementation tool that is rooted in and directed by and for community.

Further, on an internal policy basis, the Director of Policy will cooperatively work with senior management and other team members to lead the development of evidence-based internal policies to deliver better housing outcomes and foster organizational maturity; ensure OAHS is meeting the needs of the people it serves using wise practices and based in cultural knowledge; and develop diverse, resilient, Indigenous-led housing models through meaningful community engagement. The Director of Policy will thrive as a meaningful, contributing team member in an environment that is faced-paced, complex and challenging.


In return for your ongoing excellent performance, strong work ethic, and commitment to our vision, mission, values, strategic plan, and the people we serve, Ontario Aboriginal Housing Services offers a comprehensive compensation package. This comprehensive compensation package includes:

  • Challenging and fulfilling work; an inclusive and supportive team; and a work environment steeped in and guided by Indigenous culture;
  • Comprehensive medical & dental benefits + company vehicles available for fieldwork;
  • $1000 Health Spending Account + $1000 Wellness Spending Account per employee
  • Additional paid holidays (in addition to statutory holidays) include Louis Riel Day, National Indigenous Peoples Day, Remembrance Day, Easter Monday and Family Day;
  • Opportunity for cultural, educational, and other approved leaves;
  • Supported training opportunities for personal and professional development while reciprocally enhancing organizational capacity;
  • A competitive salary in pay band B9 with a range of $93,400 to $134,300 (under review).

Duties and responsibilities will include, but not be limited to the following:

Support OAHS’s mission and vision and make significant contributions to the achievement of the corporate strategic plan and goals;

Public Policy and External Relationships

  • Oversee the development of a portfolio policy strategy and framework that aligns to the organization’s vision, mission and long-term strategy;
  • Externally, work with a wide variety of existing partners and develop positive new partnerships with groups including but not limited to: Elders, Senators, Knowledge-Keepers, Indigenous organizations, community groups; non-profit service groups; housing organizations; Service Managers; health service organizations; governments including municipal, provincial, federal, and Indigenous as well as their respective departments; Director

Member Organizations; private funders and foundations; elected officials; private for-profit businesses; and other stakeholders for the purpose of creating new and enhancing existing housing services throughout the housing mosaic;

  • Support and develop appropriate Board-level reporting mechanisms and respective reports and represent the organization when requested;
  • Lead the collaborative policy work with Housing Policy Analysts from the Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres, Métis Nation of Ontario, and the Ontario Native Women’s Association;
  • Works closely with the Director of Programs and Research to cooperate on the development and advancement of original research to understand community needs and reflect such positions to inform and shape government and public policy;
  • Supports the development, advancement and growth of strategic relationships that lead to tangible and specific advancements for the benefit of Indigenous people living in urban and rural areas who have unique and diverse housing needs;
  • Prepare correspondence including reports, spreadsheets, graphics, presentations, emails, and letters to support the communication of our policy direction and strategy;
  • Strategically advocate for the implementation of the TRC Calls to Action, UNDRIP, MMIWG, J. Thistle’s Definition of Homelessness as they each and collectively relate to the urban and rural Indigenous Housing context;

Leadership and Management

  • Direct, support and mentor a small but powerful team to support policy development and development of team functional strategies and specific objectives that supports and is directly aligned with the organization’s strategic plan;
  • Development of proposals to secure funding to expand the policy team with specific, measurable outcomes and deliverables for such expansion;
  • Develops budgets, policies and Standard Operating Procedures to support the Policy Team;
  • Engage, collaborate and partner proactively with community stakeholders to ensure the voices of Indigenous people living in urban and rural areas are reflected in policy initiatives and planning;
  • Be keenly aware of the environment in which we operate and able to ‘see’, through multiples lenses, existing and emerging issues that affect the provision of Housing for Indigenous people living in urban and rural areas;
  • Role model of OAHS’ strong and healthy organizational culture, lives the teachings and principles of Indigenous culture(s), and represents the organization in a highly professional yet engaging and accessible manner;

Internal Policy and Operations

  • Internally, working closely with senior management to ensure collaborative efforts are undertaken across the organization with the goal of better supporting the people we serve and the people we have yet to serve;
  • Is aware of colleagues’ plans, shares own plans and works together to support each other for the overall benefit of the people we serve, those who we have yet to serve and for the ongoing maturity development of the organization;
  • Make recommendations to the CEO and Leadership Circle on new actions, goals and targets related to the development of policies; and,
  • Provide directional input into the development of strategic communications; and,
  • Other duties as assigned

To qualify for this role, the successful candidate will have the following qualifications and skills:

  • Thorough knowledge of Indigenous cultures, traditions and communities and demonstrated values that focus on assisting people leading to positive and successful outcomes;
  • Demonstrated ability to consistently lead with kindness, respect, empathy, and based on the teaching and principles of various Indigenous cultures;
  • University degree in relevant area such as Social Work, Public Policy and/or Indigenous Issues (Master’s degree and/or Ph.D. considered a strong asset) and/or a combination of relevant education, cultural knowledge and related experience;
  • Minimum of 5 years progressive leadership experience with a not-for-profit organization and must have demonstrated experience in influencing public policy including planning, development, monitoring and evaluation; equivalent combination of education and experience sufficient to successfully perform the essential duties of the job;
  • Ability to successfully build relationships with other community agencies, services, organizations and government at a political level;
  • Knowledge and experience in government bureaucracy at both provincial and federal level;
  • Political acumen and ability to build relationships;
  • Exceptional capacity for managing, leading and mentoring people from diverse backgrounds with a commitment to investing in and developing staff and positioning them to succeed;
  • Ability to think strategically, critically and analyze public policy;
  • Knowledge and/or experience with international mechanisms considered an asset;
  • Knowledge and experience with strategic planning and multi-year work plans;
  • Capacity to problem solve and strong negotiating ability;
  • Must have an understanding of budget administration and managing contribution agreements;
  • Outstanding written and verbal communication skills;
  • Accustomed to managing multiple projects simultaneously;
  • Excellent organizational skills and ability to direct staff and programming deliverables;
  • Highly motivated internally with the ability to work with no supervision and able to meet strict deadlines;
  • Strong understanding of and demonstrated commitment to the vision and mission of OAHS;
  • Proven IT skills using Microsoft Word, Excel, Power Point, Outlook and databases
  • Support high levels of performance for all team members and oneself;
  • Demonstrated ability to work both independently and interdependently in highly motivated, professional and results-oriented team;
  • Completion or willingness to complete Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) certification would be viewed positively along with a desire for ongoing professional development;
  • Strong background and understanding of the social and affordable Housing and Indigenous Housing landscape in Ontario and Canada;
  • Effective communication skills with individuals coming from all walks of life; and
  • Able to follow through and successfully complete projects

Conditions of employment:

  • Ability to travel when required; if the role is located outside Sault Ste. Marie, the incumbent is expected to travel to the Sault Ste. Marie office once a month for a period of a few days to meet and work with the Team;
  • Ability to travel across Canada and Internationally when required;
  • Ability to work varying hours/days, if required;
  • Initial and ongoing valid CPIC clearance (Criminal Records Check, Vulnerable Sector Search);
  • Positive references at the sole discretion of OAHS;
  • Current, valid Ontario Driver’s License and safe driving record; and,
  • Bondable, if required

We thank all candidates who choose to apply, however, only those selected for an interview will be contacted.


For the Health and Safety of employees, all new employees are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of being hired by OAHS. For clarity, fully vaccinated means two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and that at least 14 days have elapsed since completion of your vaccine series. OAHS will require proof of full vaccination prior to an employee’s start date.


OAHS’ requirement that successful applicants be fully vaccinated is subject to any accommodation obligations it may have under the Ontario Human Rights Code.