Description from LinkedIn

About the job

Turtle Island Conservation is a partnership between the Toronto Zoo and First Nation communities across Ontario, and recognizes the significance of traditional teachings and sciences to conservation initiatives.

The intention of this partnership is to bring together keepers of Traditional Knowledge (TK), Elders, First Nations community members and Turtle Island Conservation (TIC) team members to facilitate the preservation of traditional ways of knowing and the participation of First Nations peoples in conservation. We assist First Nations-led programming through collaborations in biodiversity (i.e. Species at Risk) conservation recovery planning, and preservation of significant cultural and natural landscapes.

A grant funded-program working at the Toronto Zoo with some travel to First Nations communities across Ontario. The successful candidate will work with the Manager of Species Recovery and Program Assessment.


Under the supervision of the Manager of Species Recovery and Program Assessment, the First Nations Conservation Steward will contribute to the Turtle Island Conservation Program in the following ways:

  • Assist with the operation of the Turtle Island Conservation program
  • Perform general administrative tasks, communications, maintaining budgetary records
  • Develop lasting reciprocal relationships with youth, Elders, knowledge holders, community members and Band councils to engage in conservation activities
  • Supervise and train First Nations youth staff in development of conservation programming
  • Develop innovative stewardship and outreach programs for a variety of audiences
  • Responsible for resourcing and developing program resources in Indigenous languages (e.g. Haudenosaunee, Anishinaabemowin)
  • Responsible for resourcing and developing culturally relevant conservation educational and curriculum materials that incorporate traditional teachings to be used in Indigenous communities and broader audiences
  • Lead outreach education and distribution of educational materials to First Nations schools and communities
  • Assist in planning Turtle Island Conservation and Adopt-A-Pond special events
  • Incorporate Traditional Knowledge into the development and implementation of Species at Risk (SAR) recovery and conservation measures in First Nations communities
  • Help build capacity in Aboriginal communities to support activities that protect or conserve SAR and their habitats
  • Carry out field work with First Nations community partners on reserve land; assist with SAR monitoring and wetland evaluation
  • Assist with writing grant proposals and reports. Effectively fundraise for specific priorities. Maintain database of funding sources and maintains program material online
  • Secure funding through grant writing and fundraising initiatives for conservation projects at the Toronto Zoo and with First Nations community partners


  • This position is grant-funded and all applicants must meet the following grant eligibility requirements:
  • Must be First Nations or Inuit youth ordinarily resident on reserve, in recognized communities or on community lands; or, Inuit who are residents in Canada, but who reside outside their territory and are no longer eligible to be funded by their territory (proof of refusal is required).
  • Must be legally entitled to work in Canada.
  • Must be a youth (defined as persons aged 15 to 30 inclusive)
  • Must have experience working respectfully with Indigenous communities & protocols
  • Completed degree, or equivalent experience, in conservation biology or environmental sciences, Aboriginal studies, education, or diploma in wildlife management
  • Applicants who have Native language skills would be an asset
  • Awareness of Indigenous culture, Traditional Knowledge, and First Nations in Ontario
  • Knowledge of Ontario curriculum and culturally relevant curriculum development
  • Experience organizing community conservation initiatives and cultural programs
  • Proven ability to deliver engaging and informative presentations to multiple audiences, including Indigenous communities; exceptional public speaking and oral communication skills
  • Ability to manage multiple projects and outreach events
  • Experience in fundraising and grant writing with multiple partners/stakeholders
  • Computer skills (Audio/Video editing, MS Office, data entry); video and audio recording; GIS mapping, Familiarity with multiple media platforms including new web technologies
  • Event planning, and grant applications experience an asset
  • Full G license in good standing; ability to travel and work independently in regions across Ontario weekends and evenings as required.

If interested in this position, please click on the link below and complete the instructions on the questionnaire. You will be required to submit your resume and cover letter no later than Monday April 18.

To apply click here:

While we appreciate the interest of all applicants, only those selected for an interview will be contacted.

The Toronto Zoo provides accommodation for employees with disabilities, as defined under the Ontario Human Rights Code. If contacted for an interview, and you require specific accommodation for the interview process because of a disability or a medical need, then please advise the person contacting you of your requirements, so that arrangements can be made for the appropriate accommodations to be in place before you begin the interview process.

The Toronto Zoo respects the principles of equity, diversity and inclusion and seeks to model these principles in all that we do. We are committed to fostering an inclusive workforce where all employees feel respected, supported and valued. We strive to create an environment that represents the rich diversity of our guests and our community and encourage applications from all qualified individuals who can contribute to enhancing our commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion. Applications are especially encouraged from racialized persons/persons of colour, Indigenous/Aboriginal People of North America, persons with disabilities, LGBTQ persons, and women.