AFCC – Full-Time/Contract Position until March 31, 2019

AFCC – Full-Time/Contract Position until March 31, 2019

Opioid Response Program – Community Navigator (1 position)

About the Centre and the Community Resource Collective

The Aboriginal Friendship Centre of Calgary (AFCC) is a non-profit organization with a mandate to provide social, cultural, education and employment services to the Aboriginal community within the Calgary Metropolitan area. AFCC plays a regular and significant role in the daily lives of our members providing resources and programming for our children, our youth, our elderly, our members who are in need and our homeless; enabling access to cultural and spiritual care; offering referrals for suitable housing, food, clothing, pursuit of education, skill development and training; and building a resourceful Aboriginal community.

AFCC’s non-profit family is an expression of how we live, what we value, where we turn for comfort and where we turn when in need. As part of its mission, and in alignment with the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action (2015), AFCC supports our community in the maintenance, preservation, and restoration of our culture through training, programming, and advocacy. As a self-governed non-profit organization that delivers services to the Aboriginal community, our mandate drives us to create an all-inclusive community where all members feel valued, respected and empowered.

In direct alignment with the vision of the AFCC and our community partners, we are constantly looking for better ways to service our community and enhance the lives of the members of our community. In order to better serve our community, the AFCC in collaboration with the Alberta Native Friendship Centre Association is implementing an Opioid Response Program. The program will use culturally appropriate resources to identify, inform, support and when possible mitigate the rates of the incident of negative opioid interactions within our Aboriginal community.

As part of this new initiative, we are currently looking for individuals to fill one role as a Community Navigator. In order for our community resource collective to succeed we need committed members with experience in Aboriginal programming and who model traditional Aboriginal culture, teachings and the way of life within their own lives.

Background of the Program

The need for Opioid programs across Canada is conspicuous, however, there is an even intensified need for programs that engage the Aboriginal community in Opioid harm reduction, treatment, and preventative measures. Indigenous Albertans died of opioid overdoses three times more frequently than non-First Nations people in a 15-month period since the beginning of last year. A report compiled by Alberta Health and the Alberta First Nations Information Governance Centre found that 61 percent of Indigenous people who died of an apparent accidental opioid overdose were dispensed the drug from a pharmacy, compared to 35 percent of the non-First Nation fatalities (CBC News, 2017).

Of the 701 people who reportedly died of apparent accidental opioid overdoses in the province from Jan. 1, 2016, to March 31, 2017, Indigenous people represented 12 percent, or 87 people, according to the report, Opioids and Substances of Misuse among First Nations People in Alberta (CBC News, 2017). This creates an identified need for resources and programming that are directed at Aboriginal Calgarians at risk for opioid use or needing treatment because of opioid use.

The multi-pronged program is based on medicine wheel teachings and will focus on the effective monitoring, support, and collaboration between four partner Friendship Centres in the mitigation of the negative effects caused by opioid usage.

Job Specifics

This is a full-time role to be initiated at the start of the Opioid Response Program ideal start date June 15, 2018, or negotiable with the successful candidate.

Position: Opioid Response Program – Community Navigator

About the Position

The Opioid Response Program – Community Navigator will work as a program outreach worker, working directly across our community with our community members who are at high risk for experiencing negative effects due to opioid usage. The Community Navigator will work through a harm reduction model to enhance the overall health of and lifestyle of participants and prevent or reduce opioid-related injuries and death through the partnership with other community organizations and three other Friendship Centres across Alberta. The Community Navigator will distribute Naloxone kits, develop and initiate public service initiatives, community outreach and community referrals for those at-risk or identified as users within the Aboriginal community.


  • Liaison with partnering organizations and existing AFCC resources to create comprehensive programming and resources in an opioid response program through a harm reduction model.
  • Engage Elders, knowledge keepers, people with lived experiences and subject matter experts in creating an Opioid Response Program that uses traditional Aboriginal culture and teachings to support healthy lifestyle choices and people who are on a healing journey.
  • Work in partnership with community organizations to develop a Naloxone distribution program.
  • Develop and host community circles. Document and share community-based recommendations to address community needs.
  • Collaborate with community partners to host awareness and education sessions.
  • Track and report monthly referrals.
  • Research, document and data share all culturally appropriate opioid service provider details to a national service delivery data-base portal.
  • Create meaningful relationships within the community of opioid users or those at risk for negative effects due to opioid usage.
  • Establish meaningful relationships and referral processes between local Friendships centres and community base harm reduction and treatment service providers.
  • Determine client’s health needs/addiction needs and refer clients to appropriate community health resources and community service providers.
  • Assist clients in identifying at-risk behaviours, treatment goals, health goals and health/healing priorities through traditional Aboriginal health services combined with Western health services.
  • Provide one-to-one assistance to clients with addictions in accessing community services.
  • Create personalized plans with clients that integrates traditional Aboriginal health combined with Western health and community services.
  • Complete Naloxone Training.
  • Community outreach and relationship building to all regional services providers.
  • Create and maintain harm reduction, safe consumption and treatment sites. Complete appropriate documentation for each site.
  • Track and report monthly referrals made through non-identifying markers as required.
  • Supervise and coordinate opioid harm reduction events, scheduling and outreach.
  • Coordinate and deliver services that are rooted in Aboriginal experiences.
  • Develop and deliver workshops and educational opportunities.
  • Create and distribute informative resources for opioid harm reduction (education materials, exhibits, registration forms, website content, social media content).
  • Report directly to the AFCC Executive Director.
  • Provide supervision, guidance and mentorship to other employees and volunteers in the program.
  • Model traditional Aboriginal teachings and culture through relationships, community building, teaching within the AFCC community.
  • Create on-boarding materials for volunteers and other staff.
  • Handle the day-to-day operation of the program.
  • Collaborate with other programs within the AFCC and our community partners to invite and encourage community members to join the program.
  • Represent the AFCC, its vision and the program with other community organizations and partners.


  • Degree/diploma in Social Work, Human Services, Health Services or related field or equivalency.
  • Combination of community outreach/ addictions outreach and/or counseling, group facilitation, health advocacy, life skills and coaching is required.
  • Experience in addictions, healthcare, social work or health care coordination.
  • Working knowledge of community health and addiction resources (addiction, health, lifestyle etc.)
  • Valid driver’s license and able to commute between community sites and during outreach programming.
  • Experience in and familiarity around Aboriginal culture and traditions.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills.
  • Self-starter and comfortable working in a team environment, but able to perform independently.
  • Experience or knowledge of Aboriginal program development, particularly in an urban environment.
  • Experience or knowledge of the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action and the importance of healing for our community through our culture, traditions and teachings.
  • Respects and values equity, inclusiveness and diversity of communities and individuals.
  • Ability to work in an ethically accountable manner and to promote cultural inclusion.
  • Passionate about providing programming that will enhance the lives of our community, promote healing of our community and provide teaching, maintenance and preservation of our community.

AFCC thanks all those who apply but only candidates chosen for an interview will be contacted. The position ideally would start by June 15, 2018. If you have any questions please email the Executive Director at