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Interim Chief Administrative Officer

Job Information
Author pmnationtalk
Date May 30, 2019
Type Full Time
Company Leaders International
Location Winnipeg, MB
Category Admin / Office
Client Leaders International
Contact Information

Interim Chief Administrative Officer

Ktunaxa Nation

For over 10,000 years, the Ktunaxa (‘k-too-nah-ha) people have occupied the pristine lands adjacent to the Kootenay and Columbia Rivers and the Arrow Lakes of south-eastern British Columbia (BC). Nestled in the mountainous landscapes of Cranbrook, BC and spanning approximately 70,000 square kilometres, the Traditional Territory of the Ktunaxa Nation boasts some of the most beautiful panoramic sceneries in the world.

It’s an exciting time for the Ktunaxa Nation. It is moving ambitiously toward its vision statement and undergoing a significant shift in its governance alongside negotiations with other governments. It is growing both in the number of citizens and staff at the Ktunaxa Nation Government, and continuously expanding the scope of its jurisdictional reach.

The Ktunaxa Nation is comprised of four First Nations communities in the East Kootenay. Dedicated to the preservation and promotion of its five pillars: traditional knowledge & language, social sector, lands & resources, education and employment and economic investment, the vision of the Ktunaxa people remains the building and maintaining of strong and healthy Ktunaxa citizens and communities.

The Ktunaxa Nation Government The purpose of the KNG is to secure, preserve and exercise the sovereign rights, powers, authorities, privileges of the Ktunaxa Nation and to promote the well-being of Ktunaxa Citizens, and to responsibly legislate for and govern the Nation and its Citizens, in order to achieve the Ktunaxa Nation vision.

The KNG consists of the Community Councils, the Executive Council and Sector Councils. The Executive Council consists of the Chiefs of the four Ktunaxa Communities, the Chairs of the Sector Councils and the Chair of the Ktunaxa Nation Executive Council. The Sector Councils are each comprised of four Elected Representatives; one from each of the Ktunaxa Community Councils.

The Ktunaxa Nation Executive Council (the “Executive Council”) provides a structure through which the Ktunaxa Nation has organized its Government to make decisions concerning Aboriginal title and rights, including governance rights held by the Ktunaxa Nation. The Executive Council addresses matters of concern to the Ktunaxa Nation as a collective, sets policy and standards for the operations of Ktunaxa Government and provides strategic direction to the Sector Councils in moving towards the Ktunaxa Vision.

The Executive Council holds responsibility for setting overarching governance standards, establishing the Ktunaxa Nation Strategic Framework for the Nation and ensuring that the KNG policy environment is effective and keeping pace with the emerging governance transitions for the KNG.

The Sector Councils are responsible for overseeing the business of government relative to their mandates as set out in the Sector Charter.

The Position   (2-3 year term)

The Ktunaxa Nation Council is seeking an engaging leader to serve as their Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) to continue charting a new path forward for the organization and Nation.

This is a unique position and reflects the aspirations of the Ktunaxa Nation to build its capacity on its pathway to self-government. The incumbent will be a talented and skillful individual who can not only manage the day-to-day operations of the organization but also direct and oversee in partnership with the Executive Council, the development of a strategic plan that will position the KNG to transition into its next governance state. This strategic organizational and governance re-positioning will occur concurrently with the CAO’s mandate to create an executive mentorship program and process so that eligible Ktunaxa Citizens can transition into executive positions at the KNG, including that of the CAO.

Reporting directly to the Ktunaxa Nation Executive Council (who has mandated a CAO Management Committee to oversee and monitor the position), the Interim Chief Administrative Officer serves as chief executive of the KNG and manages the administrative and operational success of KNG. The Interim CAO’s (CAO) primary mandates will be the collaborative leadership of the staff towards organizational goals and the mentorship of identified individual or individuals who will ultimately be eligible to apply for and succession plan into the role of CAO. To ensure this, the Interim CAO will establish a fair and transparent mentorship and succession planning framework to facilitate the transition of eligible Ktunaxa citizens into the CAO role and other leadership positions within the organization.

With responsibility for the overall success of the KNG, the CAO will set the tone for his/her successor. Working in partnership with the Executive Council, Sector Councils, senior directors and senior community officers, they will ensure KNG’s relevance to the community, the accomplishment of the Ktunaxa Nation vision and mission through the development and implementation of a strategic framework and plan, and the accountability of the KNG to its Citizens and communities.

The Executive Council delegates responsibility to the CAO for the leadership and management of the day-to-day operations, and strategies, while the Executive Council provides direction and guidance to the CAO in these matters, the CAO has the authority to act independently to carry out these responsibilities.

The Position (cont.)   (2-3 year term)

The CAO is responsible for setting and enhancing the internal organization processes. He/She will ensure policy, procedures, standards and regulations are developed and decided upon by the appropriate governing body, as well as implemented and complied with to provide KNG with an effective and values-oriented base from which the goals of the organization can be achieved. The position oversees the execution of programs, initiatives, strategies and policy approved and established by the Executive Council and any relevant governing legislation. The CAO is the senior staff of the Executive Council and ensures the Executive Council is provided with all relevant information and analysis necessary to make informed and confident decisions.

Through the alignment of staff objectives with the vision of the Ktunaxa Nation, the CAO will ensure change management, policy development, and best governance practices. In alignment with organizational strategy, vision, mission and goals, the CAO will provide oversight and guidance to approximately 120 staff, with 12 direct reports to the CAO. The CAO will ensure a well-trained and capable senior staff is in place across the whole of KNG, including the establishment of a mentorship and succession planning framework for key KNG positions.

Additionally, the CAO will have accountability for ensuring compliance to government policy, procedures and regulations and to provide the Ktunaxa Government with an effective and values-oriented base.

As the chief executive of the Ktunaxa Nation Government, the CAO will play a vital role in building on the Nation’s success and will be instrumental in establishing the planning framework, strategies and strategic plan that will facilitate the transition of the Ktunaxa Nation to a self-sufficient, self-governing nation. Additionally, the CAO will foster a motivated, communicative, and progressive environment and will engage in a respectful manner to facilitate continuous improvement and innovation, quality control, service excellence and excellent financial, administrative, and operating efficiency.

This opportunity will appeal to a highly engaged and motivated leader, who is an experienced administrator and enthusiastic about embracing new initiatives and leading change. The CAO has superior communication, facilitation and relational skills, is strategically oriented, and a holistic thinker. This will allow the CAO to rep-resent the vision of KNC and be successful in leading advocacy while developing and creating partnerships and collaboration. Strong skills in prioritization and project management will allow the CAO to carry out the work-plans while devoting energy to strengthening the internal supports and the external initiatives for KNC.

The CAO will believe in collaborative engagement (both internally and externally) and will undertake this with the goal of best representing and supporting the member bands. The CAO must have an understanding and appreciation for diversity and building intercultural relationships. They will have a deep passion for en-gaging with grassroots communities, like-minded organizations, government, as well as the KNC’s regional membership.

If you are looking for a rare opportunity to lead social change in multiple overlapping sectors and to help Ktunaxa peoples and communities work towards their vision for a healthier tomorrow – this is the position for you. The KNC is seeking a leader with integrity, an innovative and flexible approach, with passion and enthusiasm about the KNC’s mandate and vision.

Key Responsibilities

All duties of the CAO will be carried out in accordance with Ktunaxa Nation policies, standards and procedures. Where no such policies exist, the CAO will take the utmost diligence and care to ensure that ethically sound and reasonable decisions are made. At all times, the CAO is expected to represent the Ktunaxa Nation by acting professionally and ethically.

Additionally, the CAO Will be accountable for:

  • The development of a strategic plan that includes a transition plan for future governance states of the KNG
  • Provide general oversight, management and administration of all KNG activities and day-to-day operations
  • Implementation of an executive mentorship program (EMP) and succession planning framework for the CAO position that will enable eligible Ktunaxa citizens who indicate to the CAO that they are willing to do the necessary education, training and skill development to be considered for the CAO role when the CAO term ends
  • In collaboration with and advice from the Director of Finance, oversees all financial and business planning activities of the KNG, including business policies and accounting practices, budgeting, reporting, audit procedures and ensures regulatory, legal and policy compliance
  • Overseeing the human resources function, ensuring alignment with the strategic direction of KNC, including implementation of value added HR policies, processes and practices that support Nation mandates and transition to self-governance
  • Directly oversees the core services managers and organizational functions of policy; communications, marketing and public relations; facilities and capital acquisitions and management; information technology, records management, privacy protection, and ensures regulatory, legal and policy compliance across the organization
  • Provide stewardship of all KNG assets: intellectual, financial, human, technical and capital, data stewardship and the protection of personal information of Ktunaxa Nation Citizens
  • Policy and Planning

Networking, Community and Public Relations


  • Post-secondary education in business, public administration, political science or another related field
  • Minimum of ten years of executive-level leadership, and experience within a First Nations organization
  • Demonstrated success in strategic planning, succession planning, coaching, and mentoring senior leaders through career progression
  • Experience reporting to a senior governing Board or Council
  • The ability to plan strategically, delegate effectively, and provide progressive coaching and mentoring
  • Experience with Change Management and the ability to achieve the support that will engage and mobilize people towards a vision
  • Proven success overseeing staff and systems through effective planning, delegation and mentoring
  • Demonstrated experience developing, initiating and implementing strategic, financial, and community plans
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills and the ability to foster collaboration within a politically charged environment
  • Possess high levels of personal integrity, business ethics, credibility, and a commitment to the organization’s mission and values
  • A high degree of acumen for advanced business planning, government policy and regulatory issues, per formance metrics and analysis
  • Ability to multi-task and foster a solutions-oriented approach within an ambiguous, fast-paced environment
  • Preference will be given to an experienced band or FN organization executive leader or administrator

Demonstrated professionalism, judgment, diplomacy, tact, and sound decision-making abilities

Additional Information

For more details or to further explore this strategic leadership opportunity, please contact:

Brenda LaRose • Partner

Leaders International
18th Floor – 201 Portage Ave.
Winnipeg, MB R3B 3K6
Telephone : 204-257-9929

Leaders International specializes in the recruitment of Board of Directors, leadership succession and executive level positions. Our global network, Penrhyn International, is a world leader in the executive recruitment industry, with more than 47 offices in over 25 countries on 5 continents.

To learn more about Ktunaxa Nation please visit

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