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Indigenous Curatorial Assistant

The City of Guelph is a vibrant community with over 120,000 people located in the heart of Southern Ontario, just one hours driving distance from Toronto.  Set in a picturesque natural setting, Guelph is known for its rich architectural heritage, growing economy and excellent quality of life – all good reasons to consider a career in this beautiful city.

Job summary

Guided by the goals and objectives of the City of Guelph Corporate Administrative Plan and committed to the Corporate Values of integrity, excellence and wellness, the candidate will aid in the achievement of the Community Vision – to be the city that makes a difference.

The Indigenous Curatorial Assistant will engage the myriad historical and contemporary narratives held within Guelph Museums’ three heritage sites (Guelph Civic Museum, McCrae House and Locomotive 6167) and gain valuable work experience in a specific museum environment. They will acquire skills that are broadly transferable across Canada’s cultural sector, including but not limited to: collection development and management, digitization practices, multi-tasking and time management, analysis and research, and exhibition development and implementation.


  • The Indigenous Curatorial Assistant at Guelph Museums (Guelph, Ontario, Canada) will contribute significantly toward the assessment and development of Indigenous narratives within the Museums’ 40,000-piece permanent collection (archives, photographs, and artifacts), as well as the education collection, a hands-on compendium of clothing and objects used to animate our on-site and outreach programs. The incumbent will participate in the distillation of Indigenous narratives in the Museums’ semi-permanent galleries, which feature interactive installations for all ages that explore Guelph’s history and its place in the world. They will also participate in the development of two concurrent exhibitions, led respectively by guest curators Naomi Smith and by a Council of Indigenous Women from the University of Guelph. The exhibitions, on public view from March 9 to May 19, 2019, will provide a platform for the Guelph community to understand and respond to contemporary colonialism.
  • Naomi Smith is an Indigenous Artisan and Educator from Neyaashiinigmiing, Ontario. Her multi-media work embraces ancestral designs in the form of bags, adornment and traditional accessories. She designs and creates Traditional Beadwork, Quill work, Leatherwork, Sweetgrass or Birch Bark basket-making, always valuing these Sacred materials. She embraces the traditions of her Ancestors and incorporates traditional teachings in her contemporary work.
  • Kim Anderson, Chelsea Brant, Brittany Luby, and Cara Wehkamp make up the Council of Indigenous Women from the University of Guelph. Together, they seek to stimulate public discussion of Indigenous issues through their creative collaborations.


  • The ideal candidate for this position will have completed one of the following post-secondary programs of study: Indigenous Studies, Canadian History, Art History/Studio Art, or Other Humanities/Social Sciences or combination thereof (undergraduate-level) / Applied Museum Studies (college-level).
  • They will come to the position with strong organizational skills, solid computer skills, and research and writing experience.
  • Data management skills and experience with PastPerfect (or similar collections database) and digital imaging software are considered assets.
  • The incumbent will have excellent verbal and written communication skills.


$17.69 per hour

Duration of Contract

Monday, September 17, 2018 to Friday, March 29, 2019 (28 Weeks)

How to apply

Interested candidates must be registered with the Young Canada Works candidate inventory. (Please see for eligibility criteria.)

Qualified applicants are invited to send their cover letter and resume via email at [email protected]  by Friday, August 24, 2018. Please note all applicants must complete the online questionnaire specific to this position at the time they submit their resume and cover letter in order to be considered. Proof of qualifications will be requested at the interview stage.

The City of Guelph is an equal opportunity employer which values diversity in the workplace. We are therefore happy to accommodate any individual needs in keeping with the Ontario Human Rights Code and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. If you require an accommodation in order to participate in the hiring process, please contact us to make your needs known in advance.

Personal information collected through the recruitment process will be used solely to determine eligibility for employment. We thank all candidates in advance; however, only those being considered for an interview will be contacted.

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