Mi’kmaw Language Specialist – Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq

  • Location: Millbrook, Nova Scotia
  • Deadline: December 6, 2020 at 11:59 pm

MDCC Language Specialist

About the Mi’kmawey Debert Cultural Centre
The Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq (The CMM) is a Tribal Council representing eight Mi’kmaw communities in mainland Nova Scotia. Our mission is to proactively promote and assist Mi’kmaw communities’ initiatives towards self-determination and enhancement of community. The CMM is located in the Millbrook Mi’kmaw Community and has over 100 employees.

The Mi’kmawey Debert Cultural Centre, administered by The Confederacy, is currently looking for an energetic, mature and independent candidate to fill the role of a Language Specialist. The future MDCC will be an experiential cultural centre that will anchor Mi’kmaw culture and heritage sectors with more than 60,000 annual visitors, integrating community outreach and knowledge with robust educational and public programming. In Debert, past and more recent archaeological work has identified more than 20 ancestral sites and unearthed more than 5,000 artifacts, along with hearths and other living spaces. These ancestral sites are among the oldest and most important archaeological sites in North America. They tell unique stories about the landscape and past of Mi’kma’ki – stories that cannot be told in any other place.

Since 2002, all thirteen Mi’kmaw First Nations in Nova Scotia have repeatedly affirmed the MDCC project and its mandate to protect the Debert ancestral sites, to return Mi’kmaw collections from across North America and to develop visitor and educational programming. From its inception, the MDCC Elders’ Advisory Council along with the CMM have guided the project.

Position Overview
The MDCC Language Specialist will work on teaching and building language resources across the Centre’s public, educational and research programs. Specific tasks for the first year include building lexicons for sqaliaqnn aqq waisisk as well as teaching a weekly language course to staff of the Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq. The language specialist will engage the curatorial work of the Centre as a key member of the architectural design team as well as the development of visitor experiences related to the future Centre.

The Specialist will be fluent in the Mi’kmaw language and be able to transliterate from spoken words into the Smith/Francis orthography. Elder speakers and the Mi’kmawey Debert Elders’ Advisory Council will support the development of the lexicons as well as other language tasks. The position requires collaborative approaches to work and a willingness to act as a team member. It requires also the ability to self-direct and self-manage independent work tasks. This is a permanent position pending funding and is initially funded through the Indigenous Language Component. The position is supervised by the Executive Director of the Mi’kmawey Debert Cultural Centre.


  • Compilation and review of sqaliaqnn aqq waisisk terms from existing archival and current sources;
  • Collaboration with traditional knowledge holder and artist, Gerald Gloade, to create the illustrated lexicon for
    sqaliaqnn aqq waisisk;
  • Supporting language content for the architectural design process including exhibition design and the
    development of future visitor experience;
  • Research and compilation of old language terms from museum records and catalogues as well as other
  • Weekly language instruction for the staff of the MDCC and the CMM.

Position Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent work and knowledge in education, history, Canadian Studies, anthropology,
    or related field;
  • Fluent Mi’kmaw speaker with competency in transliteration to the Smith/Francis orthography;
  • Knowledge of and experience with working with, Mi’kmaw Elders and other community experts;
  • Minimum one-year experience working in a cultural or community research or community educational
  • Ability to work independently, prioritize and initiate work without direction;
  • Strong dedication, organization, and co-operation skills;
  • Excellent writing skills, with proficient in Microsoft Office Word and Excel;
  • Experience with content management systems is an asset;
  • Knowledge of and experience working with Mi’kmaw historical and oral historical, ethnographic and/or
    archaeological collections is an asset;
  • Must have a valid driver’s license, vehicle, and ability to travel.

Salary/Employment Term
Anticipated salary: $45,000 per year. This is a one-year contract with the opportunity for renewal and subject to the policies and practice of The CMM. The CMM offers a substantial benefits package to all employees.


To apply for this position, please send your cover letter and resume to: HR@cmmns.com

We are an equal opportunity employer; however, qualified Aboriginal applicants will be given priority in accordance with the Aboriginal Employment Preference Policy of the Canadian Human Rights Commission. Only those applicants who provide up-to-date CV along with Cover Letter and qualify for interview will be contacted. The successful candidate may be required to submit a current criminal record check. Non-Canadian applicants must be able to provide proof of current entitlement or eligibility to work in Canada.