Website Sun Life

Location: Toronto, Ontario; Saskatchewan; Quebec; Montreal; Manitoba Canada (Remote)


Sun Life has made public commitments to Indigenous reconciliation and the Progressive Aboriginal Relations (PAR) certification process through the Canadian Councils of Aboriginal Business (CCAB). As part of Sun Life’s reconciliation journey, we live by the motto, “Nothing about you, without you”. This motto ensures Indigenous voices are included in Sun Life’s work with Clients, Colleagues, and Communities as we evolve our Indigenous reconciliation efforts.

The Indigenous Relations Director has two primary responsibilities: 1) Project managing the Progressive Aboriginal Relations certification and 2) Establishing and maintaining Sun Life’s external relationships within Indigenous communities and organizations across Canada.

This role will create, implement, and maintain a community engagement and outreach strategy within Indigenous communities, economic development organizations, and other partnering Indigenous-owned organizations. You will independently connect with influential Indigenous leaders, industry groups, and other organizations to develop and nurture community partnerships. You will work to ensure these community voices impact our existing and future commitments in alignment with our Leadership Commitments, Indigenous Employment, Indigenous Economic Development, Indigenous Communities, and Indigenous Client Business.

With a passion for supporting reconciliation, you will lead Sun Life leaders and stakeholders, through the PAR certification process which Includes helping the organization closing all gaps to achieving gold-certification. You should be a highly organized and experienced project manager as you will oversee a national strategy involving four large business groups. You should also be an innovative, customer service-oriented candidate who has a strong understanding of Indigenous culture as well as different community dynamics within First Nations, Metis and/or Inuit communities. This role may require substantial travel as it is important to be physically present as you establish relationships within Indigenous communities.


Reporting to the Associate Vice President of Sustainability in the Strategy and Growth team, and partnering closely with the Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion you will;

  • Project manage Sun Life’s PAR certification which includes but not limited to:
  • Working with stakeholders across the organization to introduce change and help their teams navigate understanding the change.
  • Leading Sun Life’s PAR working groups on goal setting and project planning.
  • Provide updates and seek guidance from the PAR executive steering committee.
  • Creating and submitting PAR documentation for required submission.
  • Ensuring external commitments on our websites are updated to reflect current commitments through our Reconciliation Action Plan.
  • Liaise with external vendors, partners and consultants as required
  • Partner with many stakeholders such as Supplier Diversity, Sustainability, Talent Acquisition, Talent Management, etc. to ensure all Indigenous Relations commitments are being addressed.
  • Monitor and report overall performance on our Indigenous Relations Objective and Key Results to the executive steering council.
  • Partner closely with an external Indigenous consultant to help guide Sun Life towards gold-level PAR certification.
  • Participate in the development and execution of Sun Life’s Indigenous community engagement program and engagement plans, focusing on collaboration and open dialogue. You will play a key role in negotiations, supporting Sun Life’s continued work on reconciliation.
  • Foster honest and respectful long-term relationships with Indigenous communities and leaders, through being in community, to create positive experience internally and externally.
  • Attend events within Indigenous Nations/organizations and identify opportunities for partnerships. This includes travel to various Indigenous Nations across Canada as necessary.
  • Create and track all community engagement work in a Community Engagement Tracker.
  • Maintain an awareness of national, regional, and local Indigenous current affairs that inform Sun Life’s operations and growth opportunities.
  • Through strong community engagement, identify, research, and propose opportunities for innovative relationship and partnership strategies.
  • Provide mentorship and guidance to other members of the Sustainability, DEI, and other applicable teams on Indigenous cultural protocol, norms, and politics as part of transferring knowledge to the organization.
  • Establish Sun Life’s Indigenous Advisory Council including leaders from Indigenous communities and Sun Life’s leadership teams.
  • Partner with multiple Sun Life stakeholders to understand the input and information needed to inform Indigenous communications, projects, emerging issues within Business Units, etc.
  • Attend industry and expert events to deepen Sun Life’s knowledge on Indigenous economics.
  • Provide regular updates to leadership team on progress and impact of community work.


  • Strong project management skills
  • Ability to connect and promote collaborative engagement, while fostering strong relationships, with a variety of Indigenous communities, organizations, and interests in a culturally appropriate way.
  • Superior listening, negotiation, and facilitation skills with the ability to understand different perspectives.
  • Ability to maneuver through complex political situations effectively and quietly and is sensitive to how people, organizations, and culture’s function.
  • Lived experience within Indigenous communities or extensive experience working with Indigenous groups and knowledge of Indigenous cultures.
  • Knowledge and appreciation of Indigenous cultures and rights including the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action.
  • A firm understanding of the broad social, legal, and political issues related to Indigenous Peoples, including multi-jurisdictional issues, relationships, land/treaty negotiations, health outcomes, environmental concerns, and other matters of economic development.
  • Previous knowledge or implementation of PAR Certification.
  • Previous knowledge or implementation of Indigenous Governance Structures including Indigenous Advisory Councils.
  • Project management skills with ability to manage multiple key initiatives and budgets simultaneously.
  • Demonstrated verbal and written communication/presentation skills.
  • Strong analytical and professional judgment skills
  • Be a champion of diversity, equity, inclusion ensuring our employees have a sense of belonging.
  • Experience with issues management and risk mitigation including the ability to negotiate and manage conflict (if necessary).
  • Ability to travel to various locations across Canada to engage with Indigenous communities on a regular basis.
  • An education credential, preferably with a concentration on community development, reconciliation, Canadian history with a focus on non-profit/charity, or a related concentration; or demonstrated work experience in this space.
  • As this position is posted in several locations, we specify that bilingualism (French, English, both oral and written) is required for Quebec only for the frequent interactions with English and French-speaking colleagues or internal partners across Canada or worldwide.

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