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Job Posting: Research Assistant (Contract)

Job Posting: Research Assistant (Contract)

Voor Urban Labs provides technical support for broader movements for decolonization, social change and climate justice locally in Vancouver and across Canada. Our team specialises in critical urban research, urban planning, and community engagement work. Join us in this unique research assistant role supporting projects for the National Urban Indigenous Coalitions Council, advancing public policy and social infrastructure that addresses challenges for urban Indigenous peoples across Canada. 

We are looking for an enthusiastic, motivated Indigenous person to join our team as a research assistant specialising in work related to Urban indigenous communities. In this role, you will support the Voor Director, support staff, and clients in maintaining research and production schedules, and completing tasks so projects run smoothly. Based remotely, you will work with a mixed Indigenous and non-Indigenous staff team working from Vancouver, Nanaimo, Toronto, Ottawa, and Mexico on exciting and meaningful work advancing the rights of Urban Indigenous People across Canada.

Part-time (12-24hrs per week); $26-30/hour, depending on experience. Initial contract of 6 months, with anticipated renewal.

To Apply

Interviews are being conducted on a rolling basis until the position is filled. The position start date is negotiable, but prefer as soon as possible. Please send your resume (.doc or .pdf) with a cover letter explaining your suitability for the role. Email to include “Research Assistant” in the email subject.

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Job Posting: Digital Communications Coordinator (Contract)

Job Posting: Digital Communications Coordinator (Contract)

Voor Urban Labs provides technical support for broader movements for decolonization, social change and climate justice locally in Vancouver and across Canada. Our team specializes in critical urban research, urban planning, and community engagement work. Join us in this unique communications and production role supporting local and national projects for advancing public policy and social infrastructure that addresses social and environmental challenges across Canada.

We are looking for an enthusiastic, motivated person to join our team as a specialist in communications and production. Based out of Coast Salish lands/Vancouver, you will support a team working from Vancouver, Nanaimo, Toronto, Ottawa, and Mexico. Reporting to the Voor Director, you will help maintain production schedules and complete tasks so projects run smoothly. Your hybrid work week will be up to 50:50 in-person and remote-work to produce, organize and track tasks and projects, collaborating with coworkers on exciting and meaningful projects. A major focus for you will be urban Indigenous communities, however, you will also support other Voor clients addressing the climate crisis, environmental and social infrastructure and urban policy in BC.

$26-30/hour, depending on experience. Initial six month part-time contract with anticipated expansion to full time.

To Apply

Please send your resume (.doc or .pdf) with a cover letter explaining your suitability for the role. Email to include “Digital Communications Coordinator” in the email subject. Applications will be received on a rolling basis until filled, however please note our intention is to have this position to be filled as soon as possible, interviews will take place on a rolling basis until the position is filled.

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Captured Futures of Climate Politics


We are thrilled to be copresenting our friend Maarten Hajer’s return visit to Vancouver on January 26, 2022. Maarten is a distinguished professor of Urban Futures at Utrecht University, member of the International Resources Panel, and will speak on ‘The Captured Futures of Climate Politics.’

With the pandemic, Maarten’s return visit will be virtual, and is a highlight of a new series we are helping produce with Voor Urban Labs’ client CAANS, the Dutch cultural organisation for BC.  Titled ‘Dutch Perspectives on Tackling the Climate Crisis,’ the series of public talks runs November 2021 to March 2022, with acclaimed Dutch experts and local actors on the climate crisis and perspectives on solutions. Hajer will provide an inspiring and provocative talk followed by Respondent Dr. Sybil Seitzinger, Executive Director, Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions. There will be lots of opportunity for audience dialogue. Pick up a ticket and join us.

January’s event is produced by CAANS Vancouver and presented by One Earth, Voor Urban Labs, and Wild Bird Trust of BC, and sponsored by the Netherlands Consulate in Vancouver.

Professor Dr. Maarten Hajer is familiar with Vancouver, and was keynote for our Munch! Event in partnership with RayCam Cooperative Centre back in October 2019. That conversation addressed how neighbourhoods can collaborate on their solutions.  Having agency and equal partnerships between residents, social innovators,  academic and government partners means cocreating urban futures that are more resilient, sustainable, and inclusive.  

Maarten is director of the Urban Futures Studio and was a professor of Public Policy at the University of Amsterdam, Director of the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, and Chief Curator of the 7th International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam.

City Planning for Redress and Repair


Place-based planning is the key to how we as urban advocates prioritize how we can build our cities to be centred on the economic prosperity of local communities skewed towards inclusivity, ensure environmental sustainability, and create safe, vibrant, and liveable places.

Recently, Voor Urban Labs was invited by Human Studio – a Vancouver-based architecture and urban design firm – to collaborate as strategic partners to align our mutual passion for how we engage with communities to create meaningful places that connect people. Our first project together as co-proponents was to conceptualize, prepare, and submit a joint proposal to create a people-first community hub and safe haven for one of the city’s most vulnerable neighbourhoods with a prominent provincial government housing agency.

As committed experts in community engagement, multi-stakeholder ownership, and capacity building – as well as our authentic relationships and connections to Indigenous Peoples – the Voor team brought its breadth and depth of competencies and capabilities to the relationship with Human Studio to make our joint submission a stronger, more rigorous proposal for a more inclusive community hub.

Together, our team has practical experience decolonizing urban planning by following the Seven Generations philosophy: building for the present, as well as three generations past and three generations in the future. Our goal for the joint proposal was to facilitate a process that makes it easy for people to exchange ideas, solve problems, and build resilient communities.

We believe city planning must move past reconciliation and embrace the critical work of redress and repair. Combined, Human Studio and Voor have a Canada-wide track record in partnering with Indigenous communities, addressing the challenges and opportunities of the urban Indigenous population. Our approach integrates urban Indigenous engagement with community hub architecture that is so essential to success. We stand for inclusive co-design, co-create, and co-build – no exceptions. Everyone is included in our process – structurally, politically, and systematically.

We accomplish this foundational inclusivity through programming – green healing spaces, sacred spaces, and integrated communities – and by assembling adaptive teams to build capacity for social enterprise and procurement. Through Voor’s executive advisory capacity and input from Indigenous team members, we deliver insights and recommendations for politics, change management, terminology and language, landscape and space programming, housing guides, and community engagement best practices.

Both Voor and Human Studio are passionate about community-building for everyone, including Indigenous populations. We want to support the richness of local communities to become stronger and more diverse, and to influence governments and cities to understand their local places and invest in place-based planning that delivers equity in livability and enhances human connectivity to their places.

Urban Indigenous Governance


For many Indigenous populations, storytelling is governance. Storytelling communicates values, community priorities, and important histories that are part of identity, power, and self-determination. And for so long, the voices and stories of urban Indigenous Peoples in Canada have been unheard or ignored. 

In 2019, a number of individual urban Indigenous coalitions in cities across Canada recognized the need to federate in order to generate a common voice for the hundreds of community-facing organizations and municipal urban Indigenous advisory councils. 

When coalitions in each city come together in their regions, provinces, and federally, Indigenous populations can share their experiences and successes, and an urban Indigenous national strategy can be defined by the community itself. 

Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) acknowledged the need for a consultative table for the urban Indigenous communities self-organizing in 32 Canadian cities. Why? Because 73% to 84% of Indigenous Peoples who live off-reserve reside in Canadian cities and urban centres.

Formed in response to ISC’s call to action, the National Urban Indigenous Coalitions Council (NUICC) mandate is to steadily advance the work of impacting federal urban Indigenous policy development and action. Supporting policy development that is built from the best available data and research can help individual coalitions in municipalities, as well as regionally, provincially and federally.      

NUICC approached Voor Urban Labs to support its communications and policy amplification needs to inform changes to federal action plans directly impacting urban Indigenous populations.

Voor has deep experience working alongside urban Indigenous community members in Vancouver’s inner-city, what is often considered the urban rez, where the Indigenous community members face homelessness, a two-decades-long national public health crisis, and premature death. Economic justice, housing justice, and safety for women and children are solutions we have worked for across Coast Salish lands. The Voor team is grateful this track record of community experience positions us to be tapped for this cross-Canada work.     

We look forward to supporting communications and production work for conferences and gatherings, council and committee meetings. We anticipate helping animate the stories from each of the 32 Canadian cities organizing urban Indigenous coalitions and sharing them across the country to inspire and bring change. Voor will help amplify NUICC voices in multiple formats including policy proposals, community-engaged research, podcasts, videos, website, social media, virtual events. 

We are excited and deeply honored to be of service to NUICC as we believe in the power of collaboration, of mutuality, and amplifying innovative community solutions.