Director, Indigenous & Government Relations

Under the direction of the Vice President of Business Markets, the Director, Indigenous and Government Relations works closely with members of the senior management team to ensure Northwestel's visibility and influence with Indigenous Governments, Territorial Governments and with Government of Canada. The Director of Indigenous and Government Relations leads a small team of professionals who, together, develop and steward relationships with all levels of government and public agencies. This team also monitors government policy and advocates in support of Northwestel's critical infrastructure priorities and other initiatives.
Northern governments are focused on telecom in the North, including large infrastructure builds. Northwestel must ensure that its position on these matters is heard, understood, and included in the decision-making process.
Indigenous Governments require ongoing information about projects on traditional lands and in their communities. The incumbent will lead this engagement as part of Northwestel’s commitment to reconciliation and inclusion of local communities and business.
The services Northwestel provides are increasingly core to education, health care and the economy. Northwestel’s business is complex and operates in a large, challenging territory. The incumbent will need to balance the Public Interest, Indigenous Government interest, Territorial Government Interest and Northwestel’s business interest to be successful.

    • Manage a small team of government relations professionals including hiring, onboarding, setting objectives, reviewing performance and planning succession.
    • Create an overall Government Relations strategy for the Company including the creation of an Advisory Board made up of representatives from Indigenous Governments and business to help further Northwestel’s mandate for reconciliation and maximizing Northern capital and expense spending.
    • Maintain and grow and effective Government Relations staff located in three territories.
    • Collaborate with other Northwestel senior leaders to accomplish the outcomes.
    • Work closely with the Northwestel Community Engagement and Sponsorship team to ensure efforts from both groups are complimentary and messaging is consistent.
    • Monitor government policy and programs at municipal, territorial, Indigenous and federal level to identify potential impacts and opportunities for Northwestel.
    • Identify specific issues that may arise with implications for the Company’s relationships with and between levels of government.
    • Develop relationships with ministers, politicians, and senior departmental officials with portfolios relevant to the Company.
    • Attend and on occasion speak at events/gatherings sponsored by Northwestel.
    • Provide strategic counsel and direction to internal customers to manage initiatives impacted by government.
    • Where required create and support the tools of formal communication between Northwestel and all levels of government (letters, presentation decks, funding proposals, social media).

The candidate that we seek is a highly seasoned government relations professional who has developed strong working relationships with appropriate stakeholders. The incumbent will have corporate experience, preferably in a highly competitive and regulated industry. Telecom experience is highly desirable. The individual will have a well-developed network with political, government and other stakeholders. The individual is likely to have a formal education in business, public administration, or journalism.
Managing the Business

  1. Has a “big picture” perspective and effectively positions issues and initiatives within that context.
  2. Identifies potential arenas for the Company to proactively respond to strategic opportunities, demonstrating calculated risk-taking analyses.
  3. Demonstrates business smarts and innovation through creative problem-solving, strong strategic and critical thinking as well as exceptional analytical skills.
  4. Demonstrates superior customer focus through understanding and managing the expectations of internal and external customers.
  5. Proactively anticipates and resolves potential issues with exceptional problem-solving skills.
  6. Ability to work with sound judgement when dealing with much uncertainty of government environment.

Managing Relationships

  1. Uses a keen understanding of others and highly developed communication skills to build persuasive arguments and gain support in achieving Company goals.
  2. Demonstrates superior interpersonal savvy through proven relationship-building skills and experience.
  3. Proven effectiveness at managing and leading along with the ability to achieve results through people, including government contacts, partners, and indirect reports.
  4. Excellent skills in engaging and gaining support from others.

Managing Personal Effectiveness

  1. Demonstrated ability to quickly absorb new, complex information.
  2. Results-oriented self-starter who is accountable for results with strong focus on achieving desired outcomes.
  3. Takes action to address obstacles.
  4. Demonstrates pride and commitment to work.
  5. Ability to adapt with change and excel in undefined situations.
  6. Exceptional facilitation skills along with strong written and verbal communication skills.
  7. Intuitively understands the audience and can tailor communications appropriately.
  8. Ability to synthesize complex information into a simple, high-level concept.
  9. Flexibility and adaptability to work on a variety of projects within the Company.

As a safety conscious COR™ Certified organization, we have an established and comprehensive safety program. We expect all employees to participate in our organizational health and safety programs, adhering to all safe work procedures focused on continuous improvement.
Northwestel values diversity in the workplace and is committed to the goals of Employment Equity. We strive to achieve a skilled workforce that is representative of the population we serve, and as a Northern company, we are committed to the employment and career development of our Indigenous peoples. Candidates must clearly indicate on their application if they are an Indigenous person, a woman, a person with a disability, or a visible minority if they wish to receive hiring preference.

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