The Outdoor & Indian Education For All (IEFA) Specialist will serve as a primary field staff for Ravenwood as they work towards more inclusive and place-based programming within the organization. This hire will work alongside the Lead Staff and Program Director to lead most or all field programs throughout the year. As a Nature Connection Mentor, this hire will co-lead a variety of nature-based programs in Flathead County to mentor youth in social-emotional learning, nature connection, and survival skills.
As an IEFA Specialist, this hire will work closely with Ravenwood’s program director and Lead Staff to design and implement IEFA curriculum offered through Ravenwood’s programs. The IEFA Specialist will help raise awareness of Indigenous presence, history, and teachings among the primarily non-Native Flathead County school districts and program participants. This position will also be the primary liaison for connectivity with tribal experts, elders, and other IEFA specialists to create more opportunities for community at Ravenwood.
Ravenwood’s mission is to cultivate health, passion for learning, and stewardship of ecological and human communities through nature-based mentoring of youth, families, and community members. Ravenwood is all about healthy communities, and we stand up for equity and diversity in everything we do. Quality mentoring guides our mission and connects us deeply to the land and to each other, creating cross-generational relationships filled with meaning, hope, and resilience. There are many distractions and obstacles in our fast-paced society, and an increasing number of negative trends—health issues, screen addiction, attention disorders, stress, violence, racism, sexism, homophobia, disrespect, substance abuse, and more—all of which need our attention and action as a community. Ravenwood is here to help, a place for kids and adults to learn and grow, naturally.
Ravenwood acknowledges with gratitude that we operate on the homelands of the Bitterroot Salish, Kootenai, and Pend d’Oreille people in what is now called the Flathead Valley of Montana. From the 1700’s through the present, these Indigenous people have resisted and persevered over colonialism and genocide. Today non-Indigenous Montanans now occupy much of the Indigenous homeland, including the land that Ravenwood uses for our nature connection programs. Ravenwood acknowledges that we benefit from these historic injustices, and seeks to honor the unique cultural heritage of Montana’s first peoples through our words and actions.
Ravenwood strives to be respectful of Indigenous cultures in everything we do, and we have a policy to address the potential for cultural appropriation in our work. You can see our policy on cultural appropriation and how we choose what to teach at: https://ravenwoodolc.org/policy-on-cultural-appropriation/
Position starts as a full-time training position from mid-March through late May 2021
Transitions to full-time year-round in early June 2021
- Preference for (but not required) an Indigenous person who meets the following qualifications
- Life-long learner with a strong vision for your life’s purpose
- Prior youth mentoring or education experience, which may include any of the followin
- Field experience, such as teaching in a classroom, outdoor education, wilderness therapy, summer camps, or after-school classes.
- College-level coursework in relevant topics such as education, child development, outdoor recreation, or teaching certification
- Other relevant life experience, please explain in application
- Strong group management and leadership skills for children and youth
- Strong one-on-one mentoring skills for children and youth
- Ability to work with students of diverse backgrounds
- Knowledge of modern Indigenous cultures of Montana and their respective histories
- Strong connections to Tribal cultural centers, historians, Indigenous elders, and/or other people who can help inform IEFA curriculum
- Basic familiarity with any one or more of the following areas:
- Nature-based arts and crafts or ancestral arts such as hide tanning, basketry, flint knapping, ceramics, fiber arts, etc
- Naturalist skills such as tracking, nature interpretation, botanizing, birding, foraging and/or sharing Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK)
- Wilderness living or survival skills such as making fire with few resources, orienting without map and compass, or making survival shelters
- 8 Shields Mentoring skills
- Ability to work on your own with guidance, but minimal supervision from your supervisory mentors
- Mature approach to communications, timeliness, and follow through
- Solution-based thinking and flexible, community-oriented mindset
- Ability to regularly commute to a variety of locations all over Flathead County, primarily near Whitefish, Columbia Falls, Kalispell, and Bigfork
- Current certification in first aid and CPR required (online certification OK); Wilderness First Responder preferred
- Design and lead Indian Education for All activities that expose youth to Indigenous lifeways, cultural practices, epistemologies, and history, within proper context and permissions, in collaboration with Lead Staff and Program Director
- Lead activities that connect youth with nature using universal nature-connection skills, crafts or cultural elements, such as nature-based games, fire by friction, leather sewing, tracking, wildcrafting, stories, or songs
- Mentor youth and provide social-emotional and other learning supports
Inspire youth to find their unique gifts and guide self-development through their connection with nature and its beings
- Work professionally with a team of educators and staff to support student growth and learning outcomes
- Meet with the staff team during scheduled meeting hours for planning and debriefing
- Plan, prepare supplies, and maintain tools and equipment as needed to be prepared for program activities
- Work closely with Ravenwood Program Director and Lead Staff to meet the above objectives
- 10 days paid vacation during particular times of the year (as allowed by school schedules), federal holidays, and paid sick days
- Eligibility for employee benefits that the organization may provide in the future
- Educational training, materials, and expenses, subject to approval
- Work with highly creative people to cultivate a powerful learning culture for youth and adults alike
- Strong community support and opportunities to build meaningful relationships with local leaders, parents, elders, and children
Compensation during training (March-May 2021) is $15/hr
Compensation once year-round status is reached (June 2021 onward) is $32,000/year before taxes, as a salary, at-will employment
The average hours per week throughout the year needed to do your job will be around 35 hours per week, but this is an average based on our program schedule and time needed for planning, preparation, field time, cleanup, and debrief. There will be times in busy seasons when the hours needed to do good work are more than 40 hours per week, and times in slow seasons when your average work hours may be less than 20 hours per week. They will balance out to a full-time year-round position with an average of 35 hours per week, and you will be given a schedule of program days so that you can predict the ebb and flow of your needed work hours. Monthly paychecks will be consistent and will not reflect the busy or slow times. The schedule may be subject to change. The yearly planning cycle runs from the beginning of June to the end of May.
Submit a letter of interest via email with resume and three references to Jennifer Bresee, email@example.com. Selected candidates will be asked to complete an application and then schedule a personal interview (Zoom, telephone, or similar connection options arepossible) at a mutually agreeable time.