Digital Collections Intern

October 05, 2023

About the Bill Reid Centre

The Bill Reid Centre at Simon Fraser University (BRC) supports reconciliation by creating a vibrant collaborative space founded on respect and admiration of differences, where Indigenous and non-Indigenous scholars, artists, students, curators, and cultural practitioners come together to share their diverse ways of knowing, being, and doing.

Our work takes place at the intersection of the visual and material belongings of Coastal First Peoples, Indigenous cultural heritage, and new media. Our projects aim to unsettle dominant narratives, reexamine previous scholarship, and question current academic and institutional practices. We are committed to listening, learning, and acting in ways that respect and uphold Indigenous priorities. The BRC is home to The George and Joanne MacDonald Northwest Coast Collection, one of the most comprehensive assemblages of images pertaining to the visual and material belongings of Northwest Coast First Nations. This includes thousands of digital images that document shared settler and Indigenous histories ranging from some of the earliest photographs taken in this region (mid nineteenth century) up to the present day. The collection also contains thousands of images of Coastal First Peoples’ belongings that are currently held in museum collections throughout the world.

Application Deadline: August 18, 2023
Term: Full-time; estimated 30 hours/week; September 2023 to March 2024
Start date: Early September
Salary: $25 hourly
Location: Simon Fraser University, Burnaby B.C.

Digital Collections Intern

The BRC is seeking a recent graduate for an Omeka digital project. The intern will populate the content management system (CMS), catalog image records, input metadata and build digital exhibits using Omeka ( This is a 30-week paid position for a full-time intern. The position is designed to provide work experience in digital collections management and digital stewardship of cultural heritage at Canada’s most engaged university. The successful candidate will help shape the BRC’s commitment to creating digital access to images and information that tell the shared history, the true history, of Indigenous and settler relations on the Northwest Coast. The successful candidate will have a strong knowledge of Indigenous cultural heritage issues, and experience working with digital collections management software.

Reporting to the Associate Director of the BRC, the collections intern will be responsible for populating Omeka with a significant number of digital images, transcribing basic metadata, and migrating a number of digital exhibits from Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) and reimagining them using Omeka’s exhibiting tools. Their work will be informed by the BRC’s support for the principles of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), and the standards recommended by the Canadian Museum Association Moved to Action Report in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.

We are seeking an individual who enjoys working in a quiet research and task-oriented environment. Required skills include: strong organizational, data entry, and data management skills; attention to detail; experience with digital museum, archive or gallery collections; knowledge of current issues in First Nations cultural heritage; excellent oral and written communication; interpersonal skills; research skills; and effective problem-solving skills.

Scope of work

• Populate Omeka with digital images from The MacDonald Collection

• Write descriptive metadata for digital resources

• Participate in web-design and CMS development meetings

• Assess and develop curatorial narratives for digital exhibits, including identifying items for display

• Evaluate and make recommendations regarding the geographical and temporal scope of digital exhibits

• Advise on best practices for access and display of digital Indigenous cultural heritage

• Write didactic content and descriptions for digital exhibits

• Manage project deliverables and develop complete checklists for phases of the project

• Participate in BRC Steering Committee meetings

• Assist in the development of educational content connected to digital exhibits for Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities.

• Participate in other aspects of the Bill Reid Centre, which could include developing and hanging physical displays/exhibits; visual and material culture research; report writing; event planning; liaising with SFU faculty and staff

Required skills and experience

• Demonstrated knowledge of and training in museum studies, Indigenous studies and/or visual culture, material culture, cultural anthropology, or archaeology normally acquired through a University Degree or relevant Diploma in Museum Studies, Library and Archival Studies, Cultural Heritage Conservation & Management or an equivalent combination of education and relevant work experience

• Experience with digital imaging, content management software, and cataloging

• Experience with Omeka CMS is an asset

• Significant knowledge and understanding of Indigenous Peoples and their cultures, histories, and traditions, especially coastal B.C.

• Excellent oral and written communication skills

• Excellent technology, interpersonal, problem solving, and organizational skills

Special Conditions

This position is funded in part through Young Canada Works at Building Careers in Heritage (graduates) and therefore applicants need to meet specific eligibility requirements including:

• Are a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident, or have refugee status in Canada (non-Canadians holding temporary work visas or awaiting permanent status are not eligible)

• Are legally entitled to work in Canada

• Will be between 16 and 30 years of age at the start of employment

• Are willing to commit to the full duration of the work assignment

• Will not have another full-time job (over 30 hours a week) during the Young Canada Works (YCW) work assignment

• Are an unemployed or underemployed

• Are a college or university graduate

• Are not receiving Employment Insurance (EI) benefits while employed with YCW

• Priority will be given to graduates that have not previously participated in YCW internship programs

How to apply

Are you interested and do you qualify? Send your cover letter and resume to the Bill Reid Centre at Applications are due by August 18, 2023. Please note. In order to be eligible for selection, Individuals are required to:

• Visit Young Canada Works login page:

• Create an account by clicking on the “Sign up” link, then complete and submit a candidate profile

• Search for this opportunity via the “Search for a job” link in your account

• Express your interest in this position by clicking on the job title and then on “Express interest in this job”

The Bill Reid Centre at SFU is an equal opportunity employer and encourages applications from all qualified candidates, and especially individuals who self-identify as Indigenous. Candidates must be fluent in English.