Position Description

Undergraduate Research Assistant, Wapatah Centre for Indigenous Visual Knowledge
Job Code 1865
Department Research Labs & Projects
Employment Type Temporary/Contract
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The Wapatah Centre for Indigenous Visual Knowledge is a hub for facilitating the documentation, communication, and interpretation of Indigenous ways of seeing. Drawing on the inseparable concepts of perception and knowing, Wapatah assists Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists and researchers to collaborate on the engagement with and representation of artistic knowledge. Wapatah highlights the innumerable lenses through which Indigenous people envision the world – whether through artistic production, language, or interaction with the land – using each of these as a research tool to form new questions and concepts about the world. Wapatah promotes Indigenous research and collaboration at multiple scales, through Indigenous-led projects at OCADU and the creation of connections and partnerships at a global level.


We are seeking an Undergraduate Research Assistant (RA) to assist Wapatah Centre staff with the Entangled Gaze research. Working alongside Wapatah team, the RA will apply a high level of critical thinking to advance the compilation and synthesis of research material on new meanings and methods of historical Indigenous and European representations of each other. Preference will be given to Indigenous applicants with lived experience, a strong commitment to Indigenous knowledges, and who have experience in collaborating with Indigenous organizations and/or communities




  • Working under the supervision of the Principal Investigator, Dr. Gerald McMaster, Tenured Associate Professor, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences and School of Interdisciplinary Studies, in support of the project’s research goals and objectives
  • Compiling and synthesizing new research on the Entangled Gaze and Indigenous artworks from relevant peer-reviewed publications, journals, and source documents
  • Gathering web and database content related to Indigenous artworks and collections within the scope of the Entangled Gaze project
  • Reviewing existing and new research, correcting and/or expanding the information wherever necessary
  • Attending planning or project-specific meetings as required
  • Interacting regularly with Dr. Gerald McMaster and Wapatah staff



  • Completion of a relevant undergraduate degree or current enrollment in a relevant undergraduate program and/or equivalent training and professional experience
  • Knowledge of Indigenous cultures, collections, and research methodology is an asset
  • Demonstrated creativity in developing new ideas, with an interest in working with concepts of Indigenous research
  • Demonstrated organizational, time management, and communication skills
  • Excellent reading and writing skills with attention to detail
  • Ability to take initiative to complete tasks and develop solutions
  • Ability to self-teach new research databases, ideas, and concepts, as required for the project
  • Demonstrated commitment to the principles of equity and diversity and experience promoting a respectful work and learning environment for students, staff and faculty



Hours of Work: 10 hours per week to August 31st 2020


Work Environment:

Wapatah: Centre for Indigenous Visual Knowledge. 311-205 Richmond Street West, Toronto, Ontario. Please note, this work is expected to be carried out in a remote environment.

Compensation: $19.60 per hour subject to qualifications, plus 6% in lieu of benefits plus vacation pay, as applicable, per the provisions of the Employment Standards Act.


Please note the following:

  • The period of employment may be extended, conditional upon continued funding of the Project by OCAD U’s external funding partner(s), and upon satisfactory execution of duties.
  • Full-time graduate students may not accept research assistantships or other university-related employment in excess of 10 hours per week (or 130 hours per semester), as mandated by the Ontario Council of Graduate Studies (OCGS).

Application Process:  

Applications should include: a one-page covering letter explaining the candidate’s interest, a curriculum vitae, and contact information for three (3) referees


Interested applicants are invited to submit their application in confidence addressed to Dr. Gerald McMaster, Tenured Associate Professor, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences and School of Interdisciplinary Studies online by clicking the “Apply Now” button below.


The review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position has been filled.


As an employer committed to employment equity, we encourage applications from members of equity-seeking communities including women, racialized and Indigenous persons, persons with disabilities, and persons of all sexual orientations and gender identities/expressions.

We encourage members of designated equity-seeking groups to self-identify within the voluntary Applicant Questionnaire.

OCAD U is committed to providing an inclusive and barrier free experience to applicants with accessibility needs. Requests for accommodation can be made at any stage during the recruitment process. Please contact Human Resources for more information or refer to OCAD U’s Policy of Accommodation in Employment for Persons with Disabilities

All qualified persons are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents of Canada will be given priority. While we thank all candidates for their interest, only those short-listed will be contacted.

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