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Communications Director-The National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition (NABS)


Title: Communications Director 

Job Type: Full-Time, Exempt 

Location: Flexible/Remote

The National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition (NABS), leading the movement for truth, healing, and justice for U.S. Indian boarding school survivors and descendants, is seeking to expand our passionate staff team. Are you a social justice warrior? Do you long to see positive change for Native communities? Are you passionate about healing from trauma caused by U.S. Indian Boarding School policies and practices? NABS employees bring the expertise, commitment and compassion required to be agents of change in a fast-paced, high impact environment.

About Us

NABS is a growing 501(c)3 non-profit organization committed to truth, healing, and justice for Indigenous communities. Our VISION is “Indigenous cultural sovereignty,” and our MISSION is “To lead in the pursuit of understanding and addressing the ongoing trauma created by the US Indian Boarding School policy.”

NABS as an organization was conceptualized at a grassroots level during a national symposium in 2011 which included leaders of the Canadian Truth and Reconciliation Commission and boarding school survivors and descendants across the U.S. The Native American Rights Fund was our fiscal sponsor from 2012-2015. In 2019, we completed a 10-year strategic plan for 2020-2030. Currently, our work is focused on making great strides in education, advocacy, and healing. We hold the only national conference on boarding school healing in the country. With a growing staff and a board that is 100% Native American, the Coalition membership is comprised of over 350 Native and non-Native individuals, Tribes, and Native and non-Native organizations committed to boarding school healing. Visit to learn more about the Coalition.

Position Description

The Communications Director will develop and implement the overall communications, messaging, and media relations strategy to deepen and broaden the Coalition’s impact. As a thought partner with the staff leadership team, the Communications Director will ensure that NABS’s core messages align with and enhance the mission, vision, values, and priorities to advance truth, justice, and healing for survivors of U.S. Indian Boarding Schools and their descendants. The Communications Director will establish NABS as the primary destination for the boarding school healing movement by working collaboratively with staff and strategic partners to enhance the visibility of the coalition and identify public-facing opportunities and initiatives.

Reporting to the Chief Executive Officer, the Communications Director provides strategic communications guidance to the entire organization, while embracing the responsibility required to represent boarding school survivors and descendants in the public sphere, always ensuring that the communications work of NABS uplifts the health and well-being of our relatives.


The Communications Director will

* Develop and implement an annual communications strategy that increases brand awareness and personalizes what NABS means to Indigenous communities through various events, engagements, interviews, op-eds and public facing opportunities.

* Ensure the communications strategy details tactics, messages, channels, outcomes, and measurements to achieve organizational success.

* Brainstorm, pitch and secure proactive media opportunities, op-ed placements, social media, and events through traditional and digital means.

* Serve as the communications advisor to NABS for crisis communication, media training, media placement, and overall, proactive, and reactive strategic guidance.

* Proactively manage social media efforts, including day-to-day leadership and regular updating of Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and other social media.

* Field incoming media inquiries, develop media contacts in print, television, radio, and other media important to NABS’s mission.

* Serve as executive editor of NABS’s website

* Create partnerships with other communications professionals among ally organizations and Tribal nations to ensure we are speaking with one voice, leveraging resources and advancing truth, justice and healing for survivors and descendants of US Indian boarding schools.

* Author and lead the design of press materials, including media kits, op-eds, talking points, executive media interview briefs, news releases, website content and fact sheets on organizational programs, initiatives, and key messages.

* Facilitate and staff media interviews with appropriate staff persons and prepare appropriate briefing materials.

* Serve as an organizational spokesperson.

* Collaborate with the Creative Director to lead the planning and generation of content to meet defined audience strategy and engagement objectives, including

* Maintain an editorial calendar

* Manage the development, distribution, and maintenance of print and digital communications and projects, including but not limited to newsletters, blogs, program marketing collateral, impact reports, presentations, multimedia, and social media content

* Proactively engage with staff for input on content

* Partner with the Director of Digital Archives and others to ensure user-friendly interface for digital archives and promote use of NABS’s digital resources

* Manage contracts to support NABS communications efforts

* Develop and manage the communications budget, with collaborative input from staff


* Minimum of bachelor’s degree in communications, marketing, pr, journalism, or related field.

* Minimum 10 years progressive leadership experience in a communications or marketing role.

* Ability to think strategically and identify ways to improve communication efforts.

* Superior time management skills and the ability to advance multiple projects simultaneously.

* Understanding of how to use and adapt digital technologies to increase the scale and impact of work.

* Exceptional verbal and writing skills (we may ask for writing samples).

* Proven ability to create engaging and accurate content in a fast-paced environment (we may ask for samples).

* Familiarity with and work experience in Native American communities (we may ask for references)

* Excellent self-awareness, interpersonal skills, and emotional intelligence.

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* Knowledge of the American Indian and Alaskan Native boarding school history, legacy, and impacts.

* In-depth knowledge of program management and development procedures (non-profit experience).

* Understanding of communications, public relations, and marketing best practices.

* Must be resourceful, proactive, and work well with a team and independently.

* Prior experience with Salesforce or other CRM applications a plus.

* Commitment to social change and justice for boarding school survivors and descendants.

* Be willing to work some nights and weekends as needed, as well as travel 10-20% around events.

Compensation, Benefits and Work Environment

Compensation is commensurate with experience. Benefits include health, dental, vision, life, and disability insurance, and a 401(k) match up to 4% of salary. NABS is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Currently, NABS is following a hybrid model with staff working from home as we are observing local, state, Tribal, and federal regulations for public safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. Moving forward, travel to other locations will be occasionally necessary.

Application Process

All applications will be received via email. No phone calls or snail mail.

Applications must include the following all in one PDF or Word file:

* Cover letter

* Resume/Curriculum Vitae

* Salary history

* Three professional references w/email and phone number

E-mail applications to:

Subject Line: Last Name, Communications

The position is open until filled.

Interested candidates are encouraged to apply at their earliest opportunity.