WABANO CENTRE FOR ABORIGINAL HEALTH Employee Reviews

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Negative experience, perhaps worst Aborginal organization I ever worker for
Housing department (Former Employee) –  Ottawa, ON11 May 2018
wow...from day one, consistent drama in my department. All but 2 are original staff from when I was hired, most are there less than a year. Most don't pass probation, the good ones don't stay. All 3 of the people that hired me a year ago have left, all were managers. Wabano is a revolving door. Lots of lateral violence....I was asked to write letters against co-workers. Complaints from clients were taken over seriously, there is no harmony or unity between staff and management. Many of the upper management are non native. The manager of the medical department is a non native and is absolutely terrible at her people skills and how she interacts with clients. Sure, the building is bright and beautiful and it attracts millions of dollars a year as a corporation does, but if those walls could talk! Clients suffer due to the ever change in staff, counselors, workers and managers and inconsistency. Just the ED has been there since Day 1. I got what I could out of it, advanced my own personal goals and needs, then got out. Fortunately, I didn't rely on my position there to get by, personally or financially. Lots of folks do. And guess what? They don't want a homeless shelter next door?!??
Pros
access to information, culture, learning, Elders, do what you want with it so to speak
Cons
no on knows what Wabano wants, (they dont tell you when they hire you!) There management style is very abrupt and dominant.
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Not Great
Housing (Former Employee) –  Ottawa10 March 2018
Working here was not great because there is very little feedback and you have to watch everyone around you constantly being hired/fired/quitting in every department.
Pros
Health benefits, salary, flexible schedule
Cons
No praise, lots of criticism, no instructions, stressful work environment
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Worst place to work, environment is not pleasant and can be very stressful. Very unhappy place to be.
Manager (Former Employee) –  Ottawa, ON30 January 2018
Wabano is probably the worst place i ever worked. The environment i felt there is poisonous and not too many happy employees. Management micro-manages its workers and constantly watching what you do, where you go and what time you arrive and leave including your breaks. They don't practice what they preach or their philosophy of the seven teachings, in fact its quite the opposite, and its all for show. Its a beautiful building but thats about all that nice about the place, apart from the medical services they provide. Working there was like being back in residential school and they don't even realize the negative impact they have on their employees. No wonder there is such a high turn-over there of employees. Worst workplace i've ever experienced in my life.
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Amazing working culture with a great team of coworkers
Fundraising and Events Intern (Former Employee) –  Ottawa, ON26 September 2017
I really enjoyed my time at wabano! I learned so much about aboriginal culture. All the people that work there are friendly and willing to help you learn.
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has got to be amongst the most toxic work environments in the Capital
former employee of 5 plus years (Former Employee) –  Ottawa, ON21 September 2017
High turnover , poor working standards, abusive management. Worked at this place for several years was promoted throughout my time there and then wrongfully dismissed. This place does not hold the traditional values they claim to live by, by any standard. People are asked to lie about numbers by management and falsify reports as well as working outside of your contractual conditions. Wabano employs some good people and puts them in awful situations because said people are passionate about the community they serve. Dealing with the management and disfunction in the workplace was tougher than the job and clients. Serving the community is the best part of this place, but if you value your mental health stay away. The ED is an absolute nightmare text book sociopath outside of the building and in the public eye appears to be graceful and charming, verbally abuses staff and is condecending and micro manages the entire organization. "Centre of excellence" that's self proclaimed! It gets a gold star in promotion. This may seem like a disgruntled ex-employee rant and it sure reads that way, but apply and find out for yourself! Best of luck.
Pros
clients and coworkers
Cons
management
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Negative work environment
Mental Health Worker (Former Employee) –  Ottawa, ON4 August 2017
This indigenous health centre is needed and could do great things however the management and internal culture make longterm employment difficulty and the community is frustrated with the high turnover, staff dissatisfaction and staffing inconsistency.

The mental health director is PhD educated but using old methods which leads to huge frustrations with staff who are using research based interventions. Managing styles are micromanaging and rigid framework with little room to grow as a professional.
Pros
Access to culture, awesome frontline workers
Cons
Aggressive/verbally abusive management and ED
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High turnover! For a reason!
counsellor (Former Employee) –  Ottawa, ON18 January 2017
the best part of the job was NOT being the office, but out helping the clients!
typical high school drama in the office,
very mismanaged housing department,
internal reviews by a non-biased 3rd party agency is a lie, they're all buddies. how many companies have reviews twice a year anyways?

some staff are okay to work with, others need to work elsewhere, unfortunately this agency keeps those types of people.
Pros
great clientelle, learning community resources and partners
Cons
unless you lick the bosses boots, your not going to last long
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Please be careful
Therapist (Former Employee) –  Ottawa, ON6 December 2016
Many of the reviews you are reading have been solicited by the HR Director at Wabano. Staff is extremely scared of loosing their jobs presently and must do their best to do as they are told. The staff turn over is the example of how bad things are at Wabano. To understand the turn over just read how many job openings this organization posts each month.
Cons
Working from 9 to 5:30. No flexibility!
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Excellent place to work
Coordinator (Current Employee) –  Ottawa, ON23 November 2016
I’ve been working at Wabano for 3 years and have been impressed with my experience. Wabano has a sense of purpose and culture is the most important factor here.

A typical day at Wabano includes working with smart people, providing services to our beautiful community and having fun.
Pros
Great benefit Plans, Culturally rich environment
Cons
None so far
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Job Satisfaction, Contribute to Society, Lifelong Friends
Coordinator (Current Employee) –  299 Montreal Rd23 November 2016
Wabano is a Centre of Excellence on Aboriginal Health and is highly acclaimed for its medical services. I first heard about this organization while I was in University and was pleased to find a job here shortly after graduation! I’ve been at Wabano for a little over two years now and have thoroughly enjoyed my time here. I have been given a lot of responsibility and get to collaborate with other service providers in Ottawa to ensure members of our community have access to the care they need. I’ve learned a lot about aboriginal culture. There is lots of opportunity to participate in stories, ceremonies, and teachings. And finally, I’ve made many lifelong friends here, including my manager. I have grown professionally and personally at Wabano.

I feel I have to address some of the negative reviews here on Indeed as they do not reflect my experience with Wabano at all. There was a time when a few employees tried to get a Union into Wabano. It was a very stressful time as we were divided and there were a lot of hurtful interactions between staff. This is not at all in line with our culture or Wabano as an organization. Wabano promotes healthy relationships, healing and a place of belonging. The Union was decertified a year later so no, we don’t have a Union here now and things have become much more balanced again.

Wabano offers full time employees health and dental benefits and RRSP matching. More importantly, we get to do real work that makes a difference in the lives of many people every day. If you are nervous about working here, you can always volunteer
  more... and see if Wabano is a fit for you. Miigwetch.  less
Pros
Benefits, culture
Cons
None
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Best Job I've Ever Had!
Coordinator (Current Employee) –  Ottawa, ON17 November 2016
I've been at Wabano for just over 3 years. This is without a doubt the most satisfying job I've ever had. The first time I walked into the Wabano centre, I felt like I was coming home. From day one, everyone here was so warm and welcoming. We are surrounded by beautiful culture and healthy, positive role models for our community. I am inspired by the dedication my co-workers have for improving services to First Nation, Metis, and Inuit peoples here in Ottawa. We work hard, but we also have fun!
Pros
Beautiful culture, food, and wonderful co-workers! Have fun while making a difference!
Cons
None.
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Good Place to Work
Current Employee (Current Employee) –  Ottawa, ON17 November 2016
I have been at Wabano for a little while now. I have seen a lot of growth and many changes. The environment did go through hard times a couple of years ago because of the divide in the staff around the Union issues. Now that the Union is no longer in the Centre, the staff have been united and the environment has improved a lot. I feel that staff are respectful to each other and management is supportive.

I would encourage anyone reading these reviews and considering working at Wabano to come and volunteer at the Centre to get your own perspective on things. I have truly enjoyed my time here and the relationships that I've made both with colleagues, management and community have been rewarding ones. Clearly others did not have the same experience. Before making a decision one way or the other, it might be worth checking us out.
Pros
Colleagues, community, rewarding work
Cons
Pay
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Culture in practice
Director (Former Employee) –  Ottawa, ON17 November 2016
Working at Wabano was the most empowering and fulfilling times of my career. Every day I knew I was making difference. That didn't mean that every day was a joy, or that every day was a breeze...but it did mean that I knew I was in the right place, doing the right thing, with the right people.

Wabano is a trailblazer when it comes to Indigenous culture...they are integrating culture in day-to-day ways that other organizations can't. Sometimes it was uncomfortable because I was doing work in ways that I had never done them before. But for me, that was the honour - to be part of something that reflected the beauty and resiliency of the First Peoples in Canada.

I am so grateful for the time I spent at Wabano. It helped me grow both professionally and spiritually. I created relationships with staff and colleagues that I maintain today. And I became part of a community in a city that was not my own.
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High turnover, management issues, employee dissatisfaction
Worker (Former Employee) –  Ottawa, ON11 October 2016
An excellent idea for an organization with wonderful workers who have their hearts in the right place. Lots of cultural services and a strong sense of community from clients who access this centre.

Unfortunately management creates a toxic and corrupt work environment which takes away from the wonderful programming and cultural services the organization has to offer. If there were a shift in management and coworkers began supporting one another and working more collaboratively, this would be the perfect place to work. Unfortunately there has to be a huge change in approach from management to start working towards employee recognition for their hard work and talents, positive feedback and supervisory support instead of running a fear based and results driven organization. I would recommend getting an outside perspective and other job experience before working here.
Pros
Coworkers, community, elder teachings
Cons
High turnover, no job security, poorly managed
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poor management, weak board
support staff (Former Employee) –  Ottawa, ON21 June 2016
Time for a change of management or a board with some backbone. High turnover, staff unhappy, poor morale. Those still working there are just putting in hours, with no passion, and it shows.
Pros
client interaction I loved the best
Cons
management
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Poor working environment
Staff Member (Former Employee) –  Ottawa, ON6 June 2016
The people that work at Wabano is a great group of people, easy-going, welcoming, and fun. However the same cannot be said about the management, the management is very poor, you may be tasked to do more than just your job, you may have to fill in for another position very casually, why? Because the turn-over is very high, people who apply and work at Wabano second guess their decision on why they chose to work there. For a place that claims to follow the traditional teachings of Aboriginals is very ironic, Wabano does put on a good face but behind the curtain it's very tense and stressful, you do not want to step on any toes. No one dares to take responsibility for any mistakes, it's a lot of finger pointing. Respect is nearly non-existent when it comes to management.

I wouldn't recommend working here.
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Glad I am researching about jobs!
Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology (Former Employee) –  Ottawa, ON26 April 2016
So I have been looking for jobs in our field with my Masters in Counselling Psychology and I knew that there had to be a reason I kept seeing ads for positions in this agency. I'm so happy I did my bit of research and see what sort of work place has been described or what I can gather from my search. It's honestly very sad to hear about a multicultural mental health agency is having such negative experiences with what seems like a completely toxic environment. Just as an observer I would ask that management have compassion and their employee's health and well-being at par with your clients. Clients should be treated with the up most respect and empathy. A work environment should be one of respect and transparency. I did not take 7 years of post-secondary education to walk into this kind of work place that is fighting over union matters.
Pros
Will not be applying for ANY jobs with the current management
Cons
Not going to be able to exercise my love of multicultural counselling
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Learned about Aboriginal Culture
Child Care Worker (Former Employee) –  Ottawa, ON7 April 2016
I learned a lot about Aboriginal culture while doing child care for adults and children performing in art therapy.
We would set up activities before the families came in, read a tale about a tribes culture, do some art, have lunch, do some more art, or talk in a circle, and by that time, usually some families had to leave.
It was a lot of fun because each week, there was always something new to do, or something new to learn.
The hardest part of the job was remembering peoples names. I worked with volunteers and paid workers, and we would clean up while the other worked on art.
Pros
Free lunches
Cons
Contract work. Was inconsistent.
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Everything is awesome!!!
coordinator (Current Employee) –  Ottawa, ON8 January 2016
Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health is one of the finest organizations I have ever worked for. The management team members are highly qualified professionals who are very respectful. It is an honor to work at Wabano Centre however I wish staff members would make a commitment to sticking around instead of just coming to work here so they can get the "cultural component" they need to further their own personal agendas in pursuing high paying jobs. The high staff turnover is extremely difficult on clients and disrespectful.

Self serving staff plotted and slithered around for months until they successfully brought in a "union" to fight their own personal battles/agendas...shame, shame, shame on you.
Pros
culture culture culture
Cons
work hours
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Engaged and involved
Program Coordinator (Former Employee) –  Ottawa, ON9 June 2015
Wabano provides many opportunities to explore culture and diversity. Engagement with events, PR and communications provides eventful and interesting opportunities.
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Overall rating

3.2
Based on 23 reviews
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