A pilot project that supports First Nations government internships in northern B.C. just received a significant boost thanks to a partnership between Northern Development Initiative Trust and the Government of Canada.
The trust and the Department of Indigenous Services Canada have together committed $480,000 over the next three years to support First Nations Government Internships for First Nations and tribal councils located within the Trust’s service area.
“I am pleased that Canada will work with Northern Development in support of building capacity and valuable experience for first nations within our area,” said Gerald Wesley, Vice Chair, Northern Development Initiative Trust, in a news release. “This initiative will provide opportunity for talented graduates to experience and contribute to important community and area requirements both during their internship and beyond.”
The program is modeled after the Trust’s successful Local Government Internship Program, and will see four 12-month internships available each year in 2018, 2019 and 2020.
The internships pay the equivalent of $40,000 per year,and offer recent university graduates an opportunity to pursue fulfilling and rewarding careers in band or First Nations government administration.
The pilot project was launched in 2017 between the Trust and Indigenous Services Canada and saw three interns successfully placed in host communities that included the Kitselas First Nation near Terrace, Skidegate Band Council on Haida Gwaii and the Tsilhqot’in National Government in Williams Lake.
The goal of the program is to boost capacity in First Nations communities, support administrative excellence and create rewarding career opportunities for indigenous youth.
The program meets one of the Trust’s strategic goals to support investments in indigenous communities, and represents a 50-50 partnership between the Trust and Indigenous Services Canada, with each organization committing $240,000 to the project over the next three years.