About 100 Canadian indigenous youth will have the opportunity to develop their international experience thanks to funding granted to the Atlantic Council for International Cooperation (ACIC) and the Northern Council for Global Cooperation (NCGC) and other partners.
As part of the International Aboriginal Youth Internship Initiative (IAYI), ACIC and NCGC will offer internships in six countries: Costa Rica, Guyana, Nepal, Cambodia, Myanmar and Kenya. Over five years, ACIC and NCGC will support 100 indigenous youth interns by providing opportunities to gain transferable skills, learn about key development issues in their own communities and abroad, explore education and career pathways in the field of international development.
This program will also strive to build confidence and experience in public engagement. It will also aim to build networks in the international development sector and their own communities that will allow them to put their skills and passion to work for positive change.
“The Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq (CMM) and our member communities’ chiefs and councils are very excited to move forward with the IAYI program… and be able to provide all indigenous and our Mi’kmaq youth with these valuable and life changing opportunities and experiences,” said Angeline Gillis, CMM director of environment and natural resources.
Ryan Knockwood, NCPEI Hep’d up on Life co-ordinator added, “The Native Council of Prince Edward Island (NCPEI) is excited to partner with the IAYI program and assist in the efforts to provide Indigenous youth with the opportunity to travel internationally and gain valuable insight into Indigenous cultures around the globe.”
Groups involved in the partnership also include Mi’kmaw Conservation Group and Bringing Youth Towards Equality Empowering Youth.
Since 2002, the ACIC has offered 100 internships in 16 countries through international internships. The IAYI provides Indigenous Canadians between the ages of 18 and 35 with opportunities to gain valuable international experience and make a meaningful difference in the lives of people in developing countries. Funding is provided by the Government of Canada, through Global Affairs Canada.