Indigenous Internship Program

June 26, 2024
IIP graduates 2024

Elder Verna McGregor, from Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg, with graduates Skylar-James Wall, Shayna Shawongonabe, Rebecca Dunnett, and Deborah Pelletier; Caroline Dromaguet, President and CEO, Canadian Museum of History; and Ally Freedman, Program Coordinator

2023 marked a significant milestone, as the Indigenous Internship Program celebrated its 30th Anniversary. Since its inception in 1993, this program has been instrumental in providing invaluable professional and technical training to over 100 First Nations, Inuit and Métis participants. To commemorate this historic occasion, a special event was held on Thursday, March 28 at the Canadian Museum of History.

At the heart of this commemorative event was a gathering of past interns representing each decade of the program. These individuals came together to reflect on the journey of the Indigenous Internship Program and to envision its future within the museum and heritage field.

IIP Alumni at CMH 2024

Program alumni at the Canadian Museum of History, March 28, 2024.
First row: Noah Porco, Deborah Pelletier, Shayna Shawongonabe, Barry Pottle, Penny Pine
Second row: Skylar-James Wall, Rebecca Dunnett, Suzy Basile, Sylvia Morin, John Haugen
Back row: Amanda McLeod, Linda Grussani, Deanna Nebenionquit

Celebrations began with an Alumni Day, featuring both morning and afternoon sessions dedicated to networking and deepening connections between alumni and Museum staff. A highlight of the day was a panel discussion, featuring four distinguished past alumni: Barry Pottle, Suzy Basile, Deborah Pelletier and Shayna Shawongonabe, who explored pertinent topics such as the evolving landscape of the museum field and the potential impacts of artificial intelligence and other technological advancements.

In recognition of the program’s long-lasting impact, it was announced that an alumni network would be launched, providing a platform for all past participants to stay connected and engaged.

An evening graduation ceremony for interns provided a celebratory end to the event. This celebration included the interns graduating from 2020 to now, as past graduation ceremonies had been postponed because of pandemic-related challenges. Graduates and guests were treated to an impressive performance by a First Nations drum group. It was a memorable occasion, drawing together families, friends and community members alike, all united in their support of the graduates and in acknowledgment of their dedication and achievements.

“This graduation ceremony reminded me how much the program has evolved over time, and how the involvement of interns redefines the Museum’s approach to curating and preserving Indigenous collections, particularly through the lens of repatriation.”

John Moses, Director, Repatriation and Indigenous Relations, Canadian Museum of History

The Indigenous Internship Program is generously supported by the Donner Canadian Foundation ,  the RBC Foundation, and individual donors from across Canada.


To learn more about how you can support this program:

Contact: Linda Kincaid
Director, Major Gifts and Campaigns