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Canadian Museum of History Indigenous Internship Program

Professional and technical training for First Nations, Métis and Inuit participants.

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The goal of the Program is to develop ways for Indigenous nations across Canada to represent their own history and culture in concert with cultural institutions.

The Indigenous Internship Program offers professional and technical training for First Nations, Métis and Inuit participants. It is the first and most comprehensive program of its kind in Canada. The goal of the Program is to develop ways for Indigenous nations across Canada to represent their own history and culture in concert with cultural institutions.

Since 1993, the Program has welcomed interns from over 40 different Indigenous nations across Canada. Graduates have gone on to become role models and advocates in museum and cultural sectors.

The Program also works with a variety of affiliates and stakeholders such as Indigenous agencies, national museums, the federal government, local colleges and universities, provincial museums, Library and Archives Canada, the Canadian Conservation Institute, and the First Nations Confederacy of Cultural Education Centres, as well as Indigenous museums, libraries, cultural centres, and cultural tourism ventures.


Call for Proposals: Ongoing


The Canadian Museum of History’s Indigenous Internship Program (IIP) is seeking project proposals from First Nations, Métis and Inuit individuals for combined in-person and online projects that use the Museum’s collections, archives and staff expertise.

Eligible applicants are invited to submit a concise project proposal for a hybrid internship experience comprising both in-person and online work that will provide participants with insights and training into contemporary museum best practices.


The internship will take place during any four-month period. The timing of the internship is flexible to support the participants’ individual interests, goals, and availability.

During the on-site portions of the internships, participants will have access to Museum resources in support of their specific project goals, and will be mentored in core museum functions including:

  • Collections management and care
  • Research methodologies
  • Exhibitions and program development


While ongoing pandemic-related disruptions prevent the offer of the Museum’s usual in-person Indigenous Internship Program (IIP) experience, the Museum remains committed to the program and is undertaking a hybrid internship model for the time being. A Museum steering committee will review and select up to four successful candidates from the proposals received based on creativity, innovation and applicability to the Museum’s mandate as Canada’s national museum of human history.


Any First Nations, Métis and Inuit individuals, with internet access and the availability and willingness to travel to the National Capital Region (Ottawa/Gatineau) for three one-week periods to work in person with the Museum’s resources (including its professional staff) are eligible to apply. Please note that having a college or university credential in a museum or heritage-related discipline is considered an asset, but is not necessary for the program. Additionally, experience in Indigenous cultural interpretation or related work is also considered an asset, but is not mandatory. Lived experience will be recognized just as much as formal education.

Brief History

The Indigenous Internship Program (formerly the Aboriginal Training Program in Museum Practices) was implemented by the Canadian Museum of Civilization (now the Canadian Museum of History) in 1993.

It was inspired by recommendations released by the Task Force on Museums and First Peoples in 1992. That effort was jointly sponsored by the Assembly of First Nations and the Canadian Museums Association. Its mission: “To develop an ethical framework and strategies for Aboriginal Nations to represent their history and culture in concert with cultural institutions.”

The Program has evolved over time, including alternative delivery models in response to continuing global and national developments.

These include the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the Indian Residential Schools Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Calls to Action, and the Museum’s own mandate under its enabling legislation, the Canadian Museum of History Act, as a national institution dedicated to helping foster greater understanding of Indigenous histories, cultures, stories and material culture.

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