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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.


2022–2023: Call for Proposals


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 internship 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 up to four participants with insights and training into contemporary museum best practices.


The internship period will span Autumn 2022 to Spring 2023. Timing is flexible to support the participants’ individual interests, goals and availabilities.

During the on-site portions of their 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; and
  • exhibitions and program development.

Proposed hybrid internship start date: on or after October 3, 2022.


While ongoing, pandemic-related disruptions prevent the offer of the Museum’s usual in-person IIP experience, the Museum remains committed to the Program and is undertaking a hybrid internship model this year as a pilot project. A Museum steering committee will review and select up to four successful projects from among the proposals received, based on criteria of creativity, innovation and applicability to the Museum’s mandate as Canada’s national museum of human history. Due to the hybrid nature of this internship, applicants are encouraged to focus on the following areas for projects, as they can be completed virtually as well as in person: oral histories, Indigenous languages, Indigenous music and song traditions, graphic arts, and digital technologies and online content creation.


First Nations, Métis and Inuit applicants with internet access, and the availability and willingness to travel to the National Capital Region for three one-week periods to work in person with the Museum’s resources, including its professional staff. Applicants should hold a college or university credential in a museum or heritage-related discipline, or demonstrate experience in Indigenous cultural interpretation or related work.

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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