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
January – April 2024: Apply by November 24, 2023
September – December 2024: Apply by June 28, 2024
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 a four-month period (see above). During those 4 months, participants will be working remotely from their preferred location on a research project based on the project proposal. They will be given access to the Museums network and database and have weekly meetings with their internship supervisor to monitor their progress and to foster creativity.
On three (3) separate visits of one (1) week duration, participants will be brought to the Museum (all expenses paid). 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
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.
Unique things the Interns find themselves doing:
Learning to care for collectionsObjects Conservator Caroline Marchand explains care of collections with Intern Gerald Antoine (Dene), 2012. Photo: Jameson Brant
Packing a storage mountKaryne Belanger (Métis) packing a quilled bag in a storage mount she made during her collections placement, 2015. Photo: Penny Pine
Moving artifacts to prepare an exhibitionPeter Christmas (Mi’Kmaq) moving artifacts in preparation for installation in the Grand Hall, 2012. Photo: Jameson Brant
Cleaning a bentwood boxDanielle Printup (Onondaga/Algonquin) cleans a bentwood box in the First Peoples Hall, 2013. Photo: Jameson Brant
Finding ilgaak (snow goggles) in the collectionStephen Puskas (Inuk) locates ilgaak (snow goggles) he has searched for using the collections database, 2014. Photo: Jameson Brant
Observing a planning session for large-scale installationIntern Peter Christmas (Mi’Kmaq) observes Exhibition Designer, Conservator, and Preparators as they plan for a large-scale installation in the Grand Hall, 2012. Photo: Jameson Brant
Explaining your conservation-project treatmentIntern Teresa Marshall (Mi’Kmaq) explains her treatment on an assignment in the objects conservation lab, 2008. Photo: Jameson Brant
Updating an exhibition installationExhibition Display Preparator Alison Smith-Welsh with Henry Pitawanakwat (Odawa) updating an exhibition installation in the First Peoples Hall, 2014. Photo: Jameson Brant
Cleaning a parka in the First Peoples HallDeanna Nebenionquit (Ojibway) cleans a parka in the Arctic section of the First Peoples Hall, 2013. Photo: Jameson Brant
Working on an archaeology-storage projectDorothy Stewart (Cree) works on an archaeology storage project in the collections at the Canadian War Museum, 2009. Photo: Jameson Brant
Helping clean inside an exhibitionIntern Angela Lewis (Ojibway) helping to clean in the former Canada Hall, 2014. Photo: Rebecca Renner
Cleaning a totem poleElizabeth Montour (Mohawk) cleaning a totem pole in the Grand Hall, 2015. Photo: Rebecca Renner
All smiles on graduation dayDorothy Stewart (Cree), Teresa Marshall (Mi’Kmaq), Lindsey Moorhouse (Inuk) and Leslie LeBourdais (Secwépemc) on graduation day, 2009. Photo: Mark Holleron
Working on a metal-conservation projectIntern Lydia Mestokosho-Paradis (Innu) working on a metal conservation project, 2016. Photo: Jameson Brant
Examining a feast spoonIntern Leslie LeBourdais (Secwépemc) examines a feast spoon in the ethnology collections at the Canadian Museum of History, 2008. Photo: Teresa Marshall
Learning to write condition reportsEmily Lin, Conservator, helps Stephen Puskas (Inuk) learn to write condition reports in the conservation labs at the Canadian Museum of History, 2015. Photo: Rebecca Renner
Explaining projects to other InternsAmanda McLeod (Ojibway) explains her archaeology conservation projects to other Interns Charlotte Stringam (Osooyoos) and Lydia Mestokosho-Paradis (Innu), 2015. Photo: Jameson Brant
Examining metal deterioration on copperAmanda McLeod (Ojibway) examines metal deterioration on her copper project in the conservation lab, 2015. Photo: Jameson Brant
Cleaning a rattleLydia Mestokosho-Paradis (Innu) cleans a rattle on display in the First Peoples Hall, 2016. Photo: Jameson Brant
Being celebrated on graduation dayCanadian Museum of History President and Chief Executive Officer Mark O’Neill congratulates graduate Deanna Nebenionquit (Ojibway), 2013. Photo: Perry Zavitz
Feeling at home in the conservation labAmanda McLeod, Aboriginal Intern working in the conservation lab at the Canadian Museum of History, 2015. Photo: Jameson Brant
Stopping for a group photoPeter Christmas (Mi’Kmaq), Danielle Printup (Onondaga/Algonquin), Deanna Nebenionquit (Ojibway) and Gerald Antoine (Dene), Aboriginal Training Program in Museum Practices Interns, Fall 2012. Photo: Stephen Darby
Searching for birchbark in the collectionsKaryne Belanger (Métis) researching in the collections at the Canadian Museum of History, 2014. Photo: Jameson Brant
Making new friends with similar goalsLydia Mestokosho-Paradis (Innu) Charlotte Stringam (Osoyoos) and Amanda McLeod (Ojibway), Aboriginal Interns at the Canadian Museum of History, 2015. Photo: Steven Darby
Celebrating a year well worth it!Melissa Phillips (Oneida), Jameson Brant (Mohawk, Coordinator, RBC Aboriginal Training Program in Museum Practices), Virginia Sarazin (Algonquin) and Wahsontiio Cross (Mohawk), Aboriginal Training Program in Museum Practices graduation, Spring 2012. Photo: Steven Darby
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