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 RBC Indigenous Internship Program offers professional and technical training for First Nations, Métis and Inuit participants. It is the only 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. Upon completing the Program, many graduates have used their training and experience to become community museum staff, directors, instructors and government employees, or to help them select a specific area of expertise in which to further their studies. Others have taken on leadership roles in organizations such as the Aboriginal Curatorial Collective, the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs and the Haudenosaunee Cultural Resources Protection Program.
The Program also works with a variety of affiliates and stakeholders such as First Nations agencies, national museums, the federal government, local colleges and universities, provincial museums, Library and Archives Canada, the Canadian Conservation Institute, the First Nations Confederacy of Cultural Education Centres, as well as some of the First Nations that have museums, libraries, cultural centres or cultural tourism ventures.
Guest alumna Margaret Fireman (Cree) addresses the attendees at the 20th anniversary graduation ceremony in 2013
The goal of the RBC Indigenous Internship Program at the Museum is to offer First Nations, Métis, and Inuit participants professional and technical training. The Program operates from September to April of each year, with a two week break for the holiday season.
To offer practical experience for Indigenous people who would like to broaden their knowledge and skills in various aspects of museum work.
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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