First Nations Government Internship

Program overview

BC First Nations have a connection to place based on thousands of years of history. Like many small local governments, many First Nations in the north face challenges recruiting and retaining staff to support leadership in achieving community goals. In response to this need, Northern Development Initiative Trust, in partnership with the Department of Indigenous Services Canada and the University of Northern British Columbia has established the First Nations Government Internship Program. This program is meant to parallel the success of Northern Development’s existing Local Government Internship Program by allowing rural, indigenous communities to recruit and retain talented young professionals in the north.

This internship program recognizes and builds on the education, training and career opportunities that exist in central and northern British Columbia communities. The program prepares young people for an exciting career in First Nations government, while supporting capacity building and succession preparation in smaller, indigenous communities. The internship program provides funding for central and northern First Nations governments or Tribal Councils to host and mentor an intern for a 12 month period with the internships starting in May of each year.

One of the goals of the internship program is to provide insight into the wide range of rewarding careers available within First Nations government. Careers include opportunities in management and administration, corporate services, planning and development services, environmental services, finance, human resource, public works, external relations and membership engagement, health, education and economic development. The internship program promises to provide a high level of professional development and training that will prepare university graduates for more senior roles in First Nations government. It will give them the knowledge and experience they need to take the next step in a fulfilling and satisfying career and the contacts to obtain a permanent position within local First Nations government.

Program objectives

  • To act as a pathway to accelerate operational learning and permanent placement into professional careers in First Nations government
  • To build professional and institutional development capacity in First Nations government administration in central and northern B.C.
  • To make First Nations government a career of choice by financially supporting internship opportunities for post-secondary graduates
  • To allow for the flexibility of learning experiences where First Nations governments wish to jointly offer a placement for an intern
  • To allow communities under 1,500 population with challenging recruiting locations to provide internships at the same time that post-secondary courses in First Nations government and public administration are being completed

Internship opportunities are not intended to be for positions covered by collective agreements. Host First Nations governments are responsible for undertaking consultation with their respective unions, if applicable, to clarify the objectives of this program.


To apply

Please review all program documents in detail as incomplete applications will not be considered.

Interested internship and host community candidates can email their completed application package to 

Host community application deadline: February 1st.

Intern application deadline: April 1st.