Northern Development and Government of Canada commit $480,000 to First Nations Government Internship program for Northern B.C.

January 17, 2018

The program will support up to four paid internships in First Nations communities throughout
northern B.C. from 2018 to 2020

January 17, 2018 – For Immediate Release – Prince George, B.C.

A pilot project that supports First Nations government internships in northern B.C. just received a significant boost thanks to a partnership between Northern Development Initiative Trust and the Government of Canada.

The Trust and the Department of Indigenous Services Canada have together committed $480,000 over the next three years to support First Nations Government Internships for First Nations and tribal councils located within the Trust’s service area.

The program is modeled after the Trust’s successful Local Government Internship Program, and will see four 12-month internships available each year in 2018, 2019 and 2020.

The internships pay the equivalent of $40,000 per year, and offer recent university graduates an opportunity to pursue fulfilling and rewarding careers in band or First Nations government administration.

The pilot project was launched in 2017 between the Trust and Indigenous Services Canada and saw three interns successfully placed in host communities that included the Kitselas First Nation near Terrace, Skidegate Band Council on Haida Gwaii and the Tsilhqot’in National Government in Williams Lake.

The goal of the program is to boost capacity in First Nations communities, support administrative excellence and create rewarding career opportunities for indigenous youth.

The program meets one of the Trust’s strategic goals to support investments in indigenous communities, and represents a 50-50 partnership between the Trust and Indigenous Services Canada, with each organization committing $240,000 to the project over the next three years.

Applications for interested intern candidates and host First Nations communities are now available on the Trust’s website at


Gerald Wesley, Vice Chair, Northern Development Initiative Trust
I am pleased that Canada will work with Northern Development in support of building capacity and valuable experience for first nations within our area.  This initiative will provide opportunity for talented graduates to experience and contribute to important community and area requirements both during their internship and beyond.

Joel McKay, CEO, Northern Development Initiative Trust
I want to thank the Government of Canada for their investment in this partnership – it’s extremely important that we continue to find innovative new ways to support capacity building, sustainability and career opportunities in northern First Nations communities. I’m confident that this project will generate the same positive results we’ve seen with our other internship programs.

Jane Philpott, Minister of Indigenous Services Canada
The Government of Canada is proud to support the First Nations Government Internships program that provides First Nations youth with the tools and experience they need to launch their careers. I am pleased to see this program extended for the next three years, and look forward to the continued success it brings for both First Nations youth, and the participating communities.

Quick Facts

About Northern Development Initiative Trust

Northern Development has a passion for growing the economy of central and northern British Columbia. Communities, First Nations and businesses of the north are leaders in creating jobs, new revenues and improving the quality of life in the region, and the Trust is dedicated to supporting their growth. The Trust combines funding with smart thinking and since 2005 has found more than 2,800 ways to say “yes” to projects that help the region thrive.


Media Relations
Department of Indigenous Services Canada

Intern Profiles from Pilot Project