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Water First

About the Internship Program

Internship pilot program in development

The Environmental Water Internship is a new pilot program that emerged through the growth and evolution of Water First’s Environmental Water Program. The program will provide paid internships for Indigenous youth and young adults to develop technical and employability skills and achieve certifications to work in water and fish resource management within or near their own communities. 

Each Internship is developed in partnership with a Tribal Council to deliver the program to 6-10 communities in each cohort. Water First engages community partners in collaborative planning to identify community environmental priorities and help to inform project-based learning. Working with Knowledge Keepers provides opportunities to weave local Indigenous knowledge, values and customs with Western water science. 

Training is a combination of in-person workshops, online learning and experience on the land and in their home communities.

Benefits to communities and individuals

  • Brings adaptable, customizable training opportunities to communities in a way that is supportive of learners and respectful of local knowledge and traditions. 
  • Local delivery means participants don’t have to move away from their communities, and makes it easier to meaningfully integrate local Indigenous Knowledge and input from Knowledge Keepers. 
  • Provides an alternative path to employment through experiential, on-the-land and project-based learning. 
  • Enhances local stewardship through training on real-world projects to deepen connections between interns and the lands and waters in their home communities. 
  • More local, skilled environmental science technicians to address critical water and fish management issues, and stronger capacity for Indigenous- and community-led conservation.

Pilot to launch in spring of 2024

Water First is working closely with a Tribal Council to develop this pilot program and hopes to begin in the spring of 2024.