My internship is with the Federal Government department of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) in Saskatoon. I have been fortunate enough to have two mentors: one with Strategic Initiatives and Planning and the other with Community Opportunities.
My work with INAC has been multifaceted: I have worked on a unique community development pilot project with 14 Saskatchewan First Nation communities, administered different economic development applications and projects for First Nations and Metis institutions, organizations, and Tribal Councils, and coordinated and wrote a proposal for a strategic partnership project with federal departments and a northern Saskatchewan First Nation community. I have corresponded with colleagues in Ottawa, traveled to many First Nation communities in the province, and flew up to the remote community of Hatchet Lake First Nation (a really awesome experience). The most rewarding thing about this internship for me is traveling and meeting many different people, from all walks of life. I’m thankful to have met a lot of inspirational people along the way.
This internship experience has been overwhelmingly positive; I would recommend it to any JSGS student. I was the first JSGS Executive Intern at INAC. I think it was beneficial for me as I’ve had great guidance, but also the freedom to have different experiences and build strong relationships over the last seven months.
Samantha Benesh is a MPA student from the University of Saskatchewan campus, and a 2015 Federal Intern at Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada.