Meet Our Interns: Samantha Lewis

IAYI 2011-2012: Samantha Lewis

Samantha Lewis has traveled to Gothinburg, Sweden and Frankfurt, Germany. She has yet to explore the southern countries and is most looking forward to that in this internship opportunity. She will be working with the UPEI Institute of Island studies as part of this internship as well as the Williche Council of Chiefs on the Chiloe Island.

Samantha admits that the language barrier will be one of the most challenging aspects of this trip, but offers that daily practice of the basics will help her overcome this barrier. She is hoping that upon returning, she can help Chiloe Island and PEI work to "engage each other to grow a relationship with the expand one another to sustain culture and store/pool resources."

We asked Samantha:

What attracted you to this internship program? 

The opportunity to travel to a southern country and to work with the indigenous tribe. My passion is to share culture and to learn their traditions.


Meet Our Interns: Jonathan Wright

IAYI 2011-2012: Jonathan Wright

“The opportunity to do great things with and for great people.”

Twenty-eight –year-old Jonathan Wright is from High Prairie, Alberta. He’s had the opportunity to travel the world. He’s been to 39 countries and has lived in four; France, China, Korea and Thailand. He’s about to make it 40. Jonathan is about to take part in a six month internship, spending two months working with GPI Atlantic in Glen Haven, NS as the Youth Research Media Facilitator and four months overseas in Bhutan working alongside the Bhutan Youth Development Fund.

He says what attracted him to this internship the most was, “the opportunity to work and learn from other countries aboriginals; to learn their cultures and botany, doing so will improve my traditional land use consultation skills.” He states that, “the seriousness and complexity of the culture and religion” will be the biggest obstacle to overcome. By keeping “an open mind, learning as much as [he] can and allowing [himself] the opportunity to try and learn new things” Jonathan, hopes to overcome his challenges.

We asked Jonathan:

What do you hope to gain from this experience?

I hope to become a better man than I am now and to improve my knowledge of culture and traditional environmental consultations so I can bring them back to Canada.

Meet Our Interns: Dennis Kirkness

IAYI 2011-2012: Dennis Kirkness

Thirty-four-year-old Dennis Kirkness travelled from Thompson, Manitoba all set for adventure. Moving to Halifax, NS for two weeks to work as the Youth Local Wisdom Research Facilitator with ACIC member organization GPI Atlantic, Dennis was preparing himself for what was to come. Dennis, who has never travelled outside of the United States, says he applied for the International Aboriginal Youth Internship (IYIP), “out of respect for his elders and peers”. Dennis will travel alongside fellow IYIP intern, Jonathan Wright to Bhutan for a four month internship at the Bhutan Youth Development Fund before returning to Halifax to complete his internship.

Dennis says his he hopes to gain, “valuable work experiences that will help [him] gain a leadership role in [his] home community”. He thinks his most challenging aspect of the six month internship is going to be the “culture shock” of living overseas in Bhutan.

This will be his first taste of an “exotic experience”. He hopes to come back to Canada with a better understanding of international development and a pocketful of experience.

We asked Dennis:

What are you most excited about? 

Excited about meeting the people of Bhutan; to see their people working and learn about gross happiness.

Meet Our Interns: Zane Silliboy

IAYI 2011-2012: Zane Sylliboy

Halifax native, Zane Sylliboy has travelled the world, but he’s never been to Chile. At twenty-two-years-old Zane is itching to travel again. Spending two months working for the Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nations Chiefs Secretariat in Cole Harbour (Millbrook) Nova Scotia, and four months overseas working as the Community Engagement Assistant for the Williche Council of Chiefs in Chiloe, Chile, Zane hopes to gain “great professional contacts, knowledge and understanding of [Chilean] culture.”

Zane is eager to learn “how to properly speak Spanish”, noting it as his biggest challenge, but looks forward to being around Spanish-speakers who can help him improve.

We asked Zane:

What are you most excited about? 

I'm very excited about where I'm going to be living; to see the local area and taste the food.

What do you hope to gain from this experience? 

Some great professional contacts, knowledge and understanding of the culture including the Natives.