Ottawa, Ontario - Feb. 9, 2011 - Today, as part of CIDA's International Development Week, the Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of International Cooperation, introduced a new opportunity for Aboriginal youth from across Canada to participate in international development through the new International Aboriginal Youth Internships (IAYI) initiative.
"The new International Aboriginal Youth Internships initiative is an exciting, new initiative that will bring a new experience to Canada's Aboriginal youth," said Minister Oda. "Their unique perspective and heritage will enhance our work in developing countries and enrich their opportunities to contribute to Canada's efforts to bring a better life to those living in poverty around the world. I firmly believe that our government's outreach to the Aboriginal youth in Canada in this way will open new doors in their futures."
Through the IAYI initiative, each year 140 Canadian Aboriginal youth will have the opportunity to work in developing countries on Canadian-supported development projects with recognized organizations. This initiative will be supported with $10.5 million over five years.
In developing the initiative, CIDA consulted with national aboriginal organizations, including the Assembly of First Nations, the Native Women's Association of Canada, and the Métis National Council, as well as with Indian and Northern Affairs Canada and Canadian Heritage.
The internships will be implemented by qualified Canadian organizations selected under CIDA's new Global Citizens Program. Canadian organizations are invited to apply by submitting a proposal before April 7, 2011.
On July 22, 2010, Minister Oda announced the modernization of CIDA's partnership programming, including the Global Citizens Program (GCP). The GCP will create meaningful opportunities for Canadians to increase their knowledge of, and participation in, international development initiatives supported by Canada. The new program will invest in three major areas: public awareness, education and knowledge, and youth participation. It will build on a solid foundation and expand the engagement of Canadians within accountable initiatives that contribute to Canada's efforts abroad.
Over many years, through CIDA's internship and volunteer programs, many young Canadians have had the opportunity to work in developing countries with recognized organizations. These experiences have led them to pursue careers in international development, increase their awareness of the global society, and enrich their future pursuits. Engaging Aboriginal youth in international development through internships was identified as a component that might be enhanced under CIDA's youth participation efforts.
The International Aboriginal Youth Internships (IAYI) initiative announced today will support up to 140 interns annually. It will provide the candidates with an opportunity to work with a qualified Canadian organization in a developing country. The internships will focus on increasing the awareness, engagement, and participation of Aboriginal youth in international development, while providing them with opportunities to expand their skills base. In developing the IAYI initiative, CIDA consulted with national Aboriginal organizations, including the Assembly of First Nations, the Native Women's Association of Canada, and the Métis National Council, as well as with Indian and Northern Affairs Canada and Canadian Heritage.
CIDA is providing $10.5 million over a period of five years for the IAYI initiative. A call for proposals will be issued annually. For the first call for proposals, CIDA is inviting qualified Canadian organizations interested in applying to submit a project proposal before April 7, 2011.
Once organizations will have been selected, Aboriginal youth internship opportunities will be advertised by the organizations and across Canada through a variety of media, including CIDA's website. Individual Aboriginal youth will then be encouraged to apply through the organization of their choice.
For more information, please contact
Office of the Minister of International Cooperation
Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
Media Relations Office