Clear Seas’ Indigenous Internship Program

Discover Clear Seas’ Indigenous Internship Program: An initiative to conduct inclusive maritime-related research that considers Traditional Knowledge and builds research capacity within Indigenous and coastal communities.

A program designed for you and led by you

Community first. That’s the philosophy behind our Internship Program providing Indigenous students with an opportunity to work on maritime-related issues that are important to Indigenous communities.

Whether it’s understanding and conserving marine life, applying the medicine wheel to the health and wellness of communities affected by marine shipping, or mitigating the effects of invasive species on traditional food sources, this program will provide you with a unique opportunity for learning, with mentorship from recognized instructors and counsel from traditional leaders.

Learn more about the program from Sarah Thomas, Clear Seas’ Director of Indigenous and Coastal Community Relations:

The opportunity

The program offers a 4 to 6 months, hands-on paid educational experience that will:

  • Allow you to mobilize your knowledge and passion for research
  • Develop your skillset as you address a key maritime-related research topic of importance to an Indigenous community
  • Acquire knowledge and build meaningful relationships with communities, mentors, and fellow interns
  • Make a real difference in the state of research around sustainable marine shipping in Canada, and more!

Post-secondary students, and Indigenous learners from across Canada are invited to apply. Successful candidates will have the opportunity to start the program as early as now and as late as Spring 2023.

Apply Now

Voices of the program: Meet the interns from the 2021 cohort

Headshot of Cheyenne Williams

“I arrived in the role of this internship as an Indigenous woman seeking to work with nearby nations toward food sovereignty, food sustainability and to support the resurgence of land and marine-based learning. What drives me in all the work I do is a desire to engage with and maintain Traditional Ecological Knowledge.”

— Cheyenne Williams, Quw’utsun Tribes, Coast Salish territory

Headshot of Rayne Boyko

As a young Indigenous woman working in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, this research internship was a great opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the field. Being a part of this invasive species research on Haida Gwaii, has inspired me to continue to challenge the colonial ways of knowing which dominate the field and the systematic barriers that affect and silence Indigenous peoples.”

— K’aayhldaa Xyaalaas (Rayne Boyko), Haida Gwaii

Headshot of Charity Champagne

“When I was offered the opportunity to learn and do research with the Tsleil-Waututh Nation I chose to examine the impacts of Marine Shipping in the Burrard Inlet on the health and well-being of the Tsleil-Waututh people […] I hope to continue this work over the upcoming summer, […] with the intention of grounding and deepening the project, and to eventually use it to bridge the innermost circle of community wisdom, to the outermost circle of policy change and sustainability.

– Charity Champagne, Métis and Cree


Learn more about the interns’ projects, experiences, and takeaways from the 2021 Internship Program, here.

Commonly asked questions about Clear Seas’ Indigenous internship program

Any Indigenous post-secondary student who is enrolled in or intends to enrol in a degree or certificate program at a Canadian college or university. All academic disciplines are welcome.

No. We want passionate post-secondary students who are enrolled or intending to enroll in a college or university degree or program. Some students may have a degree, but none is required to enter the program.

No. Students can reside in any part of Canada and may be based on their traditional territories or Nations. You can do on-site research in a community and work with advisors online using remote learning.

Ultimately, it’s your choice. You can conduct research or answer a question about marine shipping and its impact on the environment or communities. Examples of prior research have included such topics as shipping risk, invasive species, clam gardens and oil pollution. Advisors will be available to help you scope the project.

The interns are eligible to start as early as now and as late as Spring 2023.

The program has been set up at no cost to applicants. Successful interns will receive a payment of $10,000 for each project.

It will depend on research projects and the scope. In most cases, projects will range from 4 to 6 months. There is also an option to extend your internship if your project takes longer than 6 months.

Simply, go to our online application form and tell us about yourself and how you want to change the world! Well, the marine shipping world. And we’ll help guide you through the application.

Clear Seas will support you with academic advisors, industry connections and other resources.

Justin Perry headshot

Does your community want to support an internship? Contact Justin Perry, Program Lead in charge of the Internship, at

About Clear Seas’ Indigenous internship program

The Indigenous Internship Program was developed and launched in 2021, as part of the Clear Seas mandate to conduct inclusive maritime-related research that considers Traditional Knowledge and builds research capacity within Indigenous and coastal communities. The program aims to develop partnerships with Indigenous communities across Canada by collaborating on research projects of mutual interest. This initiative is conducted in collaboration with the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) and Mitacs – a not-for-profit organization that drives innovation through the creation of internships.

Published March 9, 2022

Last modified on December 16, 2022