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UNBC creating Indigenous Research Ambassador Program

The program will see 10 six-month internships and 12 Indigenous student awards
Marion Erickson UNBC
Marion Erickson will lead the new Indigenous Research Ambassador Program. Erickson is Dakelh from the community of Nak'azdli and is a member of the Lhs'umusyoo (Beaver) Clan. She has a Bachelor of Public Administration and Community Development from UNBC and is currently a Master of Education candidate at Thompson Rivers University.

The University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) is launching new Indigenous research ambassador programs.

A new set of research internships and scholarships at UNBC will give Indigenous students the skills to introduce respectful, culturally sensitive and collaborative community-based research tools to fellow students using Indigenous and non-Indigenous research methodologies.

The Indigenous Research Ambassador Program and the Mitacs Indigenous Research Award are being offered in association with Mitacs which is a national not-for-profit research organization.

Mitacs works in partnership with companies, government and academia to develop the next generation of innovators with vital scientific and business skills through unique research and training programs.

The Mitacs-supported initiatives will create 10 six-month internships and 12 Indigenous student awards.

The ambassadors will work with Indigenous researchers and knowledge holders for an introduction to research and advise fellow students about research-related opportunities at UNBC.

They will also providing advice to the Office of Research and Innovation and Office of Indigenous Initiatives on how to improve student programming, celebrate research and get more students involved in research.

“Mitacs is demonstrating valuable leadership in cultivating research capacity and fostering diversity in those who conduct that research,” said UNBC President Dr. Geoff Payne in a news release.

“Partnerships on such critical areas of need are vital to advancing Truth and Reconciliation while also providing rich, experiential learning opportunities for UNBC students.”

The Indigenous Research Ambassador program will engage students in research and experiential learning opportunities, connect them with researchers and communities, facilitate leadership and mentorship opportunities and celebrate and promote research and cultural connection to the natural world. UNBC is also providing participants with laptops to assist with digital equity.

Mitacs is pleased to be collaborating with UNBC on this important initiative that will offer experiential learning opportunities to Indigenous students while also developing more diverse, community-oriented research tools,” said John Hepburn, CEO, Mitacs.

“We look forward to seeing the difference these ambassadors are sure to make.”

Students who want more information on the opportunity are encouraged to contact Indigenous Research Ambassador Lead Marion Erickson.

The Indigenous Research Ambassador Program application form is also available online through UNBC’s website.