About the Program

The Program

The I-STEAM Pathways Environmental Education Program for Indigenous Students at the University of Alberta is an experiential learning program providing opportunities for Indigenous undergraduate students to participate in post-secondary environmental research and education. As a cross-disciplinary program it enables First Nations, Métis and Inuit students to gain research experience in a variety of environmental fields including science, environmental engineering, environmental law and policy.

Watch the video of the 2021 program here.

Applications for the 2022 summer internship program open 22 December 2021.

Successful applicants become part of a fully-paid Summer Internship cohort that works closely with leading environmental experts and researchers from the University of Alberta. Every student participates in non-credit interdisciplinary seminars and completes a hands-on research project.

The 2020 inaugural Internship program saw 13 Indigenous students enrolled into 11 research projects 10-16 weeks in duration, under the supervision of 11 of the University’s top researchers. The projects spanned a wide range of subject matter from Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology Professor Debra Davidson’s work on monitoring the social and environmental impacts of resource extraction in the North, to Engineering Professor Michael Lipsett’s development of amphibious robots to  conduct environmental monitoring, to Earth and Atmospheric Science Professor Tara McGee’s investigation of the impacts of wildfire smoke on Indigenous communities.

The 2021 year saw 54 applications received with 20 Indigenous students enrolled into 19 research projects, again covering a wide range of subject matter, from pollinator bees to effect of tree host and population phase on dispersal of mountain pine beetles and developing air quality monitoring devices for remote and reserve communities.

Of the 54 student applications for the 2021 Summer program, the I-STEAM Pathways Indigenous internship program at the University of Alberta funded 19. The program relies on the generosity of public and private donors to support Indigenous interns and scale up the program.  Learn more about how you can support the program, or contact us directly.


Our program development process and approach included engagement with Paul First Nation Industrial Relations Corporation (PFN IRC) represented by Raymond Cardinal, subject matter expert who served as Indigenous Expert and liaison person on their behalf.

The Team

Today the multi-disciplinary I-STEAM Pathways team comprises  Indigenous and non-Indigenous researchers and experts from three University of Alberta Faculties:

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