The I-STEAM Pathways Environmental Education Program for Indigenous Students at the University of Alberta provides opportunities for Indigenous undergraduate students to participate in experiential post-secondary environmental education. The goal is to enable First Nations, Métis or Inuit students to gain research experience in environmental fields including science, environmental engineering, environmental law and policy.
Successful applicants become part of a 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.
The I-STEAM Pathways Indigenous internship program at the University of Alberta relies on public and private funding to operate. 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.
Today the multi-disciplinary I-STEAM Pathways team comprises Indigenous and non-Indigenous researchers and experts from three University of Alberta Faculties:
- Dr. Makere Stewart-Harawira, Indigenous, Environmental and Global Studies, Faculty of Education
- Dr. Greg Goss, Professor, Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science
- Jessica Vandenberghe, Industry Professor – Indigenous Engineering, Faculty of Engineering
- The program is administered by Benjamin Denga, Faculty of Education.