What Do We Do?
Summer cohorts of Indigenous interns work directly with host organizations, ideally Tribal and Indigenous led, from across the country to work on projects specifically benefiting the Tribal climate resilience efforts. We encourage and emphasize the need and significance for the interns to learn about the intergenerational teachings between Elders and Leaders in order for Elders and youth to pass on cultural teachings, language and Traditional and Indigenous knowledges.
Learn more about our summer 2022 interns.
Apply for a paid 8-week summer internship which may have a research, technical, educational or policy focus. You can apply for up to 5 positions with one application and preferred choice is not guaranteed. The internship program provides each student intern with a $6,400 stipend. There are travel and housing stipends for those that relocate for the internship.
Identify as Native American/Alaska Native
Full-time undergraduate or graduate college student during Spring 2023 (12 hours undergrad, 9 hours grad) at any tribal college, college or university
Have at least a 2.5 cumulative GPA
Majoring in an environmental or related field like science, engineering, planning, policy, law, management, political science, anthropology, or health
Interested in pursuing an environmental career after graduating
Proficient verbal and written communication skills
Strong interest in working with Tribal and Indigenous communities
The 2023 application deadline has passed. To learn about upcoming internship opportunities, please sign up for the Tribes and Climate Change Program monthly newsletter. If you have questions, please contact Kelsey Morales at Kelsey.Morales@nau.edu.
2023 Host Sites
We are honored to partner with organizations, who will serve as host sites, doing on-the-ground work to protect our human and non-human relatives across our Mother Earth. Each host site is responsible for developing a specific work plan for climate-related projects and may work with the intern on additional tasks. Work plans may include community outreach and engagement, conducting community interviews, engaging in research, working on the implementation of climate resilience actions, creating transformative art projects and more.
Advancing Resilience with Tribal Nations in Southern California
San Diego, CA
This collaborative project will work to promote Tribal resilience by bringing together knowledge systems and supporting actions that advance Indigenous management practices to the forefront with a focus on preserving the ecosystems and plant species that are integral to Tribal communities impacted by climate change. This internship will engage our Tribal partners to lead the work with researchers and other partners, using Traditional Ecological Knowledge, across the region (including Mexico) to advance understanding of climate change impacts to plant communities and implement strategies to conserve and protect these resources, provide support to Native-led projects, and identify opportunities to advance self-sustaining Intertribal projects for conservation and restoration.
Just Transition for Tribal Nations in the Southwest
Tó Nizhóní Ání is seeking a full-time intern whose research objectives, projects and proposals will focus on the just-transition movement in the Southwest U.S. region. Bachelor's degree is required. Internship goals include:
• Conduct outcomes focused research to analyze the impact of natural resource extraction on Indigenous communities of the Navajo Nation Reservation.
• Identify relevant information on the state of reclamation of Black Mesa and the position of Peabody Coal.
• Identify the positions of decision and policy makers within the Department of Interior on issues pertaining to Black Mesa
• Develop projects and methods to increase knowledge, capacity, and access to resources for an existing community led movement to achieve economic and environmental justice.
Review the full internship description here.
Climate Storytelling with Indigenous Youth in New Mexico
Climate Advocates Voces Unidas (CAVU)
Santa Fe/Albuquerque, NM
CAVU is seeking an intern who is passionate about climate change education and communication. CAVU collaborates with local Pueblos to engage Indigenous youth in the Climate Innovation Challenge (CIC) to support students in creating climate change solutions through storytelling and video production. CIC provides a free climate change curriculum and support for teachers and students in grades 3-12. This education and communication intern will work closely with CAVU’s Indigenous Education Liaison to facilitate CIC programs including leading workshops for Native youth camps, assisting in classroom presentations, recruiting teachers and students in the program, and indigenizing climate change curriculum and activities for Indigenous communities. This intern will also work on-the-ground with CAVU’s communication staff through an advocacy approach that includes sharing diverse perspectives through digital storytelling, covering events and increasing our stock media library, creating original content (prioritizing Reels) around existing/emerging/intersectional climate issues and CAVU program areas, creating serial content from CAVU design templates, and deepening our engagement with younger underrepresented populations, including BIPOC, LGBTQIA+ and frontline communities.
Restoring Native Grasslands for Climate Adaptation
Tribal Alliance for Pollinators (TAP)
TAP is pleased to host an 8-week, full time internship for an interested undergraduate or graduate student. TAP is a nonprofit organization that assists tribes and tribal members with restoring native plants to their lands in order to create wildlife habitat, support Indigenous cultural preservation, and protect the ecosystems that are relied on by threatened species of pollinators. It is the only Native-led organization in the world dedicated to grassland restoration. The internship will focus on the following areas: improving the biodiversity of the TAP seed bank (the largest native plant seed bank in the state of Oklahoma); growing native plants for restoration projects on tribal land; providing pollinator support outreach to tribes; and teaching tribal communities about managing grassland ecosystems to adapt to climate change.
This internship would run between June 10th and August 10th.
Advancing Resilience with Indigenous Communities in the Yukon River Drainage
Yukon River Drainage Fisheries Commission
The intern will learn about the Yukon River drainage fisheries in a holistic way. The Yukon River is unique due to the management structure, the international obligations, and our traditional ways of living. The intern will be working on the Yukon River In-season Teleconference Calls. The calls happen every Tuesday from June through the end of August. The calls are attended by people who reside in the communities along the Yukon River and by state and federal fishery managers. During the calls people provide community reports that provide us with observations on weather, river conditions, changes in the environment, and fish conditions. The calls are transcribed and made into summaries that are available on our website and emailed to stakeholders along the river. Other duties will include assisting with YRDFA's projects that gather local observations and interviews from traditional knowledge holders within the Yukon River Drainage.
Advancing Wildfire Resilience with Tribal Communities in New Mexico
Jemez, NM or Virtual
This project seeks to enhance the ability of Tribal communities affected by wildfires in New Mexico to access resources needed for recovery and protection of the lands in which they live or are culturally significant.
The primary geographic focus of the project will be Pueblos directly impacted by the 2022 wildfires, including Cochiti, Jemez, Zia and Picuris. Internship activities may include:
Meet virtually or in person with natural resource managers of the Pueblos directly impacted by the 2022 wildfires
Tour burn scar sites as well as areas vulnerable to future wildfires to assess the damage, any ongoing threats and cultural impacts
Meet virtually with Tribal leaders to identify and review their priority recovery projects, including ways to enhance traditional practice and culturally supportive undertakings in the recovery
Help conduct a needs assessment
Help develop a One Day Recovery Workshop
Help develop a case study and resource list that can be shared with other tribes affected by wildfires to serve as a model for addressing recovery in a culturally appropriate manner
Advancing Tribal Resilience with Data Tools and Youth Engagement
Adaptation International/Upper Snake River Tribes
Boise, ID or Virtual
Adaptation International and the Upper Snake River Tribes (USRT) Foundation are seeking an intern to help with the development of a Tribal Resilience Action Database (TRAD), support designing and facilitating climate workshops, and serving as a youth leader for enrichment camps for Tribal youth. Through this internship, the intern will gain direct experience working with Tribes, Tribal organizations, and Tribal allies in dynamic and creative ways to develop solutions to the climate crisis.
● The TRAD is a new cutting edge tool that compiles and shares resilience strategies and actions from Indigenous and Tribal communities. The intern will help test and refine the data portal so that it is useful for communities across the country.
● The intern will participate in the planning and development of materials as well as the successful implementation of in-person and virtual climate workshops. These workshops will involve New Mexico Pueblos as well as the four USRT member Tribes.
● Two weeks of the internship will involve running on the ground enrichment camps focused on sustainability, climate resilience, and Indigenous storytelling for Tribal high school students from USRT’s four member tribes in various locations in Idaho. Information on past USRT youth camps can be found here.