Octavian Lacatusu/Sooke News Mirror Monico Wasacase

First Nation interns reach out to the world

T’Sou-ke Nation and Victoria International Development Education Association bring interns together for a chance to see the world

To many, home is the world: family, familiarity and peace.

Those who’ve travelled beyond the confines of their own space, however, soon realize there is a much bigger, wider world out there.

For the Victoria International Development Education Association’s International Aboriginal Youth Internship program, this is precisely the idea.

As such, its assembled a group of 10 First Nations interns from across Canada; all women, aged 13 to 33, to travel to Zambia and Uganda for four months, where they will discover a new culture, as well as participate in educational and interactive activities with the local youth.

“We work together with the T’Sou-ke Nation in the process of the three-week briefing, which is what we’re doing right now,” said Rohan Stritch, international program manager.

The group will be split into two – five in Zambia, five in Uganda.

ea Walkus, 27, of the Heiltsuk First Nation in Bella Bella, this is something she’s always hoped for.

“I’ve always wanted to learn about other people’s cultures, get to know their ins and outs of their daily lifestyle,” said Walkus, who will be stationed in a Ugandan village as a craft outreach worker.

Walkus said the journey into a culture is close to her own drive of retaining one’s identity and origins.

“I was raised in a very cultural family. My mother always kept that part of our lives and made sure we were raised to have an appreciation for what my culture has to offer as an indigenous person,” she said.

For others, such as Monico Wasacase, 33, from the Kahkewisteahaw First Nation in Saskatchewan, this is just a continuation of a bigger journey, as she has already travelled through 10 different countries.

Wasacase will be part of the Zambia group.

“I’m really excited for it. I really enjoy new experiences, new cultures,” she said, adding that she’s happy she gets to stay there longer than two weeks and be part of a new community. From that experience, Wasacase hopes to bring back some of the wisdom and experience learned to her own community.

“After visiting all these places, what I hope to do is go back to my community and share with the youth that there are so many opportunities out there to explore and just go out into the world, no matter how far it is. Be brave and go for it,” she said.

The interns underwent a three-week pre-departure briefing at Pearson College in Metchosin, along with the guidance of the T’Sou-ke First Nation.

For Andrew Moore, projects manager for the T’Sou-ke First Nation, this is a realization come to life.

“We’re proud of this group to go out there and experience a whole new world. We’re very excited for them,” Moore said.

Just Posted

Another busy day for BC Ferry passengers

First sailings to and from Swartz Bay full or nearly full

Sooke kayak incident could have been averted: expert

Training is key, says local trainer

Did we mention the cookies?

An hour of your time could save a life at Sooke blood donor clinic

Fire damage to Esquimalt building leaves some tenants out for at least six months

Structural damage has barred half of the tenants from returning, while others might move back sooner

MISSING: Victoria woman Teci London

Victoria police are looking for a 41-year old woman last seen on April 16

4 victims killed in Penticton shooting spree remembered at vigil

John Brittain, 68, is charged with three counts of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder

Three climbers presumed dead after avalanche in Banff National Park

One of the men is American and the other two are from Europe, according to officials

TSB issues two safety recommendations in probe of fatal B.C. train derailment

The train derailment killed three crew members on board

VIDEO: Trump tried to seize control of Mueller probe, report says

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s report revealed to a waiting nation Thursday

Short-circuit likely caused Notre Dame fire: police official

Investigators made an initial assessment of the cathedral but can’t yet search charred interior

Whitecaps fans stage walkout over club’s response to allegations against B.C. coach

Soccer coach has been suspended by Coastal FC since February

Contaminated soil to stay at contentious Shawnigan Lake site?

Reaction: “The community would lose their minds if this plan proceeds.”

B.C. awaits Kenney’s ‘turn off taps,’ threat; Quebec rejects Alberta pipelines

B.C. Premier John Horgan said he spoke with Kenney Wednesday and the tone was cordial

Snowbirds arrive on Vancouver Island for annual spring training

VIDEO: Acrobatic air team back in Comox for annual spring training

Most Read