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Providing opportunities to Indigenous youth

© Verónica Sacalxot, Casa Ixmayab

The Indigenous Peoples Professional Experience Program was first launched in Guatemala in 2017, and was replicated last year at the Canadian Embassy in Peru. This program gives recent university graduates who self-identify as Indigenous a 6-month opportunity to work in the 2 embassies. The program has enabled Canada to advance discussions on Indigenous peoples and their rights in both countries.

Program graduates provide analysis, research, training and other skills from an Indigenous perspective while they gain valuable experience in international relations and development work. The program represents a concrete commitment to integrate an Indigenous worldview into Canada’s international engagement and advance Canada’s policy on diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

Kanek Nimwitz, from Guatemala, and Juan Segundo Escobar, from Peru, are 2 of the program’s graduates. They contributed to reports on the impact of COVID-19 on Indigenous peoples in Guatemala and Peru.

A similar program is currently being developed at the Canadian Embassy in Bolivia. This will help Canada to continue to build a valuable network of Indigenous professionals in the Americas who have experience working with Global Affairs Canada and expertise in Indigenous rights.

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