Amherst/Truro – On August 11, 2011, MP Scott Armstrong encouraged local aboriginal youth in Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley  to participate in the Government of Canada’s new International Aboriginal Youth Internship (IAYI) initiative. On June 21, the Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of International Cooperation, announced an innovative program to provide Canadian aboriginal youth an opportunity to participate in Canada’s foreign aid projects in developing countries around the world working with eight Canadian non-governmental development organizations.

“Aboriginal youth have extensive knowledge, experience and skills that can contribute to the success of international development projects,” said Minister Oda. “These internships will enrich the lives of aboriginal youth from across Canada and provide them with opportunities to increase their awareness and understanding of international development issues.”

“In Canada we are fortunate to have a strong and vibrant community. I know of many aboriginal youth who would be excellent representatives of Canada,” said, MP Scott Armstrong. “This is a unique opportunity to work internationally on projects that will make a real difference on the ground and in the lives of people in need. I encourage youth to look up the websites and apply.”

Minister Oda and MP Scott Armstrong invite aboriginal youth from across Canada to join international development efforts by applying for internships with the selected organizations. The organizations are: AMIE, the Atlantic Council for International Cooperation, Canada World Youth, Canadian Institute of Planners, Canadian Urban Institute, Comite de Solidarite Trois-Rivieres, Victoria International Development Education Association, and the Interagency Coalition on AIDS and Development.

The selected interns will work in Bhutan, Bolivia, Chile, Ethiopia, Guyana, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Peru, the Philippines, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia.

“Our government is committed to supporting the development and growth of aboriginal youth,” said Minister Duncan, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada. “I welcome this great opportunity for aboriginal youth to gain unique insights and international experience.”

Up to 63 Aboriginal youth from across Canada will have the opportunity to work abroad this year, enhancing their knowledge of issues that touch people in developing countries, while increasing their ability to promote international development work here in Canada.

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