The NAIS internship is intended to provide an important basis for a career on or near indigenous communities, in Native serving institutions, and graduate school. Internships can help students gain important experiential learning and to connect with the network of professionals in their chosen career. Coursework in the major and minor are designed to help students understand and function well in the likely careers of their choice.
Since the early years of our program, we developed internships with local government agencies, including tribal agencies, schools, local businesses and even national offices serving indigenous peoples. Summer internships are often worked out between students and businesses and agencies in their home communities, giving students valuable work experience and personal contacts in the most relevant jobs available. Several students have also found that working with appropriate job sites leads to graduate studies, as they become aware of the need for specialized degrees in crucial areas of community development.
One intern worked in a diabetes prevention program, designing media materials and school presentations. Some have completed teaching certification here at FLC and used their NAIS major in that career. One student interned in the regional office of one of Colorado’s congressmen. Another worked with a tribal newspaper and radio station, while another intern worked as an aid to a tribal council member. These are just a few examples of interesting internships our students have been able to create.
The NAIS program can also help students connect with many national internships. With special arrangements, those internships can also be credited toward the NAIS major or minor.