Beaver First Nation is a Northern Alberta Treaty 8 Nation, made up of members of the Danezaa people, also known as the Beavers. Beaver First Nation is one of only two Danezaa bands in Alberta (the other being the Horse Lake First Nation). The band controls two reserves, Boyer 164 and Child Lake 164A, both near Fort Vermillion in beautiful northern Peace Country. Beaver has a small registered population of approximately 1000 community members, over half of whom live away from the reserve.
Beaver First Nation and Engage North first partnered in 2013, and interns have been invited into the community every summer since 2014. Interns work primarily through the BFN Band Office, located in Boyer. Some of the ongoing projects facilitated by Engage North interns include consulting on land use and lands claims, and creating programming for community youth.
Agricultural Land Analysis Internship -
Working with community members, business leaders, and mentors from the University of Alberta, interns undertook a research project to analyze various community uses for a large plot of land belonging to the Beaver First Nation in north-eastern Alberta. This will include analyzing the land’s agricultural potential and investigating market factors that could contribute to providing income for the benefit of members of the Beaver First Nation community members.
Land and Consultation Internship –
Beaver First Nation lands are located on an economically valuable consultative territory. This means that the Nation is often involved in negotiations with forestry, oil and gas and other natural resource companies in the region. Engage North interns work as a part of the BFN Land and Resource Department to support their consultative processes, research historical and cultural land uses both on reserve and in the BFN consultative territory, as well as engaging in community projects that arise over the summer. Interns will also collaborate with community members and consultants as needed to support successful relationships between BFN and the natural resource industry. Some of the intern’s duties include surveying lands; assisting in mapping activities; completing research as required; aiding with and attending Treaty Land Entitlement meetings between Chief and Council and industry representatives and planning projects for the Nation.
Youth and Recreation Internship –
The Youth and Recreation intern works with the Beaver First Nation Band Office to help provide programming during the summer months for youth living on the Boyer and Child Lake Reserves. Interns work closely with BFN and University of Alberta mentors to develop programing and recreational opportunities for youth and community members throughout the summer. These duties include developing after-school programming for Rocky Lane School during May and June; developing summer break programming and activities; accompanying Beaver youth to events and camps within and outside of Boyer/Child Lake Reserves; participating in fundraising events for youth; and organizing community-wide events to facilitate intergenerational sharing of knowledge and skills. Interns are also expected to engage with the community in traditional events and gatherings as they arise. Interns are encouraged to develop a wide variety of programming, including arts and crafts workshops, sporting events and leadership development workshops.