The Tłı̨chǫ Government and Hay River’s Northern Farm Training Institute have partnered to launch a project that helps Tłı̨chǫ residents develop skills in food, farming, and beyond.
Participants in the paid internship will live at the farm campus from October to December, spending six hours a day working on the farm and another two hours developing other skills.
Jackie Milne – president of the farm training institute, known as NFTI – said the exact skills developed could be anything that makes someone better positioned to enjoy their job, cope with stress, and have fun.
“Say someone doesn’t have their driver’s licence,” she said. “We’ll put that on the list and we’ll help study for a driver’s test together.”
Milne said instructors are standing by for everything from yoga and music to chainsaw safety and first aid.
“It’s quite open, because all of us have different areas that we might want to strengthen,” she said.
Work on the farm will follow the seasons. In the fall and winter, the first three-person cohort to take part in the program will help NFTI with small-scale construction projects, servicing vehicles, and preparing food.
“Really practical, fundamental things,” said Milne. “When you farm, you need to eventually know how to do everything.”
There are plans to expand the internship in January, hosting larger cohorts of up to 10 people.
Two of the three available positions this fall are already filled. Applications are still being accepted for the third position this fall and for the second intake in January.
To apply, Tłı̨chǫ residents can contact NFTI or the Tłı̨chǫ Government.
The Tłı̨chǫ Government could not be reached for comment.