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Wisdom: OpenText and LU partner to create internships for Indigenous students

New program will create up to 25 full-time summer internships for Indigenous students.
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OpenText™ and Lakehead University announced a new program that will create up to 25 full-time summer internships for Indigenous students studying at Lakehead.

 “We are just in the process of building what that looks like right now, the main requirement is that they are an Indigenous student, first of all, because this is an internship for Indigenous students who are at Lakehead University at any of our three campuses,” said vice-provost of Indigenous initiatives Denise Baxter.

“So whether they’re in Thunder Bay, Orillia, or the Barrie campus, that is part of what they are looking at, the other piece that we’re looking at is that they can be undergraduate or graduate students, so it’s basically after the first year they can apply regardless of what year their study is.”

The four-month internships will allow students to intern remotely at OpenText in the software engineering, marketing, finance, information technology, and human resources departments.

“OpenText believes a critical action Corporate Canada must take in removing barriers for Indigenous students is to create jobs,” said OpenText CEO and CTO Mark J. Barrenechea.

“Through this exciting partnership with Lakehead University, OpenText will create a next-generation internship program for Indigenous students that offers a compelling pathway to digital jobs. I look forward to welcoming these students, creating digital skills and learning from them.”

 Lakehead has over a thousand self-identified Indigenous students enrolled in 2020, which represents 12 per cent of the University’s domestic student population – one of the highest enrolments of self-identified Indigenous students among Ontario universities. 

 Lakehead president and vice-chancellor Dr. Moira McPherson are excited about the significance of this partnership. 

 “We understand the barriers that Indigenous students face when looking for ways to start and nurture careers,” McPherson said.

“Partnerships like this one with OpenText will contribute greatly to our students’ futures by providing experiences to work hand-in-hand with professionals in their field, apply skills and knowledge they gained at Lakehead University, and share their culture and history with others.”

Both OpenText and Lakehead University acknowledge the findings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, including the call for businesses to build respectful relationships with Indigenous peoples, ensure equitable access to jobs, training, and education opportunities in the corporate sector.

The first recruitment for the OpenText Indigenous Internship Program will take place this fall, with the placements occurring during the summer of 2022.

For more information on the OpenText Indigenous Internship Program, visit their website

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