Into the Wilderness: My Co-op experience with Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, Yukon Region

Into the Wilderness: My Co-op experience with Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, Yukon Region

By: Kathryn Norada
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The Yukon was always a mystery to me; something I didn’t know very much about. I was born and raised in Vancouver, BC and have never been up North before. I was unsure what to expect for my four month long co-op term with INAC, let alone what Whitehorse had in store for me. But a place that held beautiful blue lakes and rivers, and breathtaking mountaintop views, I could not have asked for a better place to spend my fifth co-op term.

In four months alone, I can now say I’ve hunted and ate bear, learned how to fish, canoed up and down beaver dams, driven to Haines and Skagway in Alaska, camped on an unnamed island, sat atop the dunes in the Carcross Desert, and stared up at the sky in amazement as the sun never set.

INAC offered up even more adventures; I spent a night in the historical town of Faro for the Faro Mine Remediation Project, attended the Council of First Nations General Assembly when the Minister of INAC came on her ministerial visit, spent a day in the Yukon Archives collecting and researching photographs on Canada’s past, watched handmade dug-out canoes launch at the dock for the ADAKA arts festival, worked with the Yukon Government on the YukonProud Campaign in relation to self-governing First Nations, ate as much bannock as I could throughout National Aboriginal Week, and learned a lot about the history and relationship with First Nations in Canada.


As someone that started her first co-op term with a magazine company in Vancouver, I would’ve never thought I’d end up in Whitehorse with the Federal Government.

My time up there was a truly eye-opening experience. From realizing that Vancouver hikes had nothing on the Yukon mountains, to knowing that the Federal Government is a career I’d like to continue to pursue, the move to a new and “foreign” place is something I’d definitely do again.

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Posted on December 15, 2017