Originally from Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Labrador, Michelle Saunders is an Inuk woman who completed her Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology at Memorial University of Newfoundland in May 2018. Michelle concentrated in ecology and conservation during her studies and has started her own research project titled the “Nunatsiavut Field Guide to the Birds of Labrador” which works with the Inuit of Labrador combining traditional and scientific knowledge on local birds.
During this internship, Michelle hopes to learn more about international Indigenous issues as well as learn more about research needs, goals, and practices from Indigenous groups before pursuing her graduate degree.
The Labrador Institute International Indigenous Intern program is funded by the Labrador Institute (a division of Memorial University), International Grenfell Association, Nunatsiavut Government and NunatuKavut Community Council. The program consists of a 2 month internship at the University of the Arctic in Rovaniemi, Finland followed by a 2 month internship at the Arctic Council Indigenous Peoples Secretariat in Tromsø, Norway. After the internship is complete, Michelle will return to Labrador to present and talk with Indigenous youth about her experiences in university and her work abroad to increase awareness of Indigenous issues and encourage youth to pursue higher education.
Memorial University has been a member of the University of the Arctic since 2006.