Co-op for Indigenous students

Nicole Mandryk
Nicole Mandryk (psychology and Indigenous studies) was hired to engage with local Aboriginal communities through summer programs offered at Mary’s Farm and Sanctuary, including nature-based counselling, equine-facilitated wellness workshops, drumming events and youth camps.

The co-op program offers many exciting opportunities for Indigenous students to connect with employers and gain culturally relevant work experience. Learn more about co-op or find answers to common questions below.

TIP: You can also check out Indigenous career programs, which run separately from the co-op program.

Frequently asked questions

Can co-op work with band funding?

Each band has different funding policies, so please ask your band to see how funding can work with your co-op degree or contact our  coordinator for help.

Are there culturally relevant co-op positions?

Co-op offers many culturally relevant work opportunities that will help you gain experience and build your technical, professional and community-based skills. Our employers include large companies, government ministries, organizations that impact Indigenous communities, and community-based groups, such as community organizations and tribal councils. You can also apply to any other co-op jobs you're interested in.

You can also work with our  coordinator to develop a customized position in your own community or with a particular employer you're interested in.

I'm a part-time student. Can I join co-op?

We offer a part-time parallel program for part-time students, so you can gain relevant work experience without disrupting your school/life balance. Contact your co-op program for more information.

Will co-op work if I have a family and dependents?

Many students balance their academic degrees with family responsibilities. Co-op supports you in many ways:

Unique exchange opportunities

If you're an Indigenous co-op student, you may be able to travel to Australia to take part in a unique Indigenous co-op exchange. You'll complete a work term that connects you to Indigenous people and communities in Australia, while Indigenous students will travel to Victoria to take part in UVic's LE,NONET program and complete a community internship. Partner institutions include:

Meet the Indigenous coordinator

Renée Livernoche
My name is Renée Livernoche and I am the LE,NONET Experiential and Community Learning Coordinator at the Office of Indigenous Academic and Community Engagement. I thought I would take this opportunity to introduce myself as I’m looking forward to meeting you! I am French Canadian with roots to the Innu Nation of Northern Québec, privileged to be born and raised here in the Lkwungen and WSÁNEĆ Territories. I’ve had opportunity to meet some of you here in the hallway or at some of our functions at the First Peoples House and I am eager to keep building relationships.

I completed a Bachelor of Arts with a double minor in Indigenous Studies and Women’s Studies at the University of Victoria in 2007, and a Master of Arts in 2009 with a specialization in Applied Theatre, also at the University of Victoria. I was an interdisciplinary student and completed coursework in education, social work, psychology, environmental studies and sociology. Since my graduation, I found employment in education and training, job coaching and social services. I have a strong belief that each individual has the ability to have a profound impact on the world they live in and I am dedicated to working collaboratively with others in order to learn, share and build healthy, open communities. I look forward to helping Indigenous students shine as you discover your future goals and career plans! Stop by and say hello! I’ll be privileged to hear your story.

As the LE,NONET Experiential and Community Learning Coordinator, I can help you:
  • find relevant work in your field of study
  • connect students with Indigenous organizations and First Nations communities who hire students
  • help students find culturally relevant co-op opportunities—projects or services that impact or partner with Indigenous communities
  • learn more about the LE,NONET program
  • find career resources and discuss band funding issues

You can reach me at lenonetelc@uvic.ca or 250-721-6326, or in room 154 of the First Peoples House.

Hear about UVic's Indigenous co-op exchange

Learn about UVic's Indigenous mock interview clinics