Outdoor Engagement Center Launches Preservation Internship

The SUU Outdoor Engagement Center has announced a new internship for Native American youth interested in helping preserve native lands in Southern Utah.

The new initiative, called the Ancestral Lands Program, is aiming to complete several conservation projects in both the Grand Staircase Escalante and Cedar Break National Monument.

Faralene Williams, the program Crew Leader, said, “Being Native American, I feel the [program] is important because it helps support the land our culture believes is sacred.”

According to Williams, students will gain valuable job experiences and exposure to future career opportunities with public lands agencies around the state. “The program enables Native American youth to complete valuable projects that help them connect in positive ways to their surrounding community,” Williams said.

IIC students working

The program is a collaboration between the National Park Foundation, Conservation Legacy’s Ancestral Lands Project based out of Durango, and the Utah corps.

“This is one of the coolest youth engagement endeavors we’ve done,” Briget Eastep, the SUU Outdoor Engagement Center Director, said. “We hope it will lead to stronger relations with the tribes and national parks in Utah.”

The National Park Foundation, one of the organizations involved in the Ancestral Lands Program, is providing a $252,100 grant to help fund the program.

The internship will begin in May 2019 and last for 40 weeks. There are 66 positions available for Utah Native American youth and young adults to help out with the conservation projects.

Those interested in the learning more can call (435)-586-1993 or visit the SUU Outdoor Engagement Center located in the Leadership Engagement Center.

Story By: Treyson Lyon
Photos Provided By: SUU Outdoor Engagement Center