The summer of 2017 was the inaugural year of our Cultural Internship Program. Through contributions by Bonneville Power Administration as well as matching funds from the Nez Perce Tribe Cultural Resource Program we were able to accept 11 tribal students; one college and 10 high school. The interns got to participate in various site visits, excavations, ethnographic interviews, museum archival research, and language curriculum development throughout the course of the 12 week program.
This year, largely thanks to partnerships with the Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, and National Forest Service, we are hosting a second Cultural Internship Program. Interns are scheduled to spend part of their time working with Nez Perce Tribe Cultural Resource Program Staff learning about cultural resource mangement, and part of their time with agency staff working on assigned projects.
We accepted 9 tribal students, 3 college and 6 high school, to work on targeted research projects with deliverables to be submitted to the field offices of the respective agencies they are receiving their funding through. All 3 of our college interns have received funding to work with the Payette National Forest staff to participate in archaeological surveys withing the forest boundaries and complete an ethnographic land use study of the area. 3 high school interns are working with BLM Baker City Office staff to conduct archaeological site monitoring along the Grand Ronde River by raft, as well as develop a land use study about that area. Our remaining interns, through charitable donations, will work directly with CRP staff to learn about the ethnographic, archival, and archaeological work we do in order to develop the professional skills necessary to begin a career in the field of cultural resource management.
At the end of the summer the interns will have an opportunity to present on their findings and experiences during their time here, and we hope their work will pave the way for future students to continue this important work.