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Introducing our 2023/24 Parliamentary Interns!

In early September, seven amazing youth leaders set out for Ottawa to begin their 10-month Parliamentary Internship for the Environment! Meet them here.

Pearl Pique Carpina (she/her) - Whitehorse, Yukon

Pearl holds a BSc in Northern Environmental and Conservation Sciences from Yukon University and the University of Alberta. Originally from Mayorga, Leyte, Philippines, she was raised in the traditional territories of Ta'an Kwäch'än Council and Kwanlin Dün First Nation in Whitehorse, Yukon, making her a proud Filipino Canadian.

Her previous role includes contributing to Yukon University's Academic and Research Planning Committee, working as a researcher with the Government of Yukon in the Land Use Branch and at the Yukon Research Centre with the Climate Change Department and the Permafrost and Geosciences teams. One of Pearl’s notable roles includes co-authoring a research paper focused on Climate Change Adaptation Assessments in the Yukon. In this capacity, she has had the opportunity to deliver presentations to Yukon University, the Government of Yukon, the Government of Canada and the Council of Yukon First Nations.

Pearl is also a current SOI Foundation Alumni Council member after participating in the Arctic Policy Cohort 2023. Her curiosity for other cultures led her to be selected to take part in the North2North exchange program in Sweden at Stockholm University and the French + Science program about sustainable development in Montpellier, France.

Pearl is very passionate about climate change, environmental sustainability, and conservation. She looks forward to working at national and international levels to help improve the socioeconomic environment for future generations.

Christopher Chan (he/him) - Edmonton, Alberta

Christopher was born and raised in Edmonton on Treaty 6 Territory. He is the son of Sino-Vietnamese boat refugees who risked their lives to secure a safer future for their families. His interest in the environment originated in family camping and hiking trips he took in his youth across western Canada, which fostered a strong connection to these lands. He subsequently completed a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences and History from the University of Alberta. He worked two field seasons in the North Saskatchewan watershed and Banff and Yoho National Parks, where he supported research on the downstream effects of glacial retreats on aquatic communities. He has also worked on water quality and clean energy supply chain projects at the Technische Universität Berlin and the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship at the University of Oxford.

He is excited to apply his scientific background to the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss and hopes to develop a policy-informed career in the environment. He also hopes to gain a more well-rounded understanding of these twin crises to determine how he can collectively support communities to build just and sustainable futures. In his free time, Christopher still finds time to go out on the land for hikes and is looking forward to his next wilderness backpacking excursion.

Skw’akw’as/Sunshine Lillian (she/her) - Tlekemstin “Lytton”, British Columbia - Specialized Stream for Indigenous Interns

Skw’akw’as/Sunshine Lillian is a Nlakapamux and Yakama youth from Tlekemstin, also known as Lytton, British Columbia. Skw’akw’as is the Indigenous Climate & Policy Advisor with VIDEA, Co-chair of the Environment and Climate Change Youth Council, a member of the Youth Advisory Group with the Canadian Commission of UNESCO, and a Board Member for Youth Climate Lab. Skw’akw’as’s passion lies in reshaping the narrative around the climate crisis in media, steering away from unnecessary doomism in climate communication. She strives to inspire and support BIPOC youth to take up space within colonial structures and continuously calls for decolonizing policy, education, and thought processes. She also aims to hold and create safe spaces for youth with big climate feelings and normalize crying within climate spaces. Skw’akw’as loves Taylor Swift and frequently listens to ‘You’re on your own kid’ in colonial spaces.

Waabshkigan Shane Kenneth Monague - Beausoleil First Nation, Christian Island, Ontario - Specialized Stream for Indigenous Interns

Niigaanzhe Shane Kenneth Monague is a proud Anishinaabenini from Beausoleil First Nation. He takes immense pride in being an uncle and a brother to his four siblings. Over the years, he has dedicated his time and talents to various roles within the broader indigenous community, employing an Indigenous Assets-Based Community Development (IABCD) approach to advocate for and advance the health and well-being of both the environment and indigenous youth. As a second-generation Indian Residential School Survivor, Shane is profoundly committed to fostering community projects and programs rooted in Indigenous and ancestral knowledge. His passion for supporting his people whenever and wherever he can has led people to name him an Oshkaabewis, signifying his role as a traditional helper in his community. He can often be found spending time with friends, assisting with ceremonies, firekeeping, participating in lodge activities, venturing out on the land, or simply being at home with his cat, “Indigo”. He has dedicated his efforts to his community, focusing on decolonized community building, language revitalization, cultural integration and sustainable development. He hopes to use his experiences, knowledge and skills to formulate a comprehensive plan for Indigenous community sovereignty within Canada. From matters of energy and justice to environmental sovereignty and all areas in between, his dream and life’s work thus far are centred around realizing an indigenous-led future for his people.

Isabelle Oke (she/her) - Montreal, Québec and Pickering, Ontario

As a student of political science, linguistics, and discourse analysis, Isabelle is keen to cast a critical eye on the ways political organization and discourse impact our collective capacity to address environmental issues. Her momentum towards environmental leadership is grounded in principles of respect, community well-being, and what it means to be a good neighbour. Raised in Pickering, Ontario, with strong ties to Montreal, Québec, she carries Acadian and Nigerian cultural heritage that she is in the continuous process of unpacking and celebrating. She is a budding advocate in various areas such as youth mental health, racial equity, bodily autonomy, labour rights, creative self-expression, and, most recently, water quality and conservation through a placement with Swim Drink Fish in Toronto. She’s excited to join the PIE Cohort 6 to explore the particular needs for successful global climate negotiations and merge housing and sustainability political priorities.

Lindsey Solmundson (she/her), Winnipeg, Manitoba - Specialized Stream for Sustainable Agriculture

Lindsey holds a Bachelor of Environmental Studies from the University of Manitoba (U of M), where she specialized in Sustainable Development. Her specific interest in sustainable agriculture stems from her connections to the rural municipality of Gimli in the Interlake region, where she spent her summers growing up. Witnessing the immense impacts of climate change and industrial agriculture on the farming community and surrounding ecosystems, Lindsey became passionate about finding sustainable solutions to improve agricultural systems. This led her to pursue a cooperative education placement with the U of M’s Soil Science Department. Here, Lindsey contributed to nutrient stewardship research to build a framework for optimizing fertilizer use to foster sustainability. Lindsey’s interest in environmental policy was sparked during her placement with Environment Canada’s Carbon Market Bureau, where she worked to support the launch of Canada’s Greenhouse Gas Offset Credit System, focusing on Indigenous participation. Outside of her passion for sustainability, Lindsey loves to travel and play volleyball and tennis. She is excited to bring her knowledge and passion to her role with Environmental Leadership Canada to aid in creating long-term resiliency in the agricultural sector.

Andrea Sutherland (she/her)- Winnipeg, Manitoba

Andrea recently graduated from the University of Manitoba with a Bachelor of Environmental Science. Her academic journey has deepened her understanding of environmental justice and governance challenges, igniting her passion for effective environmental management. Hailing from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Andrea has channelled her enthusiasm into local initiatives, such as preserving an urban green space and supporting its community programming.

Andrea’s dedication to her interests is evident through her involvement in several research projects. At the University of Manitoba’s Environmental Conservation Lab, she conducted a cross-country review of greenwashing by Canadian hydroelectric utilities to break down common misconceptions about the social and environmental impacts of hydro dams. Additionally, as an Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Carbon Markets Bureau’s Indigenous Engagement Team member, Andrea focused on fostering Indigenous community participation in the federal offset system. Her most recent accomplishments includes an award-winning honours thesis on the watershed approach, where she explored how decision-making authority within seemingly apolitical boundaries can serve the interests of specific social groups and political agendas.

Andrea’s commitment to environmental issues extends beyond national borders. She recently crafted a climate change policy for the Think Pacific Foundation, a Fijian charity. Andrea is eager for the chance to apply her diverse skills and experiences at the federal level.


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