Bonnita Preston: The Internship Begins

Bonnita Preston CWY ALUMNI, Indigenous Internships Program (IAYI): 2022

Meet Bonnita, an intern with our virtual internship program. She is our first writer for our new Internships Blog! Bonnita is a Métis woman who grew up in a small community outside of the O-Chi-Chak-Ko-Sipi First Nation in Manitoba, Canada.

Hello CWY-JCM family! I am so excited to share my journey with you. First, let me tell you a little about myself. I grew up very connected to my Métis culture: playing fiddle and jigging and square dancing to entertain my community. I have worked for nearly nine years, in service to my community through the non-profit sector. My sister Billy-Lee, and I also manage an online cultural education program called Red Tent of the Prairies, ‘which serves Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth across the prairie provinces and is a co-creator of another online cultural program called BRANCH- Building Resilience through Art Native Culture and Healing. I am working on a program in collaboration with Indigenous midwives in Guatemala, to help preserve their ancestral traditions of midwifery for future generations.

So far in the IAYI internship, we are doing Spanish classes 5 days a week and have done two presentations so far this week. It is only the second week and I’m getting so much out of this program and looking forward to contributing more as the weeks go on!

I wanted to do this internship because I’m passionate about working with Indigenous peoples and learning about different First Peoples’ cultures across the globe. I have a keen interest in the field of international relations, especially as it relates to the rights of Indigenous peoples. I’m working towards becoming fluent in Spanish and hope this will help me make a greater contribution to Indigenous communities abroad. I hope to learn how I can be of service to the Indigenous peoples of my assigned community in Chimbote, Peru.