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VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Canada (September 10, 2001 - PINA Nius Online)---This Saturday marks the beginning of a six-month South Pacific odyssey for 10 young Aboriginal Canadians.

Through an internship program, they will immerse themselves in the work and daily life of indigenous communities in the Cook Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji and New Zealand.

Their work placements will offer them a range of experiences in everything from indigenous tourism to coastal resource management, and from community popular theater to traditional medicine.

The British Columbia-based Pacific Peoples' Partnership has teamed up with Canada's Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade to offer this international program, now in its third year.

Interns come from aboriginal organizations across Canada.

Angie Shuter (from the Nlakapa‘mux Nation), who will be focusing on intellectual property policy and law reform in New Zealand, said: "While Canada has taken some important steps in developing policy pertaining to First Nations intellectual property and traditional knowledge, we have much to learn from the international community. I think that we can learn from the experience of the Maori people and from their very advanced work in this field."

Pacific Peoples Partnership, founded in 1975, describes itself as a social justice organization that supports Pacific Islanders in their efforts to protect and promote their environment, livelihoods and community development.

Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) Website: 

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