Indigenous communities and international trade consultations

Mitacs Globalink research intern analyses indigenous rights treaties at the University of Saskatchewan

Wendy Ortega Pineda is determined to do her part to make the world a more equitable place. As a law student at Universidad Autónoma de Baja California in Mexico, Wendy has learned much about the profound differences between nations regarding access to basic resources, issues of discrimination, and justice for human rights violations. This summer, she is further enhancing her worldly perspective by taking part in a 12-week research internship at the University of Saskatchewan.

Wendy was attracted to apply to Mitacs Globalink because of the opportunity to conduct research on constitutional and human rights law with Professor Dwight Newman. This summer, Wendy is researching Latin American regimes’ practices for consulting indigenous communities during local policy and infrastructure project discussions, through the lens of an international treaty that guarantees indigenous rights. By understanding how the specific concerns of these groups were incorporated or disputed in international courts, local human rights advocates can determine best practices for future projects. Wendy and her professor hope to co-write an article on the subject that would be published in the coming months.

Throughout her time in Saskatchewan, Wendy has been exposed to new ideas, which have had a profound effect on her desire to correct the wrongs of the past. For example, a seminar about Canada’s Indian Residential School System opened her eyes to the challenges that Canada’s indigenous people have faced, and made her think about how she might be able to make a difference to similar problems in her home country. She hopes that her experience through Mitacs Globalink will prove to be beneficial on her road to a career with the United Nations.

“What makes Mitacs Globalink different is that it is a complete internship program. I am very thankful that Canada has this opportunity for Mexicans, and we are very lucky to be included in the program. I have learned so much and had a very good summer here in Saskatchewan.”


Mitacs thanks the Government of Canada and the Government of Saskatchewan for their support of the Globalink research internship in this story. Across Canada, the Globalink program also receives support from Alberta Innovates, the Government of British Columbia, the Government of New Brunswick, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Government of Nova Scotia, the Government of Ontario, the Government of Prince Edward Island, the Government of Quebec, and Research Manitoba.

Mitacs is pleased to work with international partners to support Globalink, including Brazil’s le Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior, the China Scholarship Council, Campus France, India’s Ministry of Human Resource Development, and Mexico’s Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education and the National Autonomous University of Mexico.

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