Job Opportunity// Indigenous Communities Water and Land Internship

Western Resource Advocates (WRA) is seeking a bright individual with an interest in exploring water and land management within Indigenous communities to join our team Spring 2022 as an Indigenous Communities Water and Land Intern. WRA is partnering with the Catena Foundation and the Babbitt Center for Land and Water Policy to offer the Indigenous Communities Water and Land Internship to individuals who wish to gain experience in the conservation field, by supporting water and land policy research efforts. This Internship is a step toward creating a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive water and land management workforce that represents all people. The Indigenous Communities Water and Land Intern will work closely with WRA’s Indigenous Peoples Engagement Manager and the Healthy Rivers and Western Lands Program teams, with opportunities to learn and grow while working with other conservation and policy professionals.


This position has the option to work remotely in the states within WRA’s region, from one of WRA’s six offices, or in a hybrid of the two. WRA has offices located in Boulder, CO; Denver, CO; Salt Lake City, UT; Phoenix, AZ; Santa Fe, NM; and Carson City, NV. WRA employees and interns are encouraged to work remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Responsibilities Includes:

  • Conduct policy research and write memos or reports on varied subjects associated with WRA’s water and land policy work as it relates to Indigenous communities.
  • Research and analyze existing or proposed laws, regulations and policies that impact WRA’s mission and its work with Indigenous communities.
  • Accompany staff on advocacy meetings, stakeholder engagement activities, and other related activities as appropriate.
  • Present findings to WRA staff and partners at other organizations as appropriate.

Potential projects might include:

  • Research related to possibilities for protecting and/or leasing Indigenous water – investigating examples from around the region of communities that seek to develop (or implement) water protection and leasing opportunities; includes what policies, funding, and other elements might be needed to make these possibilities become a reality.
  • Assist Indigenous communities with identifying state, federal, and private funding opportunities, through compiling a workbook of different funding resources that enable or encourage Indigenous applicants, including programs that have “capacity” grants to help communities apply for funding; might include helping write a grant application.
  • Support for some of WRA’s urban water conservation and integrated planning efforts. This role would likely be focused on targeted policy-related research such as updates to the Water Policy Database and/or research to support updates to the Conservation Oriented System Development charges guide.
  • Research policy solutions to improve stateside Land and Water Conservation Fund programs for Indigenous Nations.

Required Qualifications:

  • Excellent communicator, written and verbal.
  • Research and analytic skills.
  • Understanding and appreciation for the cultural context with in which Indigenous communities and Nations function and operate.
  • Motivated to take ownership of projects and demonstrate follow-through to complete tasks.
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality.
  • Interest in exploring conservation and/or policy work.

Additional Skills and Learning Opportunities:

This section is made up of skills that a candidate may or may not come in with. They are not required and candidates who do not possess these skills yet should not be discouraged from applying.

  • Knowledge and familiarity with Indigenous sovereignty and governance.
  • Experience working with Indigenous populations both in Indigenous Nations and urban centers.
  • Relationships with Indigenous community leaders, state and local decision makers, and other stakeholders in the Intermountain West.
  • Indigenous language skills are a plus.

Physical Requirements:

Prolonged periods of sitting at a desk and working on a computer. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


Interns are paid at $15.00 per hour. This is a part-time internship with an expectation to work 15-20 hours a week over the course of the internship. WRA regularly works with students to help them obtain school credit for their internships. Since this is a temporary internship position, interns are not eligible for any benefits, including, but not limited to: vacation and sick leave; health, vision, and dental insurance; life, short-, and long-term disability insurance; and the 401(k) retirement plan. WRA is happy to loan interns a laptop for the duration of their internship. .


The internship will take place during the Winter and Spring of 2022. While the specific dates are flexible, the start date will be around February and will go through May or June.