Mexican student brings new perspectives to Indigenous treaties in Saskatchewan

May 1, 2018
Robyn Dugas, Content Specialist, Mitacs

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 learned much about the profound differences between nations regarding access to basic resources, issues of discrimination, and justice for human rights violations. In Summer 2015, she gained even greater knowledge through a 12-week Globalink Research Internship at the University of Saskatchewan. The program matches top-ranked international undergraduates with summer research projects at Canadian universities, giving the students hands-on experience in Canada’s diverse research landscape.

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. During her summer in Saskatchewan, Wendy researched 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 co-authored an article on the subject that was subsequently published in Constitutional Forum.

Throughout her time in Saskatchewan, Wendy was exposed to new ideas that had a profound effect on her desire to correct the wrongs of the past. For example, a seminar about Canada’s 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.”

University faculty: get a top-ranked international undergrad for your Summer 2019 projects. The Globalink Research Internship will be accepting faculty project submissions, from April 18June 13, 2018. Visit the Globalink Research Internship page for more information and to apply. Mitacs will be at Congress Expo. Visit us at our booth to find out more about the program.

About Mitacs

Mitacs delivers research and training programs to students, postdocs, and faculty in all disciplines. We help build partnerships that support research and innovation in Canada and around the world.