About Experience North

Every summer, Northern Policy Institute makes available up to ten four-month placements across Northern Ontario. Usually housed with a partner organization in one of Ontario’s Central, Western or Northern Regions, the placements learn first-hand about the cut and thrust of public policy debate, building human capital and experience in the North. 

Experience North 2021 Placements

Read about our 2021 program launch! 

Lindsay Bain


With familial ties in northern and southern Ontario, Lindsay grew up between Kenora, Dryden, Sault Ste. Marie, Burlington, and Stratford before moving to Winnipeg, Manitoba, where she graduated high school. Currently enrolled in the fourth year of her BA (Advanced) in Global Political Economy at the University of Manitoba, she has held research and teaching assistant positions in economics and labor studies, leadership, and organizational behavior. Her research interests are interdisciplinary and varied though include public and social policy, inequality and poverty, Indigeneity and decolonization, political economy, political theory, ethics, and epistemology. She is a grateful recipient of the William and Nona Heaslip Scholarship and was Valedictory graduate of the inaugural cohort of the President’s Student Leadership Program at the J. W. Burns Leadership Institute, Asper School of Business. In her free time, Lindsay is an avid supporter of sloth conservation and rehabilitation efforts; she has two symbolically adopted sloths named Jack and Humpty Dumpty. Lindsay is excited to join NPI as a Policy Analyst in Treaty Implementation, and is looking forward to finding new ways to improve and give back before next steps in academics with Master’s graduate studies.

Lindsay is a Policy Analyst.




Andrew Jalak


Born and raised in Sault Ste. Marie Ontario, Andrew has developed a great knowledge of Northern Ontario and the beauty this fine land has to offer, through opportunities and travels over his 20 years. Andrew’s thirst for travel has not held him within our rocky mountains, but to many places across the world, some of his favourites being’ Paris, Liverpool, London and Portrush in Northern Ireland. Not only is Andrew an avid traveler, but he is also very into sports, both as a participant and spectator. Growing up playing hockey, much like many Canadians, this is his sport of choice. As a fan his favourite team is the Toronto Maple Leafs of the NHL. His love for sports does not just end there, he also enjoys watching the Toronto Raptors of the NBA, and also playing golf. During the summer months, you can find Andrew spending time out at camp with his family, friends and of course his chocolate Labrador, Dolce.

Andrew is a Communications Officer





Avery Cole


Avery Cole is a graduating Global Development Studies and Indigenous Cultures and Languages B.A (Hons.) student at Queen’s University. As a Global Development major, Avery is passionate about working with rural communities to create meaningful change. Her areas of interest in research lie with community-based social development for marginalized communities, the environment, and Indigenous cultural revitalization. Originally from Waterloo, Avery is excited to become more familiar with the beautiful landscapes of Northern Ontario during her placement at Kirkland Lake. Having grown up camping across Southern and Northern Ontario with her family, Avery is an avid canoer, hiker and all around nature lover and looks forward to visiting the abundant lakes and provincial parks surrounding Kirkland Lake. In her spare time, Avery also enjoys flying and is a long-time member and volunteer glider instructor at the Toronto Soaring Club.

Avery is a Policy Analyst.



Emma Dingle


Emma Dingle was born and raised in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. She is a first-year university student enrolled in a Bachelor of Global Business and Digital Art at the University of Waterloo. With a passion for graphic design, Emma often liaises with arts organizations in her community which has provided her with extensive experience in social media management and digital art. Certified through the British Association of Teachers of Dancing, Emma enjoys spending her free time teaching dance and can often be found singing, dancing, and performing.

Emma is a graphic designer. 



William Dunstan


William Dunstan, born and raised in Ottawa, is entering his fourth year in the Public Affairs and Policy Management program at Carleton University. In addition to an interdisciplinary academic background, he brings with him prior experience in public policy through having previously worked with the federal government and a think tank. In his free time, William enjoys cycling and hiking, and is also involved in intercollegiate debate. William is very excited to come to Northern Ontario. On a personal level, he is thrilled with this opportunity to explore the vast and beautiful North. On a professional level, he looks forward to working in a policy environment outside of a big central Canadian city and to learning more about the challenges and opportunities facing rural and northern communities.

William is a Policy Analyst.



Holly Parsons


Originally from Calgary, Alberta, Holly moved to Australia and graduated with a B.A. in Politics & Policy Studies and International Relations from Deakin University in Melbourne. Holly gained experience in research, policy analysis, and advocacy while working at grassroots NGOs in Australia and Indonesia. Now, back in Canada, Holly is enjoying her NPI Summer Placement in Sioux Lookout as a Policy Analyst. On the weekends, you can find Holly hiking, camping, kayaking, and exploring the majestic Canadian Shield. Holly loves to travel, ski, read books, cook vegan recipes, and be outdoors. 

Holly is a Policy Analyst.



Clairissa Pietron


Clairissa Pietron was born and raised in Hamilton, ON and surrounding areas. She graduated from the University of Guelph with a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Criminal Justice and Public Policy in 2018. She also holds a Master's in Political Science specializing in Rights, Justice, Citizenship, and Identity from the University of Guelph, of which she recently graduated in 2021. In her graduate studies, Clairissa was engaged in policy issues impacting inequality and environmental justice. In her free time, Clairissa enjoys being outdoors, travelling (when permitted), reading and crafting.

Clairissa Pietron is a Policy Analyst 




Gillian Sgambelluri


Born and raised in Thunder Bay, Gillian Sgambelluri has been a lifelong true North citizen. Gillian is currently pursuing post-secondary education at Lakehead University in the Honours Bachelor of Commerce program. Specifically, Gillian’s program has allowed her to develop accounting and finance skills that she plans to put into practice at her position as Assistant Accounting Officer at Northern Policy Institute. She is very eager to advance her career at NPI whilst gaining knowledge about her community and giving back to where she was raised. In her spare time, you can almost always find Gillian at the dance studio where she enjoys teaching and participating in some classes of her own. Throughout the summer, she loves to be out in the sun swimming with her dogs at camp. 

Gillian is an Accounting & Operations Assistant





We would like to thank RBC Foundation, the SM Blair Foundation, and the Canada Summer Jobs Program (a program of the Government of Canada - Employment and Social Development Canada) for their support of our Experience North program. Without this generous support we would not be able to offer these unique opportunities for youth in Northern Ontario.

Thank You to our Sponsors






Experience North will normally receive some partial funding from the Canada Summer Jobs Program. Applicants should be aware of the eligibility requirements for that program when applying for Experience North:

To be eligible for Canada Summer Jobs Funding, youth must:

  • be between 15 and 30 years of age at the start of the employment;
  • be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or person to whom refugee protection has been conferred under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act for the duration of the employment*; and,
  • have a valid Social Insurance Number at the start of employment and be legally entitled to work in Canada in accordance with relevant provincial or territorial legislation and regulations.

The program’s broader objectives as part of the Youth Employment Strategy are to improve the labour market participation of Canadian youth.

*International students are not eligible participants. International students include anyone who is temporarily in Canada for studies and who is not a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or person who has been granted refugee status in Canada. As the objective of the CSJ program is to support youth entering the Canadian labour market, the temporary nature of an international student’s time in Canada does not allow for a long-term connection to the labour market.

Join some of our past Northern Policy Institute summer placements
who have worked throughout Northern Ontario 


"This summer has given me the chance to hone my abilities as a researcher, writer, interviewer, and Excel spreadsheet-maker. It feels like I’ve been granted an all-access backstage pass to the region I grew up in, and I can’t believe how much I’ve learned. "

– Mateo Orrantia (Marathon)


"This summer placement has allowed me to spend my weekdays learning about the regions of Northern Ontario and my weekends out exploring them – I couldn’t ask for anything more. "

– Abby Shillinglaw (Temiskaming Shores)

"I would recommend the Experience North program to anyone who has an interest in community-level development, research and data analysis in Northern Ontario. "

– Mercedes Labelle (North Bay)

"Coming back a second year did not feel like coming back to the same job because NPI has so many different projects and skills needed to complete them that every experience/task feels brand new! "

– Maia Kvas (Timmins)

"I was excited to be able to take what I learned in school and apply it to this role. Through working as a Communications Officer, I was able to gain professional experience related to my field. "

– Christina Fera (Sault Ste. Marie)

"Thanks to Northern Policy Institute, I have been given the opportunity to be immersed in the realm of public policy and debate and continue expanding my knowledge in the field of communications. "

– Andrew Jalak (Sault Ste. Marie)



How do you build capacity?


Experience North Through the Years 

Experience North 2020

Experience North 2019

Experience North 2018

Experience North 2017

Experience North 2016

Experience North 2015

Experience North 2014