MentorSTEP supports Indigenous women and girls at the University of Saskatchewan and Saskatoon Tribal Council regional high schools who are interested in science, technology, engineering, math and related business, health, and environmental studies. It builds connections between Canada's mining industry and Indigenous women, and is supported by the International Minerals Innovation Institute (iMii).


Posted by Minister Carolyn Bennett on Twitter February 11th 2021

MentorSTEP overview

In partnership with the Saskatoon Tribal Council and funded by the International Minerals Innovation Institute, MentorSTEP welcomes senior high school and undergraduate university-level women interested in and/or taking STEM-related degrees.

The program has three components:

  • Mentorship
    • High school and university students are matched in a Mentorship Circle with a combination of on-campus faculty or mining mentors
    • Mentors and mentees meet during shared events combined with some one-on-one connections
  • Learning
    • Shared learning events once per month (i.e. learning labs, Indigenous cultural events, real or VR mine tours, mining industry support business tours, professional development events)
  • Summer research internships
    • Matched summer research internships for university students at USask
    • Support summer research internships for mining industry partners
For an overview of the first year of MentorSTEP, check out our year in review newsletter.

Due to the covid pandemic, MentorSTEP high school internships are on hold.

Indigenous women interested in pursuing STEM subjects and who are in senior high school in Saskatoon or members of the Saskatoon Tribal Council communities may join. Indigenous women who are undergraduate students at the University of Saskatchewan pursuing STEM and related disciplines are also welcome.

To find out more about MentorSTEP, please email Merle Massie at or call 306-966-7127.  

Seven Indigenous female University of Saskatchewan students pursuing STEM disciplines were awarded MentorSTEP internships in 2020. These students are working on a range of research issues from water levels and flooding to Indigenous health research, geology, mining and mitigation work, to research at the Canadian Light Source (Synchrotron). 



MentorSTEP welcomes applications for summer 2021 internships: 

Internships are envisioned to be for four months (May through August 2021) though may be held in fall, winter or spring on a full-time or part-time basis. Internships may be held at any location in Saskatchewan that is mutually satisfactory to both the intern and the company/faculty. 

Corporate application: Saskatchewan mining companies are welcome to apply to host a MentorSTEP participant, or to seek funding to support a summer internship for an existing or prospective intern who meets the criteria to join MentorSTEP as a student participant. Preference is given to undergraduate students from the University of Saskatchewan, but another student may be considered on a case-by-case basis. Companies are awarded $9000 and must leverage internal funding. Companies are expected to provide a robust, supervised internship opportunity using your company’s existing internship policies and procedures (i.e. conducting interviews, writing letters of offer, human resources guidelines, safety, payroll). MentorSTEP will work with you to identify potential students, or support existing or anticipated students who have applied to you for opportunities but may meet our guidelines and criteria. Corporate applications can be found here, or contact Merle Massie at 306-966-7127 or email Any student not already part of the MentorSTEP program will be expected to join the MentorSTEP cohort for activities and mentorship. Target date: by March 15th for applications, sooner if possible! 

University of Saskatchewan faculty application: Faculty members at the University of Saskatchewan are invited to apply for up to $4500 in funding to supervise a summer intern who meets the criteria to join MentorSTEP as a student participant. Faculty should have matching funding, though it may be possible to ask for the full amount ($9000) by demonstrating need. Faculty must provide a robust program of supervised summer research. Preference will be given to projects which support Saskatchewan's mining industry, though all STEM and related business and health research are welcome. USask Faculty MentorSTEP applications can be found here. Email Merle Massie at Any student not already part of the MentorSTEP program will be expected to join the MentorSTEP cohort for activities and mentorship. Note: USask faculty applications due March 15th 2021.

STUDENTS: if you are an Indigenous woman (First Nations, Metis or Inuit) enrolled at the University of Saskatchewan as an undergraduate student in a program related to science, technology, engineering, math, business, environment, health or other programs related to Saskatchewan's mining industry, and are interested in pursuing a summer research internship in your area of interest, please send a resume and cover letter with a headline "MentorSTEP internship" to Merle Massie at We will work with you to match you and your interests with a Saskatchewan mining company or university faculty member whose program is a good fit for your future. 

MentorSTEP supported the .caISES national gathering in February 2020