Wednesday, September 17, 2014
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First Nations Natural Resources Youth Employment Program Exposes Students to Careers in Natural

by Ashleigh Quarrell

THUNDER BAY – ANISHINABEK – Thirty participants of the First Nations Natural Resources Youth Employment Program (FNNRYEP) will be learning about sustainable energy sources as part of their Natural Resources Science Camp training on-site at Confederation College this week.

A partnership between Outland Camps and Confederation College, FNNRYEP has provided employment and learning opportunities for First Nations youth since 2000. Since its inception, the program has successfully trained over 325 participants, launching numerous careers in the Natural Resource sector. “The goal of the First Nations Natural Resources Youth Employment Program is to expose students to natural resources career paths,” said John Hatton, Director of Training and Development at Confederation College. “At the same time, we have designed the educational component in such a way that we are developing the participants’ skills through their engagement in revenue generating work projects. This provides participants with a ‘real-world’ experience and makes the program self-sustaining.”

“The program empowers Aboriginal youth by focusing on leadership development and teaching skills such as social skills and work ethic,” said Anya Scheibmyr, Field Supervisor at Outland Camps. “We enjoy watching the participants build up their self-esteem and grow throughout the program; specifically seeing them learn the values of ownership, pride and accomplishment while practicing safe working procedures.”

Today, participants learned about solar and wind energy aboard the EcoBus. Throughout the week, the program welcomed guest speakers from Confederation College and from the natural resources industry. Topics included dendrology, health and fitness, biomass energy, entrepreneurship, aboriginal mentorship and more. Participants will also get the opportunity to tour the college campus, the Aviation Centre of Excellence and Lakehead University. FNNRYEP will continue through mid-August with closing ceremonies takings place at Marina Park on August 14. Funding for FNNRYEP is provided by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, Canadian Forest Services and industry partners.  

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