Outland Celebrates delivery of 13th First Nation Ranger ProgramAugust 2012
Dynamic Group from 16 First Nations Graduate
Outland celebrated delivery of the 13th annual First Nation Ranger Program. Proud parents, band leaders, industry partners, educational partners, camp staff and graduates gathered on August 16th at Outland's Camp Firesteel in the Upsala area to celebrate the closing of the 13th annual running of the First Nations Youth Employment program. Elder Margaret Savage (Lac Des Milles Lac First Nation) closed the ceremony with a smudging ceremony and her trademark farewell give and take hugging circle. The sense of pride and accomplishment among all the youth and everyone who supported them was palpable. Laughter and smiles among all were prevalent all afternoon.
Chief Dave Babin of Wahgoshig First Nation spoke about the value of the program for youth from his community over the 7 years they have been participating. He pointed out that they are all working in many of the developments that are emerging in his traditional area near Timmins and the Quebec Border. He recognized that while the forest industry is struggling, the mining industry has stepped in to offer great employment opportunities for his people.
The program, started by Outland in 2000, is a 7 week live-in summertime employment and training program for First Nations youth between 17 and 19. The program strives to expose youth to careers in natural resource management and introduce youth to life in the working world. Youth earn specific transferable workplace certifications like chainsaw operation, forest fire fighting, WHMIS, First Aid. As well they spend one week at Confederation College exploring natural resource management curriculum and they spend 1 week focussed on Mining and Exploration through the Mining Matters curriculum adapted for high school students and delivered by the Mining Matters team from the Prospectors and Developers Association.
And on top of all of this youth are now able to earn 2 High School Co-op Academic credits as long as they complete all tasks assigned by the Certified Teacher on site. The credits are awarded through an educational partnership with the Nimiki Migizi Secondary School of the Ginoogaming/Long Lake #58 Education Authority (Claire O'Nabigon - Superintendent). Camp Boss, Anya Schriebmeyer B.Ed., currently teaching for the Superior Greenstone District School Board supervised this year's summer program curriculum.
The program has run each summer for 13 seasons. 295 youth representing 41 First Nations communities across northern Ontario have completed at least one summer in camp. This year's group was a dynamic group of youth hailing from 16 communities from as far east as Wahgoshig near the Quebec Border to Big Island on Lake of the Woods. Congratulations to all graduates from all of us here at Outland!
Dave Bradley, Manager - Community Relations Outland Camps