A new scholarship fund aiming to get Northern youth more involved in the mining industry was revealed during a special ceremony last week.
The Mine Training Society was awarded $25,000 in scholarship money from the Diamond Empowerment Fund. The new scholarship fund, announced at a special ceremony April 12 at the Kimberlite Career and Technical Centre, aims to get young people aged 18 to 30 involved in mining as a career.
Eligible youth are to live in the Northwest Territories or the Kitikmeot region and show an interest in bettering their current career or starting a new career in the industry.
Nancy Orem Lyman, executive director of the Diamond Empowerment Fund said the funding will be available to as many youth as possible that show an interest in the industry.
“As long as there is a job they can use their interest for, the idea here is employment,” she said. “Then we are open to hearing what their interests are.”
This is the first beneficiary from the Empowerment fund in the Northwest Territories, said Orem Lyman.
“We wanted to recognize the importance of Indigenous youth and Northern youth to the sustainability of the diamond mining areas by providing scholarships to these young people,” she said.
The Mine Training Society will be facilitating the scholarships and identify the young people who are in need and will collaborate with the Diamond Empowerment Fund with the selection of the youth.
Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment Wally Schumann, a former member of the Mine Training Society, attended the announcement to highlight the importance of the sector.
“As a collective we’ve never told our story (about the potential of the Northern mining sector) very well and that’s why I think Nancy and her group are out there to explain to people globally the benefits that these things bring to everybody,” said Schumann.
“Some people even ask the question if mining is even taking place here. That goes to show why we have to reach out to the globe and explain what’s going on here.”
Winter Bailey, a board member with the Mine Training Society, said new scholarship fund is a great way to recognize how mines contribute to the North and through the new money, industry is giving back to the community.
“Some of the programs the Mine Training Society delivers is an entry way into the industry but there are many transferable skills,” said Bailey.
Bailey said that although a new fund is available, the board has yet to sit down and determine specific criteria for the scholarships.