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Mining Matters reaches out to Aboriginal youth

 

The Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada’s (PDAC) Mining Matters program has expanded its Aboriginal youth outreach activities to Baker Lake in Nunavut and the First Nation communities of Webequie and Marten Falls in Northern Ontario. Together with the First Nations Natural Resource Youth Employment Program in Upsala, Ontario and the Manitoba Natural Resource Camp in northern Manitoba, Mining Matters will connect with more than 115 Aboriginal youth ranging from ages nine to 19.Mining Matters’ Aboriginal outreach program introduces youth to a wide range of practical geological and mineral exploration activities, including prospecting, claim staking, mapping, the use of GPS technology and the application of environmental geochemistry. Mining Matters also highlights the array of job opportunities available in the minerals industry.
New to the program this year was a partnership with Noront Resources Ltd., a junior mining company active in Northern Ontario’s highly prospective Ring of Fire region. Mining Matters and Noront Resources delivered mineral resource and Earth Science programming for 30 youth in Webequie and 30 youth in Marten Falls.”Noront Resources is very pleased to partner with the PDAC and the communities of Webequie First Nation and Marten Falls First Nation on this worthwhile educational camp as part of our consultation program,” said Paul Semple, the company’s chief operating officer. “Educating young First Nation community members about rocks, minerals and geology in a fun, educational camp setting is the first step to introducing youth to the mining industry.””It is exciting to receive industry support for this important program,” commented Barbara Green Parker, Mining Matters’ Aboriginal education specialist. “We hope this type of partnering continues in support of our efforts to reach out to Aboriginal youth.”
The importance of the traditional role of Aboriginal peoples in land and resources management is gaining recognition among the various resource industries in Canada. The mining industry is building on this recognition to reach out to Aboriginal well before they reach work force age.”PDAC Mining Matters is committed to building on existing education and training initiatives as well as developing new programs to engage Aboriginal youth and develop an interest in the minerals industry,” said Patricia Dillon, president of PDAC Mining Matters. “We understand that building new partnerships and strengthening existing ones with First Nations, industry and the education sector is critical to designing and delivering effective programs.”

Programming is developed with special attention to the local geology of the camp location and utilizes local mentors who work in the minerals industry. Raising the students’ awareness of the minerals industry and its importance in our everyday lives is seen as critical to encouraging post secondary interest in Geology and Earth Science.

The program teaches the students about Canada’s abundant natural resources with an emphasis on the environment, new technology and sustainable development. “Out-of-the-classroom teaching can help get young people excited about learning and we appreciate the chance to share the wonders of geology with the kids and plant the seed for new job opportunities,” said Green Parker.
Mining Matters is expanding its program model and continues to build relationships with northern communities and mineral industry partners. This is the third year Mining Matters has offered summer training programs to achieve its goal to help First Nations youth prepare for rewarding jobs in the minerals industry.

Many Aboriginal communities are close to Canada’s mineral exploration and mine sites.

www.pdac.ca

 

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