Trades students from remote Indigenous communities in northwestern Ontario can now qualify for a scholarship to help them through school.
The scholarship was announced on June 21, celebrated across Canada as National Indigenous Peoples Day.
It represents the First Nation concept of “chinagatamaageyeg,” which in English means “to leave something behind for others."
“FortisOntario is offering this Future Generations scholarship to support First Nations’ postsecondary education goals,” Scott Hawkes, president and CEO of FortisOntario, said in a news release.
“As a partner in the Wataynikaneyap Project, we encourage First Nations youth to pursue educational opportunities, and on this day of celebration, we embrace the diverse culture of Indigenous peoples.”
The scholarship is open to students living in the member communities partnering on the Wataynikaneyap Power transmission line project.
That includes Bearskin Lake, Cat Lake, Deer Lake, Kasabonika Lake, Keewaywin, Kingfisher Lake, Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug, Lac des Mille Lacs, Lac Seul, McDowell Lake, Mishkeegogamang, Muskrat Dam, North Caribou Lake, North Spirit Lake, Ojibway Nation of Saugeen, Pikangikum, Poplar Hill, Sachigo Lake, Sandy Lake, Slate Falls, Wabigoon Lake, Wapekeka, Wawakapewin, and Wunnumin Lake.
To qualify, students must be enrolled in a postsecondary or trade program for the 2022/2023 school year, with a minimum of two years remaining in their studies; must be interested in pursuing a career in the Ontario energy sector; and must respect the rules of the values and principles of the Wataynikaneyap Power Project.
“We are delighted that FortisOntario has provided this opportunity to support a student from the owner communities,” Margaret Kenequanash, CEO of Wataynikaneyap Power, said in the release.
“Future generations are the reason we are building this transmission line. This is their project. They will receive maximum benefits in the project, and this will provide for generations to come.
“Our youth are strong and resilient, and I look forward to seeing their applications.”
The Wataynikaneyap Power project involves the installation of 1,800 kilometres of transmission line across northwestern Ontario to connect 17 remote First Nation communities to the Ontario Power grid for the first time. (The project was the Northern Ontario Business Award winner for First Nations Business Award of Excellence in 2020.)
Students interested in applying for the scholarship can visit www.wataypower.ca/project/scholarships for more information.