THUNDER BAY – AVIATION – Twenty-four students and six chaperones from the First Nation communities of Muskrat Dam, Bearskin Lake, Sandy Lake, Webequie, Fort Severn, Big Trout Lake and Kasabonika were welcomed to the City of Thunder Bay on July 27th for their week long aviation adventure. Designed for First Nations youth between the ages of 13 and 16, this year marks the eighth Pimesaywii Apitamahkatwin First Nation Youth Aviation Camp to take place. Throughout the course of the week, students have been participating in a multitude of activities from learning about the history of aviation to the anticipated highlight of taking the students to the skies on a sightseeing flight.
The Pimesaywii Apitamahkatwin First Nation Youth Aviation Camp is a joint initiative between Wasaya Airways, The Kenny Foundation, Confederation College School of Aviation, Negahneewin and Wasaya Community Economic Development Corporation. This initiative was created to promote careers in aviation for young Aboriginal people residing in Northern Ontario through the development of academic programs, activities and regional work opportunities. By creating and maintaining this program, the intent is to promote career exploration and education pathways for First Nations youth and address the shortage of Aboriginal Pilots, Aircraft Maintenance Engineers and other positions within the Aviation Industry.
“Confederation College continues to support Aboriginal communities and learners,” said Jim Madder, President of Confederation College. “We strongly believe in the value of the Aviation Camp as it provides a crucial opportunity for First Nations youth to explore the aviation and aerospace industry as a potential career path. It also enables them to learn in a college environment, obtain hands-on experiences, and develop skills, confidence and friendships. We hope to inspire these students to pursue post-secondary education and careers in aviation!”
“Wasaya Airways is committed to being a part of the growth and development of our First Nations people,” said Tom Morris, President and CEO of Wasaya Airways. “We are proud to be able to support Aboriginal youth excellence through the delivery of the Aviation Camp. It is never too early to introduce youth to career exploration options so they can create future goals for themselves. Goals and dreams lead to higher retention rates in school and a strong desire to excel. By early exposure to the Aviation field, we are hoping some of the youth attending camps will be future visionaries and employees of Wasaya Airways.”
The week long camp concludes later today, when the students will receive certificates of completion at a recognition ceremony.