THUNDER BAY – BUSINESS – Ontario Power Generation (OPG) is proud to announce Taylor Day and Anton Esquega as the recipients of the 2019 John Wesley Beaver (JWB) Memorial Awards.
Given annually to one male and one female Indigenous student, the John Wesley Beaver awards recognize and support talented individuals, each with a history of community involvement, academic excellence and hard work.
“Congratulations to these two individuals who have demonstrated excellence in their studies and are active leaders and role models in their community,” said Ken Hartwick, OPG’s President & CEO. “This important program also highlights our commitment to Indigenous youth by supporting students who are continuing their education.”
“On behalf of the Ontario Government, I would like to congratulate both Taylor and Anton for their exemplary achievements,” said Greg Rickford, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, and Minister of Indigenous Affairs. “Your commitment to excellence is valued and appreciated in your communities, in your academic institutions and across Ontario. I have no doubt you will both continue to inspire Indigenous youth in pursuit of higher education.”
Day, who hails from the Akwesasne Mohawk Nation along the St. Lawrence River, earned a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Carleton University and is preparing to enter the law program at Queen’s University, with a focus on human rights and Indigenous law.
Fellow recipient Esquega is a member of Kiashke Zaaging Anishniaabek, also known as Gull Bay First Nation, which is located on the shores of Lake Nipigon. Esquega is currently enrolled in the two-year Aviation Maintenance Engineer program at Confederation College.
Named after one of the most notable engineers in OPG’s history, the John Wesley Beaver Memorial Award was established in 1997 by OPG’s predecessor, Ontario Hydro, and is administered by OPG’s Native Circle, a networking group for Indigenous employees.
Beaver was a fighter pilot during the Second World War and served as Chief of Alderville First Nation in the early 1950s. He joined Ontario Hydro in 1949 as a junior engineer and quickly rose through the ranks over 23 years, eventually becoming the Operations Engineer for northeastern Ontario. He passed away in 1980.
OPG is the largest electricity generator in the province, providing almost half the power Ontarians rely on every day. It is also one of the most diverse generators in North America with expertise in nuclear, hydro, biomass, solar and gas.