CALGARY, ALBERTA, MONTREAL, QUEBEC, and FORT SIMPSON, NORTHWEST TERRITORIES--(Marketwired - May 6, 2013) - The Dehcho Divisional Education Council and Thomas Simpson School today announced the launch of the Aboriginal Youth Entrepreneurship Program (AYEP) at the school. AYEP is a partnership with the Council, the School and Martin Aboriginal Educational Initiative (MAEI) with support from Enbridge Inc.
Under AYEP, teachers will use innovative, hands-on learning techniques to help Aboriginal students develop the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in school, business and life, while respecting their cultural heritage.
The Right Honorable Paul Martin, Canada's 21st Prime Minister and MAEI President and Founder, and Karen Radford, Executive Vice President, Enbridge, along with local community representatives, Aboriginal leaders and education officials, attended the launch at Thomas Simpson School in Fort Simpson, Northwest Territories.
"Thomas Simpson School is pleased to have been the first school in the NWT to offer AYEP through MAEI," said Freda Blyth, Principal, Thomas Simpson School. "It is a program that is of benefit to students as they prepare for future careers. Class members wish to thank those community members who have assisted them and Enbridge for co-sponsoring the program. We hope everyone who attended the launch event enjoyed their visit to Ft. Simpson and Thomas Simpson School."
"Creating educational opportunities for all Northwest Territories students is a priority of the government," said Minister Jackson Lafferty, Department of Education, Culture and Employment, Government of the Northwest Territories. "I commend Thomas Simpson School for recognizing that initiatives like the Aboriginal Youth Entrepreneurship Program help our students recognize their options and understand the importance of education, which serves to help us build a sustainable future for the Northwest Territories."
"Education is critical because it inspires our young people, opens doors and gives hope to all for a better future," says Ms. Radford. "As a long-standing member of the Fort Simpson community, Enbridge is excited to bring AYEP to the Thomas Simpson School and to continue investing in the leaders of tomorrow through our School Plus Program."
"We're pleased that the Thomas Simpson School has introduced this program into its curriculum," said Mr. Martin. "Aboriginal Canadians are the fastest-growing segment of our population and will be key drivers of Canada's economy. AYEP will help ensure that Aboriginal students at Thomas Simpson School have the skills and experience they need to fully participate in our growing economy, and to enjoy greater economic self-reliance and a better quality of life."
At the program launch, students had the opportunity to meet Mr. Martin, who took part in a school assembly and a luncheon roundtable with community members, Aboriginal leaders, students, funders and educational leaders.
About Thomas Simpson Secondary School
Thomas Simpson School is a school of approximately 135 students covering grades 7 to 12, in the town of Ft. Simpson that is situated at the confluence of the Mackenzie and Liard rivers. Students are mostly from Ft. Simpson but each year close to twenty students come from surrounding communities to take their grade ten to twelve courses. Thomas Simpson School has a high graduation rate, offering a full range of academic and general courses. The student population is almost entirely Dene, Metis or Inuvialuit. Over and above academics the school has many extra curricular sports teams, a large cadet corps, and a close relationship with Skills Canada. Thomas Simpson School students also participate in programs such as Northern Youth Abroad, the Raven Program, and Encounters Canada. Many TSS students have won the opportunity to participate in national competitions after competing at the regional levels.
About The Martin Aboriginal Education Initiative
The Martin Aboriginal Education Initiative (MAEI) was established in 2008 in order to initiate a variety of educational projects designed to provide Aboriginal Canadians with the opportunities they need to succeed. MAEI brings together Aboriginal organizations, the business community, post-secondary institutions, First Nation schools and provincially and territorially-funded school boards to implement programs to support Aboriginal students. Our goal is to implement initiatives that improve education at the elementary and secondary school levels for Aboriginal Canadians. MAEI believes that the development of knowledge and skills will provide Aboriginal youth with an incentive to continue their education. Projects are chosen in discussion with the pertinent Aboriginal leadership, provincial and territorial education authorities, and local business communities.
About Enbridge Inc.
Enbridge Inc. is a North American leader in delivering energy and has been included on the Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World ranking for the past five years. As a transporter of energy, Enbridge operates, in Canada and the U.S., the world's longest crude oil and liquids transportation system. The Company also has a significant and growing involvement in natural gas gathering, transmission and midstream businesses, and an increasing involvement in power transmission. As a distributor of energy, Enbridge owns and operates Canada's largest natural gas distribution company, and provides distribution services in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and New York State. As a generator of energy, Enbridge has interests in close to 1,600 megawatts of renewable and alternative energy generating capacity and is expanding its interests in wind, solar and geothermal energy. Enbridge employs more than 10,000 people, primarily in Canada and the U.S. and is ranked as one of Canada's Greenest Employers and one of Canada's Top 100 Employers for 2013. Enbridge is included on the 2012/2013 Dow Jones Sustainability World Index and the Dow Jones Sustainability North America Index. Enbridge's common shares trade on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges under the symbol ENB. For more information, visit www.enbridge.com.