Joining forces with Saskatchewan Research Council’s Aboriginal Mentorship Program

By Everett Dorma Posted: June 22, 2018 9:30 a.m.

(l-r) Dr. Thomas Chase, Provost and Vice-President (Academic), U of R, Craig Murray, Vice-President, Mining & Minerals, SRC, and Audrey Hestand, Director of Employment Services, Gabriel Dumont Institute Training & Employment, signing the agreements.
(l-r) Dr. Thomas Chase, Provost and Vice-President (Academic), U of R, Craig Murray, Vice-President, Mining & Minerals, SRC, and Audrey Hestand, Director of Employment Services, Gabriel Dumont Institute Training & Employment, signing the agreements. Photo courtesy Neil Fischer, Saskatchewan Research Council.

The Saskatchewan Research Council’s (SRC’s) innovative Aboriginal Mentorship Program (AMP), allows First Nations, Inuit, and Métis post-secondary students in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) to connect with an SRC mentor in the same or similar disciplines and gain work experience through a hands-on summer job at SRC.

“We are very pleased to be partnering with the Saskatchewan Research Council in support of Indigenous students engaged in science, technology, engineering and math programs on this National Indigenous Peoples Day,” Provost and Vice-President (Academic) Dr. Thomas Chase said. “The focus of the memorandum of understanding (MOU) - on connecting Indigenous students with employment, training and mentorship opportunities with the SRC - is aligned with ‘Together we are stronger’ the University of Regina’s 2015-20 Strategic Plan, which prioritizes student success and Indigenization."

During the 2017-18 school year approximately 13%, or a little over 1,900 U of R students, self- identified as Indigenous. Of those, 130 - approximately 7% - are enrolled in STEM programs.

Photo of Piapot Payepot School Girl’s Dance Troupe.

The Payepot School Girl’s Dance Troupe performed at the signing ceremony. Photo courtesy Neil Fischer, SRC.

“SRC is proud to continue fostering Indigenous participation in the STEM disciplines through our Aboriginal Mentorship Program,” SRC Mining & Minerals Vice-President Craig Murray said.  “Because of both our mentors and students’ efforts, along with the support of our partners, this program has achieved significant success in just three short years.  To be able to expand on that will help to ensure this program’s continued future success.”

Participating in the SRC’s Aboriginal Mentorship Program will enhance these students in the STEM programs by providing them mentoring opportunities and hands-on summer work experience with SRC.

In addition to the MOU signed with the University, SRC signed a second MOU with the Gabriel Dumont Institute that will help guarantee funding for Métis students in the program for the next three years.