With a history of giving to Lakeland College, Cenovus Energy is making a donation of $650,000 to Indigenous services at the education establishment.
In making the announcement Monday at the Indigenous Student Lounge, Cenovus officials expressed their commitment to Indigenous reconciliation, self-sufficiency and the future benefit of the workforce.
It was noted that in the past the student residence at the college housed the workers who constructed the Upgrader and as well the Cenovus involvement dates back to the establishment of the energy centre in 2015 which has one of the best steam labs in Canada.
The donation will assist with employment skills, alumni mentorship and engagement, Elder-in-residence programs and cultural programming, says the College along with essential financial aid and student emergency funding.
Jon Albert who hails from Sweetgrass First Nation sees how the Cenovus gift will be beneficial to Indigenous students especially in helping with the cost of education.
“I think it’s going to help them a lot. It will take the financial burden off their shoulders – provide meals for the families and transportation to get to college. One of the biggest things is getting to school. And you got to be fed when you’re going to school because if you are not – you won’t be paying attention.”
Albert is in the second-year of power engineering. He is a mentor to his peers and was inducted into the President’s Circle at the college and got on the dean’s list. These accolades allowed him to benefit from bursaries and scholarships. Albert also got his Journeyperson Gasfitter (A) ticket at the college back in 2016.
Cenovus senior vice-president of downstream manufacturing, Doreen Cole says the company partners with organizations in a number of areas including supporting future-ready youth. Cole adds the contribution is part of a series of investments the company is making across Alberta.
“This investment includes 25-scholarships, sponsorship of the Spirit North Youth leadership program which looks to enable and make young leaders unstoppable in the areas of sport, school and life, and it also invests in the Inspire awards,” says Cole.
Albert is also a recipient of the Inspire awards which seek to recognize outstanding individual achievement.
Officials add the funding will also support programs to help Indigenous students as they navigate the post-secondary transition, as well as program and curriculum development and student orientation.