Former Prime Minister visits Saugeen Shores high school

February 25, 2015


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Representatives of the four organizations sign the MAEI certificates as program students watch
(L-R) SDSS Principal Melissa McEwan, Bluewater Director of Education Steve Blake, Saugeen Ojibway Nation Chief Vernon Roote, Rt. Hon. Paul Martin & Harry Hall, V-P Supply Chain of Bruce Power

Rt. Hon. Paul Martin with students of G. C. Huston Public School Drumming group with Principal Dan Russell (far left)

The Right Honourable Paul Martin, founder of the Martin Aboriginal Education Initiative (MAEI) and former Prime Minister of Canada, visited Saugeen District Secondary School (SDSS) today to speak with students enrolled in the Aboriginal Youth Entrepreneurship Program (AYEP). 

"The future of our land doesn't just depend on the resources that lie in the ground, it depends on the talent of those who walk upon it," said Martin. "AYEP is about opportunity - the opportunity that we must ensure is there for every student who crosses Saugeen District Secondary School's threshold."

Bruce Power and Bluewater District School Board (BWDSB) share that vision, which is why they teamed up with the MAEI to offer the program for local Aboriginal youth.

Twelve students are currently enrolled in the program at SDSS, which began in September. The AYEP uses hands-on activities to improve student'’ proficiency in business mathematics, financial literacy, accounting, marketing, information/communications technology and social responsibility, while supporting the acquisition of leadership skills.

"This program is designed to give students the tools to go out and be successful, while also being about hopes and dreams," says Duncan Hawthorne, Bruce Power's President & CEO. "It’s our sincere hope these students dream big and then make those dreams come true." Bruce Power has provided $41,000 in keeping with its goal of working to build strong, long-term relationships with Aboriginal communities and supporting educational opportunities for young people.

"Bluewater District School Board is pleased to work in partnership with Bruce Power and to have the opportunity to pilot the Martin Aboriginal Education Initiative program at Saugeen District Secondary School for our First Nation and Métis students,” said Steve Blake, Director of Education. "This is a unique program that teaches Aboriginal youth how to launch a business whereby they can develop the knowledge and skills necessary to achieve success in school and beyond."

 About the Martin Aboriginal Education Initiative

MAEI was established in 2008 in order to develop and facilitate lasting solutions to improve elementary and secondary school education outcomes for Aboriginal Canadians. 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.

Rt. Hon. Paul Martin with first of MAEI students at SDSS (L) Savanna House, Destiny Roote, Hayley Carter 

MAEI believes the development of knowledge and skills will provide Aboriginal youth with an incentive to continue their education. Projects are chosen in consultation with the pertinent Aboriginal leadership, provincial and territorial education authorities, public and private organizations, non-government organizations and local business communities.

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MAEI has five major projects across Canada: Aboriginal Youth Entrepreneurship Program, the Accounting Mentorship Program, Promising Practices in Aboriginal Education Website, the We Stand Together campaign with Free the Children, and the Model School Project at Chippewas of Kettle and Stony Point First Nation and Walpole Island First Nation.

MAEI is developing a First Nations Principals’ Course with a thirteen member First Nation panel. In addition, MAEI is developing an Aboriginal Youth Entrepreneurship Program online.

For more information on the Martin Aboriginal Education Initiative visit www.maei-ieam.ca .

Rt. Hon. Paul Martin is presented with an original artwork by student artist Taylor Cameron

About Bruce Power Bruce

Power operates the world’s largest operating nuclear generating facility and is the source of roughly 30 per cent of Ontario’s electricity. The company's site in Tiverton, Ontario is home to eight CANDU reactors, each one capable of generating enough low-cost, reliable, safe and clean electricity to meet the annual needs of a city the size of Hamilton. Formed in 2001, Bruce Power is an all-Canadian partnership among Borealis Infrastructure Management (a division of the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System), TransCanada, the Power Workers’ Union and the Society of Energy Professionals. A majority of Bruce Power's employees are also owners in the business.

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Wednesday, February 25, 2015