SUDBURY -- A new partnership that includes the Indigenous charity Indspire, Vale and Cambrian College will help Indigenous students looking to study the trades get the financial support they need to succeed at school through 2023.

Vale will be providing $75,000 to Cambrian College to support students in Indigenous communities enrolling in skilled trade programs. The funds will be matched by Indspire, translating to $150,000 over three years.

“Through this scholarship, we aim to encourage skilled trades careers and to support Indigenous students through their learning journey,” Danica Pagnutti, corporate and Indigenous affairs specialist for Vale’s Ontario operations, said in a news release Wednesday. “We’re very pleased to partner with Indspire and Cambrian College on this exciting new learning initiative.”

Indspire is a national Indigenous charity designed to enrich Canada through Indigenous education and by inspiring achievement. In partnership with Indigenous, private and public sector stakeholders, Indspire educates, connects and invests in Indigenous people so they will achieve their highest potential.

Fastest growing demographic

“This partnership is another step in the direction of supporting First Nations, Inuit and Métis students to achieve their potential," Roberta Jamieson, president and CEO of Indspire, said in the release. "As Canada’s fastest growing demographic group they stand ready to enrich our country in so many ways … We are grateful for the support of Cambrian College and for the work they are doing to advance the achievement and education of Indigenous students.”

Each award is valued at $2,500 and will be offered to students enrolling in the heavy equipment technician, industrial mechanical millwright technician, power engineering, electrical engineering and welding and fabrication technician programs.

“We recognize that our Indigenous students are unique in the sense that they have not always had the same opportunities throughout their education as others throughout the country” said Ron Sarazin, Cambrian’s director of Indigenous student success and services. “Being able to provide new students with access to funding at this level will allow them to focus directly on their education, in turn helping to build their confidence and capabilities.”

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