Rio Tinto Alcan and Indspire have announced a $2-million Rio Tinto Award for Indigenous Students.
RTA will contribute $1-million with the federal government matching that amount.
The announcement was made today by Alf Barrios, CEO of RTA, at Indspire’s Indigenous Youth Career Conference in Vancouver.
The conference brings together Indigenous youths to learn about careers and post-secondary education options.
Barrios says the students he met at the conference understand the importance of pursuing an advanced education.
High school students from the Haisla and Cheslatta First Nations are in Vancouver attending the conference.
Mt. Elizabeth Secondary School grade 11 student, Alexis Stewart, is from the Haisla First Nation and says the conference was better than anything she anticipated.
She says after high school she originally wanted to get into art, but is now also considering computer technology.
Trevor Amos is one of the adult chaperones, and he says even he found the presentations interesting.
Amos says there were participants from as far as Ottawa.
He adds it’s been an incredibly positive experience for the participating students, and he hopes they’ll have the opportunity to attend the next conference.
Indspire is a charity that funds post-secondary education for Indigenous students.
According to their website, they have awarded $79-million through almost 25,000 bursaries and scholarships.