Ontario Power Generation (OPG) has named three Indigenous Fellows as part of this year’s class of the John Wesley Beaver Memorial Fellowship program.
The three Aboriginal students, two with ties to Northern Ontario, each received $10,000 scholarships from OPG.
The John Wesley Beaver Memorial Scholarship is named after one of the most outstanding engineers in the history of Ontario Power Generation (OPG). Established in 1995, the award is administered by OPG’s Aboriginal Circle, a resource and networking group for Aboriginal employees.
This year’s prizes were awarded to:
Desiree Boulter of Bruce Mines, a biology student at Algoma University and a member of the Red Rock Indian Band. Her future goals are to educate and inspire people on the subject of sustainable living.
Brittney Pigeau of North Bay, and a member of Marten Falls First Nation, is studying environmental studies at Carleton University, a field where she envisions her future career.
Tiffany Plain, a member of the Aamjiwnaang First Nation near Sarnia, is studying Chemical Production and Energy Engineering Technology at Lambton College. Once graduated, she would like to become a nuclear operator.
First Nations (status or non-status), Inuit or Métis students are eligible for the John Wesley Beaver Fellowship.
“This award will allow me to prioritize my academic success,” Boulter said in an OPG press release. “It also boosted my self-confidence and made me feel supported, which helps me deal better with school-related challenges.”
“Receiving this scholarship has helped me significantly with school-related expenses, allowing me to live close to school to complete my education,” Pigeau said in a statement. “I strongly encourage other students to apply for this award.”
“Receiving this scholarship has allowed me to focus exclusively on my studies while I complete my studies, reducing the financial burden,” Plain said. “I am very grateful to OPG for taking steps to increase Indigenous representation within its workforce and for building relationships with Indigenous communities. »
John Wesley Beaver, who died in 1980, was a fighter pilot in World War II and served as Chief of Alderville First Nation in the early 1950s. He joined Ontario Hydro in 1949 as a junior engineer and quickly rose through the ranks, eventually becoming Operations Engineer for Northeastern Ontario.
“OPG has a strong track record in developing and maintaining mutually beneficial working relationships with Indigenous communities in Ontario, and we are committed through the Reconciliation Action Plan to do more,” said Heather Ferguson, Senior Vice President of Business Development Strategy and Corporate Affairs. “Helping these highly deserving students achieve their educational goals is exactly the kind of concrete action we are committed to taking to help build a better future.”
“I commend OPG for supporting these accomplished students as we work to build relationships with Indigenous communities and advance reconciliation through concrete action,” said provincial Energy Minister Todd Smith.