What do electricity, mining, dentistry and archeology have in common? They are just a sample of the Actua camp activities enjoyed by Aboriginal youth near our operations in Fort McMurray during the week of Aug. 17.
These camps, held in Aboriginal communities across Canada, create fun learning experiences in science, technology, engineering and math for children at risk of losing interest in these subjects. However, these camps are not just about learning about “pure” science; they encourage students to discover it in their everyday lives and communities.
Youth from the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB) participated in this camp as part of our ongoing Suncor Energy Foundation (SEF) partnership with Actua. Activities included learning about the properties of electricity, the effects of various soft drinks on teeth and the various stages (exploration, extraction, etc.) in the life of a mine.
Shayne Meechan and Rose Bilou, members of our stakeholder and Aboriginal relations team, volunteered for the camps at the Nistwaoyou Friendship Centre in Fort McMurray and the Sekweha Youth Centre in Janvier.
“Initiatives like this are an important part of our work to ensure communities around our operations thrive,” said Rose. “We partner with organizations that support Aboriginal youth nationwide in developing their potential. While this camp was held in RMWB, Aamjiwnaang and Walpole Island youth have also participated in similar camps in communities near our Sarnia refinery in the past.”
The SEF has supported Actua since 2006, focusing on the charity’s National Aboriginal Outreach Program. Actua also supports a growing network of member organizations located at universities and colleges across Canada. Students from the University of Alberta deliver the programs in the RMWB.