Supporting Indigenous Youth in B.C.

This August, Finning sponsored the Outland Youth Employment Program (OYEP) West 2021 – a six week program to help Indigenous youth gain valuable work experience and learning including the opportunity to earn their First Aid & S100 Certificates, Chain Saw Certificate and high school credits. This year the program was expanded thanks to OYEP’s partnership with Junior Achievement, and all participants were also offered the opportunity to take a financial literacy course.

The work experience portion of the program took place at Putchesakut Lake, B.C., where the youth were part of a trail-building curriculum which involved helping to clear and build the Koster Cove Trail near Quesnel, B.C. This portion of the trail has been under construction for the past five years and with help from OYEP is now open for locals to enjoy.

16 Indigenous communities were represented and came from a multitude of Nations including Little Shuswap Lake, Tkemlups te Secwepemc, Sugar Cane, Halfway, Dog Creek Band, Nak’azdli Whut’en, Toosey Indian Band, McLeod Lake, Saik’uz, Nlaka’pamux, Lheidli Tennah Band, Tl’azten and McLeod Lake Indian Band.  The program culminated in some impressive achievements with over 4600 hours of work experience logged and 18 youth gaining certificates in First Aid, S100, chainsaw operation, plant identification, and financial literacy plus 24 high school credits were earned.

Finning is proud to support the 2021 OYEP and help Indigenous youth in B.C. gain some valuable experience. This year’s valedictorian said it best. “Be proud of what you’ve accomplished here and look forward with pride knowing that you as well can be an inspiration to others.”