LNG Canada has announced a three-year, $150,000 sponsorship of the Outland Youth Employment Program (OYEP) in British Columbia.
OYEP West, a six-week, live-in camp near Prince George, B.C. provides Indigenous youth aged 16 to 18 years old, with an immersive, hands-on experience to develop critical life and work skills. Over the past 19 years, OYEP has impacted the lives of close to 500 Indigenous students from more than 71 communities across Canada.
LNG Canada’s sponsorship runs through to 2021 and builds on its one-time sponsorship in 2018 of the OYEP West camp.
“OYEP has outstanding programming and provides significant opportunities to Indigenous youth,” said Susannah Pierce, director, external relations for LNG Canada, in a news release. “We saw the benefits OYEP West provided to the 2018 participants, and it was an easy decision to continue our support.”
LNG Canada’s funding will see the continued expansion of the OYEP program in B.C., resulting in more opportunities for Indigenous youth to gain the critical skills needed for success in their personal and professional lives.
“The Outland Youth Employment Program is excited to accept a three-year commitment of financial support from LNG Canada following a successful inaugural OYEP West Camp in 2018,” said Peter Cameron, director, business development at OYEP. “The program is entering its 20th consecutive year of delivery across Canada, which has been made possible by the generous support of partners like LNG Canada that recognize the potential in Indigenous youth and want to offer pathways to their success.”
The multi-year commitment from LNG Canada means Indigenous youth in B.C. will have continued access to reliable, relevant and meaningful opportunities in the resource sector.
Derek Orr, business development manager at Carrier Lumber, and a former elected chief of the McLeod Lake Indian Band, was instrumental in bringing the Outland Youth Employment Program model to the West.
“OYEP has a structured environment that provides Indigenous youth a chance to interact with fellow peers, gain skills and develop their self-confidence,” said, Orr. “LNG Canada’s decision to fund OYEP for the next three years goes to show, once again, how resource development in B.C., can provide meaningful opportunities for communities. We are very appreciative of LNG Canada’s commitment to our youth.”
Youth in the program are immersed in a resource-based work culture, including safety training, time management, remote and rotational work schedules, and work- life balance. OYEP includes a combination of core in-camp training, personal development planning, natural resource-based curriculum, job-shadow experiences and employer-employee connections.
“OYEP was a positive experience,” said Tyson Beaulieu, West Moberly Lake First Nation. “I got to know a lot of new people and everything we did was so fun. Getting to drum and sing made me feel really good about myself as well. All of the training (fire fighting, first-aid, lake water level 1, chainsaw safety) will help me in my future career because I now have these tickets and will be able to use these skills.”
Participants build confidence, establish networks, learn how to work independently and as a group, and develop a keen understanding of workplace expectations. The program prepares youth for a successful transition to employment and post secondary education.
“It was an amazing experience for us and we learned a lot of valuable skills and lessons through the program,” said Karrissa Brown, Burns Lake First Nation. “I think that everyone should have a chance at experiencing something like the OYEP camp.”
The OYEP West 2018 camp included more than 20 Indigenous youth representing 16 Indigenous communities:Burns Lake, Esk’etemc, Fort Nelson, Halfway River, Lake Babine, McLeod Lake, Metis, Eabametoong, Nadleh Whut’en, Nak’azdli, Saik’uz, Takla Lake, Tl’azt’en Nation, West Moberly, Wet’suwet’en and Fort William. Among the participants, they achieved 89 accredited certifications in areas such as First Aid, Chainsaw, Fire SP100 and Canoe Safety.
The LNG Canada joint venture is building a liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facility in Kitimat, British Columbia, Canada, which will initially consist of two LNG processing units, referred to as “trains.”
LNG Canada is a joint venture comprised of Royal Dutch Shell plc, through its affiliate Shell Canada Energy (40%); PETRONAS, through its wholly-owned entity, North Montney LNG Limited Partnership (25%); PetroChina Company Limited, through its subsidiary PetroChina Canada Limited (15%); Mitsubishi Corporation, through its subsidiary Diamond LNG Canada Ltd. (15%); and Korea Gas Corporation, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Kogas Canada LNG Ltd (5%). It is operated through LNG Canada Development Inc.