Archived — Harper Government Supports STEM Education for First Nations and Aboriginal Students

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For immediate release
December 10, 2012

Oakville, Ontario — First Nations and other Aboriginal students across southern Ontario will have access to innovative training in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields thanks to a funding announcement today for the Indigenous Education Coalition (IEC), through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario).

"Our government recognizes that strong economies rely on innovation, investment, education and communities" said Lambton-Kent-Middlesex MP Bev Shipley. "In order for southern Ontario's economy to continue to grow, we need to invest in the young people who will become the innovators and industry leaders of tomorrow."

The Indigenous Education Coalition is receiving up to $585,200 through FedDev Ontario's Youth STEM initiative to expand its youth outreach programs to encourage First Nations and other Aboriginal students in grades 4 to 8 to pursue STEM studies. The group is working with scientists from Western University as well as local businesses to provide students with educational and hands-on learning opportunities. The Coalition is also partnering with IBM and Apple Canada to offer students the unique opportunity to learn how to design web apps and websites that will promote environmental awareness.

"We are pleased to have this opportunity to support youth in our communities with STEM resources," said IEC Chairperson William Tooshkenig of Walpole Island (Bkejwanong). "These opportunities help First Nation students with heritage, economic and social development."

The IEC is a not-for-profit organization focused on providing education support to First Nations communities in southwestern Ontario. IEC develops curriculum and other teaching resources that provide support for education systems, including schools, in areas such as science, mathematics, technology along with traditional learning, First Nations languages literacy and English literacy.

FedDev Ontario's Youth STEM provides funding to eligible not-for-profit organizations to expand, enhance and coordinate the reach and impact of educational outreach programs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) for children and youth in kindergarten through grade 12. The initiative is designed to encourage young people to pursue further studies and careers in these fields, creating a future talent pool that is well-positioned to fuel business innovation and technology development in southern Ontario.

Created in 2009, FedDev Ontario supports the southern Ontario economy by building on the region's strengths and creating opportunities for jobs and economic growth. The Agency has launched a number of initiatives to create a Southern Ontario Advantage and place the region in a strong position to compete in the global economy. These initiatives are designed to encourage partnerships and support projects that help the region's businesses and communities become more competitive, innovative and diversified. To learn more, please visit or call 1-866-593-5505.

Follow us on Twitter @FedDevOntario

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For more information, contact:

Stephanie Thomas
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Gary Goodyear

Media Relations
FedDev Ontario

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