Grand Chief Richard Kappo (Left) and APEGGA President Jim Smith (Right) sign a Memorandum of Agreement

Grand Chief Richard Kappo (Left) and APEGGA President Jim Smith (Right) sign a Memorandum of Agreement.

Agreement to Improve Treaty 8 Educational Outcomes | January 26, 2012

A significant agreement has been signed between First Nations in Treaty 8 (Alberta) and a self-regulating professional organization. It is the first of its kind in Alberta and quite possibly the first in Canada. The agreement captures a common understanding and shared vision in which First Nations people will be represented in the engineering and geoscience professions at the same level as they are represented in Alberta society – currently six per cent. The goal of The Association of Professional Engineers, Geologists and Geophysicists of Alberta is to have two per cent of its professional members self-identified as Aboriginal by 2030.

Highlights of the memorandum of agreement include:

Education is our Buffalo. Education is central to a rewarding and fulfilling life and will enable First Nations youth to contribute fully to society.

Working together to identify and employ best practices to remove barriers and create strategic opportunities that foster successful First Nations learners.

Addressing Alberta`s skilled knowledge worker shortage. Both Treaty 8 and APEGGA feel an obligation to expose First Nations youth to the career opportunities in engineering and geoscience.

Aboriginal youth must be encouraged to stay in school and study math and sciences to make the pursuit of a career in engineering and geoscience a viable option.

"Our First Nations are looking forward to an opportunity to work collaboratively to improve educational outcomes for Treaty 8 students. We want them to be ready to participate in today`s world economy. We welcome and value these kinds of inclusive educational opportunities for our youth," says Treaty 8 First Nations (Alberta) Grand Chief Richard Kappo.

"From APEGGA`s perspective, the purpose of the agreement is to commit to working with Treaty 8 First Nation to leverage our respective strengths. Our strengths lie in our human and financial resources and experience with the content and logistics of science outreach to youth. Alberta`s First Nations are very youthful populations. First Nations have both the desire and the ability to encourage their youth to engage in science outreach initiatives," says APEGGA President Jim Smith, P.Eng., FEC.

Treaty 8 First Nations of Alberta is a representative organization consisting of the 24 First Nations in Northern Alberta whose ancestors entered into Treaty No. 8 with the Crown and agreed to share our land, respect each other and honour the Treaty. Treaty 8`s education department mandate is to build a First Nation contemporary, comprehensive, and holistic education system that will provide lifelong learning, First Nation language and culture programming and excellent quality programming including science, technology, mathematics and career planning programs supported by a strong competitive academic program.

Established in 1920, APEGGA is responsible for regulating the practices of engineering, geology and geophysics in the province of Alberta. The association`s members play a significant role in every segment of the economy and their technical and management expertise ensure Alberta remains at the forefront of technological innovation.