Wood is excited to announce its support of Indigenous students in Canada through a three-year commitment of over $100,000 with Indspire. Indspire is a national Indigenous charity that invests in the education of First Nations, Inuit and Métis people for the long-term benefit of these individuals, their families and communities, and Canada.
In 2020-2021, Indspire provided over $20 million of educational support to 6,245 Indigenous students across Canada, however, this only met 25% of the need. To further this charity’s impact, Wood has established a bursary program with Indspire to financially support Indigenous students pursuing post-secondary education in the coming years. This commitment to Indspire will be supported through Wood’s Education Fund and in collaboration with all of our business units in Canada.
Of those students who are awarded educational funds through Indspire, approximately 90% graduate, 58% of graduates achieve an undergraduate degree and 89% of graduates are employed. Additionally, over 50% of graduates have continued their education toward another post-secondary credential. Wood is pleased to share the story of Kennedy Rolston, a Métis student pursuing a Civil Engineering degree, whose education journey the company supported in 2020 through Wood’s Indigenous Bursary.
Kennedy shared: “When I graduate, I intend to work with an Indigenous-owned engineering company and contribute to projects that can improve life within Indigenous communities. Whether this is in structural upgrades to buildings already built in the communities, or water and sewage infrastructure improvements, I would like to be able to meet the needs of the community while fostering strong relationships with Indigenous Nations.
“Your support has allowed me to complete my final year of studies with a weight lifted off my shoulders. I have faced financial barriers throughout the entirety of my undergrad, and this bursary has helped relieve these barriers as I reach the finish line.”
Wood’s clients are actively supporting Indigenous students to help them reach their goals, and programs like Indspire have become an integral part of their paths toward achieving sustainability goals and social commitments. Wood recognizes the importance of these educational programs and the role they play in the company’s Indigenous Inclusion Strategy and response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action n. 92.
Mary Kelly, Canadian Director of Social Inclusion, commented: “Education is integral to the reconciliation journey and supporting Indigenous Peoples in reaching their educational goals is another action we can take. Through community partnerships like these, we invest in and connect with Indigenous People so they can achieve their highest potential that supports meaningful, long-term and multi-generational change.”