CALGARY, ALBERTA, MONTREAL, QUEBEC, and FORT SIMPSON, NORTHWEST TERRITORIES -- (Marketwired) -- 05/06/13 -- The Dehcho Divisional Education Council and Thomas Simpson School today announced the launch of the Aboriginal Youth Entrepreneurship Program (AYEP) at the school. AYEP is a partnership with the Council, the School and Martin Aboriginal Educational Initiative (MAEI) with support from Enbridge Inc.
Under AYEP, teachers will use innovative, hands-on learning techniques to help Aboriginal students develop the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in school, business and life, while respecting their cultural heritage.
The Right Honorable Paul Martin, Canada's 21st Prime Minister and MAEI President and Founder, and Karen Radford, Executive Vice President, Enbridge, along with local community representatives, Aboriginal leaders and education officials, attended the launch at Thomas Simpson School in Fort Simpson, Northwest Territories.
"Thomas Simpson School is pleased to have been the first school in the NWT to offer AYEP through MAEI," said Freda Blyth, Principal, Thomas Simpson School. "It is a program that is of benefit to students as they prepare for future careers. Class members wish to thank those community members who have assisted them and Enbridge for co-sponsoring the program. We hope everyone who attended the launch event enjoyed their visit to Ft. Simpson and Thomas Simpson School."
"Creating educational opportunities for all Northwest Territories students is a priority of the government," said Minister Jackson Lafferty, Department of Education, Culture and Employment, Government of the Northwest Territories. "I commend Thomas Simpson School for recognizing that initiatives like the Aboriginal Youth Entrepreneurship Program help our students recognize their options and understand the importance of education, which serves to help us build a sustainable future for the Northwest Territories."
"Education is critical because it inspires our young people, opens doors and gives hope to all for a better future," says Ms. Radford. "As a long-standing member of the Fort Simpson community, Enbridge is excited to bring AYEP to the Thomas Simpson School and to continue investing in the leaders of tomorrow through our School Plus Program."
"We're pleased that the Thomas Simpson School has introduced this program into its curriculum," said Mr. Martin. "Aboriginal Canadians are the fastest-growing segment of our population and will be key drivers of Canada's economy. AYEP will help ensure that Aboriginal students at Thomas Simpson School have the skills and experience they need to fully participate in our growing economy, and to enjoy greater economic self-reliance and a better quality of life."
At the program launch, students had the opportunity to meet Mr. Martin, who took part in a school assembly and a luncheon roundtable with community members, Aboriginal leaders, students, funders and educational leaders.
About Thomas Simpson Secondary School
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