INAC’s National Science Camp visits Great Lakes Forestry Centre


Over 50 Inuit and First Nation students, chaperones and instructors, visited the Great Lakes Forestry Centre (GLFC) on Wed., August 10th, 2016.

The visit to the GLFC in Sault Ste. Marie was part of a National Science Camp programme, offered through Indigenous and Northern Affairs  (INAC) Canada. The First Nation Inuit Youth Employment Strategy National Science Camp 2016, is taking place from August 8-15 with various spaces and places being visited throughout the week. The students, chosen from across Canada are between the ages of 12-15 years old.

20160810_19050220160810_191314Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, Ontario Region with  local partners, Garden River First Nation, Batchewana First Nation and Kenjgewin Teg Educational Institute are hosting the National Camp. , these camps offer a great opportunity to bring together First Nations and Inuit youth from across Canada. The week of activities is designed to promote interest in science and technology and encourage young people to consider a career in these fields.

GLFC Director-General, Dr. David Nanang welcomed the science camp participants to GLFC, sharing with the students that Sault Ste. Marie’s own favourite daughter, Roberta Bondar was once a student intern at the GLFC.

20160810_191751“World Class Science research takes place here by renowned scientists.”  Dr. Nanang spoke to the future, encouraging students to consider a life path that includes Forestry. “Our work here is about protecting and saving Canada’s forests. We hope that you take inspiration from the work taking place here.”

20160810_193201The students had an  opportunity to engage with local forestry scientists and researchers. Jeff Fera, Canadian Wood Fibre Centre, and GLFC’s Dr. Chris MacQuarrie, John Pedlar Tim Lynham John Studens , and Phil Wiebe were in the lower level of GLFRC with interactive displays, and hands on learning opportunities.

20160810_193507Bernadette Wabie, INAC’s Ontario Regional Senior Education Officer told Saultonline, “Each region selects 5 students from applications submitted through INAC. Ontario, being the host region for the Camp this year, was able to choose 10 students, including from local First Nations, Batchewana and Garden River and Kenjgewin Teg Educational Institute.”

20160810_193451Wiebe stated that the selection process varies from region to region. For the Ontario Region, students were asked to submit an  essay which demonstrated reasons why they wanted to go to Camp. Further a drawing was included, along with 2 community references. “Students were asked to write an essay that linked Science and Forestry, to community.” she said.

“Some of the students, for example, from Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta attended Science Fairs and earned a spot to Camp through participation and excellence at the respective Science Fair.”

“Every year we change the location. Last year we were in Manitoba. In prior years we have been to Atlantic Canada, Yellowknife, Yukon, Nunavut.” Wiebe said “The late 1990’s, is when The National Science Camp started.” Wiebe has been with the Camp for 8 years.

To learn more about INAC National Science Camp: