Supporting Indigenous Youth Programs: Outland Youth Employment Program (OYEP)

Aug 02, 2019

West Fraser is part way through a four-year commitment to support the Outland Youth Employment Program (OYEP).

OYEP is a nationwide initiative that provides pathways to education, training and work opportunities for Indigenous youth in Canada. Our annual, $50,000 donation goes to programs in British Columbia and Alberta that empower Indigenous youth and provides pre-employment training in the forestry industry. 

Participating youth are fully immersed in a natural resource-based work culture including safety training, time management, remote and rotational work schedules and work-life balance. OYEP offers regionally and culturally relevant curriculum within cutting-edge programming that includes:

  • Natural Resource based education, training and hands on work opportunities;
  • Substance free, holistic, culturally inclusive, safe and predictable camp environment;
  • Focus on work skills, life skill and independence through experiential learning.

This year, the Alberta program is operating out of semi-remote land-based learning spaces to mimic natural resource projects at Mihkowapikwaniy Cultural Preserve in Treaty 8 territory (near Lubicon Lake, Alberta). We recently set up a tree planting day for everyone at the camp, it was a fun day learning about our reforestation practices and forest management planning!

We are excited to be supporting a program that brings opportunities to Indigenous youth to pursue post-secondary education and careers in the forestry industry.