This summer Vanderwell Contractors, along with West Fraser, Alberta Pacific, Weyerhaeuser, Canfor and Millar Western, supported the first annual Outland Youth Employment Program (OYEP) in Alberta. Vanderwell, along with the above forestry companies have committed 4 years of funding to support the annual OYEP program in Alberta. This summers’ camp was based out of Lubicon Lake at the Mihkowapikwaniy Cultural Preserve and Camp.
Outland Youth Employment Program (OYEP) is a local, community driven initiative that works towards equity and opportunity for Indigenous Youth through land-based education, training and work opportunities. Developed in 2000 as a forestry training initiative, OYEP has grown a nation-wide opportunity with a network of over 500 graduates from 103 communities across Canada. “
OYEP is a six week work-experience program, providing training and education where the youth are fully immersed in a natural, resource-based work culture. They achieve various safety and training certificates as well as hands on work opportunities, delivered in a regionally and culturally relevant curriculum.
Vanderwell donated lumber towards a Construction and Building Techniques Project at Mihkowapikwaniy where the youth planned and built a permanent wood shed. The youth toured the Vanderwell mill site and engaged in a session on forestry/sawmill based employment and opportunities.
Vanderwell congratulates the 20 graduates from this year’s program who are representing 13 different Alberta communities. We look forward to continued success of this program within the region and the province of Alberta as it grows in the future years.
*Feature Image: (Left) Youths’ building a woodshed with Vanderwell lumber, (Middle) Vanderwell mill tour, (Right) Closing Ceremony with the OYEP youth graduates