“Because we work in many
Indigenous communities as
well as within the Indigenous
traditional lands and territories,
we’re always looking at ways to
participate with each community.”
– John Bonin, Aecon
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“It’s important to have a good education,” said Bonin. “This bursary
opens the door for students who are in those fields to possibly look at
Aecon as a potential future employer, and also for us to look at and keep
track of them as they go through their post-secondary education.”
Under the bursary program, $50,000 will be awarded annually, with
$25,000 donated by Aecon and the rest comprised of matching funds
from the federal government.
Bonin notes the money will be used to help Indigenous students offset
some of their education costs to allow them to focus on their academic
“Indigenous youth who are able to have that education can quickly get
into the mainstream economy to support themselves,” he said. “That creates
confident and educated Indigenous graduates, so it opens the doors
for them down the road.”
The Aecon Group Indigenous Bursary is one example of Aecon’s commitment
to building inclusive and collaborative relationships with Indigenous
peoples across Canada. The company also fosters Indigenous participation
through apprenticeships, employment training, joint ventures and other
sustainability and business development initiatives.
“We’ve been working closely with Indigenous communities and have had
our Indigenous relations program in place for over 10 years,” said Bonin.
“We need to respect that Indigenous peoples have a right to be involved
with all of the work that we’re doing, to be included,” he added.
“We purposely create plans that include Indigenous communities within
our construction projects.”
To this end, the company recently teamed up with Indspire, a national
Indigenous registered charity, to support Indigenous students pursuing
Through the three-year partnership, Aecon will donate to Indspire’s
Building Brighter Futures: Bursaries, Scholarships and Awards program,
which provides financial assistance to First Nations, Inuit and Métis students.
The Aecon Group Indigenous Bursary will be awarded to Indigenous
students with a demonstrated need for financial support who are enrolled
in an engineering, business or technical trades program at a Canadian
34 Think BIG | Quarter 1 2021 | saskheavy.ca