EDMONTON, Jan. 9, 2014 /CNW/ - The Forest Products Association of Canada
(FPAC) has awarded the second annual Skills Award for Aboriginal Youth
to Shayna Mason, a student in the Forestry Program at the University of
The $2,500 award is targeted at youth from 18 to 30 who are enrolled in
an apprenticeship program, college or in university, who are a First
Nations, Métis or Inuit individual with strong academic standing, and
who are committed to their field of study and a career in the
revitalized forest sector.
"Shayna's love of forestry and strong sense of responsibility to the
Aboriginal Community is testimony to the positive direction our
industry is taking," says David Lindsay, President and CEO of FPAC.
"The forest products industry currently employs about 17,000 Aboriginal
workers, making it the largest employer of First Nations individuals.
Under Vision2020, FPAC has committed to hiring more Aboriginal workers,
and Shayna represents an emerging Aboriginal youth conscious of how
their unique perspective and intimate knowledge of the land can only
strengthen our industry and its commitment to responsible and
Mason, who is a member of the Gitxaala Nation in Kitkatla, British
Columbia, also sits on the Executive of the UofA Forest Society and is
a student member of the Canadian Institute of Forestry (CIF). Mason's
interest for the forest sector started early in her youth. While
pursuing a Finance degree at the University of Northern British
Columbia, she spent her summers planting trees. "I soon realized that I
had a passion for forestry," says Mason. After working three years in
finance, she decided to change careers and pursue her dream of becoming
a forester. "I want to honour the spirit of past forestry leaders while
trying to adapt to a changing industry and environment."
"Shayna immediately struck me as an engaged and enthusiastic student,"
says Alex Drummond, Coordinator of the Forestry program at UofA. "Not
only has she excelled academically, she is always willing to assist
those a little less confident or experienced. She is an advocate and
role model - a true community leader."
The Youth Award builds on the joint FPAC-AFN Business Leadership Award
which has been awarded four times. It recognizes and celebrates
Aboriginal entrepreneurs for success in a forest products business that
exemplifies business leadership, exceptional environmental and safety
performance and the delivery of high-quality products and services.
Vision2020 is aimed at creating more innovative products from wood,
further improving the industry's environmental reputation and hiring an
additional 60,000 workers. This will include recruiting more
entrepreneurs and skilled workers in rural forestry communities
including Aboriginal youth. About 17,000 Aboriginal people now work in
the forest products industry, the most of any sector.
FPAC provides a voice for Canada's wood, pulp, and paper producers
nationally and internationally in government, trade, and environmental
affairs. The $57-billion-a-year forest products industry represents 2%
of Canada's GDP and is one of Canada's largest employers operating in
hundreds of communities and providing 230,000 direct jobs across the
SOURCE: FOREST PRODUCTS ASSOCIATION OF CANADA
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Forest Products Association of Canada
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