International Minerals Innovation Institute (IMII) believes in diversity and inclusion in Saskatchewan’s minerals industry’s workforce and the future of the industry as one of the world’s most sustainable and innovative. On behalf of its mineral industry members – BHP, Cameco, Mosaic and Nutrien, and Innovation Saskatchewan, IMII is pleased to award $87,000 in scholarships to six students at three institutions.   

“IMII created the scholarship program to support students on their career path to the minerals industry,” says Al Shpyth, IMII’s executive director. “The scholarships are meant to lighten the financial responsibilities they have and give them more time for their family and studies.”

Five students received the iMpowered scholarship, created to support women and Indigenous students with financial responsibilities for their family and who are interested in a career in the minerals industry pursue a college, polytechnic, or university program in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, or computer science. One University of Saskatchewan student received the Mining Futures Award for 2022. This award recognizes an undergraduate student currently enrolled in one of three mining engineering options at USask.

Tia Tootoosis and Tashrwin Tarique are both pursuing the Power Engineering Program at Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies.  As single mothers, the scholarship has empowered them on their education path by reducing their financial stress and allowing them more time to study and focus on their children.

“Thank you to the International Minerals and Innovation Institute for investing in our students and their futures,” says Riel Bellegarde, President and CEO of the Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies. “Ensuring female and Indigenous representation in fields relating to STEM is crucial to driving innovative economic growth in Saskatchewan.”

Saskatchewan Polytechnic sports three winners, Royce Bigsky in the Chemical Technology Program, Joshua Cossette in the Power Engineering Technology Program, and Jodi Delorme in the Environmental Engineering Technology Program.  The scholarship is helping to support them in the investment they are making in themselves, their family, and their future by giving them some relief on the day-to-day financial stress and more time and energy to focus on succeeding as a student.

“Congratulations to the Saskatchewan Polytechnic iMpowered Scholarship recipients, Royce, Joshua and Jodi,” says Dr. Larry Rosia, Saskatchewan Polytechnic president and CEO. “The iMpowered Scholarship provides students with financial stability, allowing them to focus on their education as they prepare to join Saskatchewan’s growing minerals industry. This scholarship is helping build a more diverse and inclusive workforce. I encourage eligible students to apply for future iMpowered Scholarships!”

Paige Perras is the 2021-22 recipient of the Mining Futures Award with the College of Engineering at the University of Saskatchewan.  Paige is currently in her third year of chemical engineering, enrolled in the mining option program and is co-president of the chemical student society. 

“We’re grateful to IMII for providing this exceptional award. Receiving support like this is transformational in a student’s academic journey. We’re thrilled that Paige’s hard work and potential are being recognized.”   Dean Suzanne Kresta.

The scholarship program is a five-year initiative that has IMII committing over $500,000 to help build a diverse, inclusive, and qualified workforce for Saskatchewan’s minerals industry. 

Congratulations to Tia, Tashrwin, Royce, Joshua, Jodi, and Paige!

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