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Performance Area: Partnering with Aboriginal youth to develop their leadership potential
Our partners and youth have taught us that organizations and programs rooted in culture and reconciliation lead to pride in self, culture and create a path towards success. Today’s youth are tomorrow’s leaders – that’s why we’re focused on building stronger connections with Aboriginal youth.
Through the Suncor Energy Foundation (SEF), we are supporting our partner organizations working towards innovative solutions for Aboriginal communities such as youth engagement, cultural opportunities and leadership/education programs to provide pathways towards a successful future.
It starts with partners who share our vision. Through the SEF funding strategy, we can be a catalyst, working with others, and connecting and supporting our communities. Some partners leading change in our community include:
- Bridges Social Development: works with Aboriginal youth in southern Alberta to find their purpose and voice while developing community leadership opportunities
- Actua: inspires youth in Aboriginal communities across Canada to see science, technology and math as a potential career path by using connection to culture and communities
- Indspire: provides opportunity for Suncor to invite Aboriginal students from our operating communities to the Indspire Awards and meet the inspiring award recipients for a life-changing experience.
- Learning Through the Arts: works with Aboriginal students in the Wood Buffalo region to use arts and culture as tools to understand curriculum and has significantly improved graduation rates in the region.
Partnering with Bridges Social Development
In the summer of 2016, our partner organization Bridges Social Development once again hosted The Aboriginal Youth Explosion. The annual event brings together the collective voices of Alberta’s Aboriginal youth to celebrate the exploration of their personal wisdom and potential. It showcases the adventurous and challenging work being done by Aboriginal youth as participants of Canada Bridges’ Unveiling Youth Potential (UYP) Program – an empowerment program aimed at realizing the potential of youth and young adults by supporting their leadership roles in building strong, resilient communities.
Watch the Aboriginal Youth Explosion videos
Measuring our progress
Over the next 10 years, we will measure year-over-year increases in two areas:
- Number of opportunities for youth leadership training and experiences
- Number of opportunities for Suncor employee and youth interactions
We’ll measure much of this work through our transformative community partners. We’ll also work with our own employees through the Aboriginal Employee Network (AEN). In particular, the AEN’s Outreach Circle is working to build a community of support for Aboriginal employees at Suncor and is developing an ambassador program. The program is intended to create a pool of ambassadors representing a broad cross-section of our Aboriginal employees interested in engaging with youth in schools and communities to share their experiences.