MANS Welding Shop- Update

The grand opening of the new CWB Welding Foundation Welding Shop near Maskwacis, Alberta was celebrated on September 28, 2018

It has been a little over a month since the grand opening of the new CWB Welding Foundation Welding Shop near Maskwacis, Alberta, and students are excitedly anticipating the welding program start in mid-November. The grand opening was celebrated on September 28, 2018 by CWB Welding Foundation along with Chief Vernon Saddleback (Samson Cree Nation, Maskwacis), Deputy Minister of Alberta Education Curtis Clarke and major private sector funding partners including Giles Royer (VP Industrial of Bird Construction), internationally-known eye surgeon Dr. Howard Gimbel (Gimbel Eye Centre, Calgary and Edmonton). First Nations individuals contributed 25% of the funds for the high school buildings. Larry Wilkins, the First Nations owner and CEO of External Affairs Medical Spas (Edmonton, St. Albert) was a major partner in the $4.9 million capital campaign. The welding shop is located in the Career and Technology Studies (CTS) building, in the new high school campus of Mamawi Atosketan Native School (MANS). The building is located just outside of Ponoka, Alberta on traditional Treaty 6 territory. The new campus will accommodate 200 grade 7-12  students. Cody Vigeant, Program and Communications Associate of CWB Welding Foundation, was able to attend the official ribbon cutting celebration on behalf of CWB Welding Foundation.

“The Ribbon-cutting ceremony was truly amazing.  The amount of support from both industry and the Seventh Day Adventist Church to come together and accomplish a project of this magnitude is surreal.  It truly shows the difference that we all can make when we work as a team and make a positive difference.  The CWB Welding Foundation, on behalf donors across Canada, is both extremely happy and fortunate to be able to contribute to such an amazing cause.”

-Cody Vigeant.  Programs and Communications Association with the CWB Welding Foundation.

Mamawi Atosketan Native School, which name means “Working Together” in Cree, is dedicated to providing an excellent academic program that respects and responds to each student’s Cree cultural and academic needs within a safe and caring rural environment.

In the true spirit of working together, the CWB Welding Foundation began planning and preparing with MANS for the opening of the welding shop within the CTS building in 2016. Through sharing knowledge, experience and financial support, CWB Welding Foundation was thrilled to lay the footing for collaboration and the beginning of a welding program for Mamawi Atosketan, which will serve future generations of welders. The welding shop aims to encourage Indigenous youth to explore opportunities and further their education in welding.

The welding shop is set to start their programming in mid-November 2018 and the students are really excited to get involved:

Shaneek, Grade 11 “The welding shop looks really cool. Its going to be interesting to learn there!”

Jade, Grade 11 “Learning in the welding shop will open up my career opportunities”

Drake (grade 10) “Learning how to weld could probably get me a good paying job after I graduate”

Over the next several months CWB Welding Foundation is excited to see the positive and impactful results of that the welding shop has on the community and students of the Maskwacis community of Alberta and the opportunities and successes it will provide.