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NWCC representatives attend biggest mining convention in world

Six delegates from Northwest Community Colleges Reclamation and Prospecting Program (RAP), which is offered through the School of Exploration & Mining, attended the largest mining conference in the world March 1 to 4, 2009. Two RAP students, two program team leaders, the courses lead instructor and a RAP Elder-in-Residence went to the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) International Convention, Trade Show and Investors Exchange in Toronto to spread the word about the success of the RAP program. The group also took in important sessions including Aboriginal participation in the mineral industry: Canada and internationally, during which Phil Fontaine, Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief, updated the industry on the status of the AFN corporate challenge, which aims to increase opportunities among First Nations and industry. At last years PDAC convention, Chief Fontaine signed a memorandum of understanding between the AFN and the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada. In 2007 and 2008, the two-year RAP program trained First Nations students to work in the exploration and mining industry. Students lived and learned in the same bush camp conditions they experience when they work in the industry. The program has won several awards and boasts a high graduate employment rate; one year after the first RAP program, 85% of the First Nations graduates had jobs. RAP was initiated by the Province of British Columbia and is jointly funded by the Province and Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC). HRSDC also funded the trip to the PDAC convention.

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