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Pikangikum forest ecosystem management graduates celebrated

Thursday June 26, 2014
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Five Pikangikum graduates celebrated the completion of their two-year Forest Ecosystem Management Technician program on June 17.

Pikangikum’s Warren Keeper is looking forward to working in the field after graduating from Confederation College’s two-year Forest Ecosystem Management Technician program.

“The best thing about the program is that you get to use what you’ve learned in the field,” said Keeper, who enjoyed the opportunity to work outside and do hands-on learning in the program.

Keeper and four other Pikangikum students — Murray Quill, Darrell Keeper, Warren Keeper, Max King and Valerie King — graduated from the program on June 17 after studying in their home community over the past two years.

“I liked that it was based in Pikangikum and that I didn’t have to leave my home to get more education,” said Keeper, who had previously studied in the Pre-Technology Trades program at Confederation College.

The graduation ceremony was the first for a two-year post-secondary program in a First Nation community.

“We made history today,” said Confederation College president Jim Madder. “We are extremely proud of our students for reaching this important milestone. We wish them continued success as they move forward into the next phase of their individual journeys.”

The graduation also marked the fulfillment of the Whitefeather Forest training initiative funded through Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, which included Pre-GED, GED, HEO, Office Administration and College Access programs.

Pikangikum was home to the first convocation ceremony in a First Nation community when seven graduates received diplomas from the College Access and Office Administration programs.

Quill received the Academic Award of Excellence in the program.

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