A group of youth have learned the complexities of aviation after successfully completing Wasaya Airlines seventh annual Pimesaywii Apitamahkatwin First Nations Youth Aviation Camp.
Twenty-five students between the ages of 13 and 15 from various northern communities that Wasaya Airlines serves were welcomed to Confederation College for the week-long summer camp.
Keri Carpenter, a leader for the aviation camp, says that the camp aims to help Aboriginal youth stay on track.
“The camp is incentive to stay with it,” Carpenter said. “To keep the youth in school.”
Carpenter, who is completing her second year of study in the Aviation Maintenance program at Confederation College, explained that the camp not only aims to teach northern youth about career possibilities in aviation, but also in a diverse range of trades which Confederation College offers courses in.
“We did a full tour of Confederation College to see what’s available,” Carpenter explained.
“We even brought in the military and gave them an overview of programs that they can enter there.”
Attendees of the camp appreciated the diversity offered.
Jessilyn Winters, 14, of Brown Lake enjoyed her visit to Thunder Bay. It was her second year attending the camp.
Winters said that education is the most important part of the camp.
“Kids can enjoy the activities and learn about planes and helicopters,” Winters said. “I learned that I want to fly a helicopter or join the army.”
Winters was able to fly in a helicopter with the group, but she says the highlight of the camp was paintballing in the rain.
Students were flown into Thunder Bay on July 7 and stayed at Confederation College until July 15, when the camp concluded with an awards ceremony.
I feel a greater sense of hope and optimism these days for the future when I talk to many of our young First Nation people. There are still many hurdles and...