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Aboriginal Environmental Monitoring Training Program

Fleming College will offer an Aboriginal Environmental Monitoring Training Program (AEMTP) for First Nations students, for the first time in Ontario.The program runs full-time from September 15 to October 17, Monday to Friday. The five-week training will prepare graduates for work on various projects, such as environmental impact studies and site assessments, fishing, power generation, and forest-harvesting.The pilot delivery is taking place at Alderville First Nation, thanks to the community support and generous offering of the community’s Learning Centre facility,The AEMTP is a certificate course developed by Building Environmental Aboriginal Human Resources (BEAHR). The program has been offered in every other Canadian province and territory to date. But in 2008 Fleming College will be delivering it to Aboriginal participants in Ontario for the first time through its School of Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences.According to BEAHR, environmental monitors observe the environment and the impacts of human and industrial activities. They provide this information to various stakeholders to help reduce negative environmental impacts.The goal of the program is to provide knowledge and develop basic skills so Aboriginal people can meaningfully participate in environmental monitoring activities.“It is very hands-on, so participants should be prepared to get a little dirty, and maybe even wet,” says Program Administrator Kelly Cordick.There will be in-class components to all modules, along with regular field trips to local sites where environmental projects have taken place or are needed. The field trips will get students outside and learning about the environment in a natural setting – rather than a classroom. “It is our hope that keeping the program centred around participants’ home communities will make the program meaningful, as they are able to see for themselves some of the environmental damage that has occurred on their home reserve, but more importantly the steps that can and have been taken to repair or prevent it,” says Ms. Cordick. The program has a strong emphasis on integrating Traditional Ecological Knowledge, and elders will be involved in opening and closing ceremonies. As well, local people with knowledge of the land will participate in some of the program delivery.Fleming College instructors with strong backgrounds in a wide variety of environmental issues will be involved in the delivery as well. A field trip to the college’s School of Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences at the Frost Campus in Lindsay will introduce participants to the environmental programs offered at Fleming College. “The program has been very well received by local Aboriginal communities and we know it will be hugely successful for all involved,” says Ms. Cordick.The college hopes to offer subsequent BEAHR programs on other environmental topics including Environmental Site Assessment, Water and Wastewater Treatment, Land Use Planning, Solid Waste Management, Local Environmental Coordinator and others as they become available.For further information, contact Fleming College representative Kelly Cordick at kcordick@flemingc.on.ca or call toll free 1-866-353-6464, Ext. 3457.About Fleming CollegeLocated in the heart of Central Ontario, Fleming College has campuses in Peterborough, Lindsay, Cobourg and Haliburton. Named for famous Canadian inventor and engineer Sir Sandford Fleming, the college features more than 90 full-time programs in Business and Technology, Continuing Education and Skilled Trades, Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences, Fine Arts, Health and Wellness, and Law, Justice and Community Services. Fleming College has more than 5,000 full-time and 10,000 part-time students and 50,000 alumni.     - 30 -For more information: Laura Copeland, Communications Officer, 705-749-5530 x 1370 or copeland@flemingc.on.ca