Fleming Forestry Technician graduate receives Skills Award for Indigenous Youth

Congratulations to Forestry Technician graduate Hunter Corbiere, who received a Skills Award for Indigenous Youth from the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) in partnership with the Canadian Council of Forest Ministers (CCFM).

This award recognizes individuals with a strong academic standing who demonstrate a commitment to sustainable forest management and forest products sector and the opportunities that it provides for Indigenous communities.

“I feel very grateful to be one of the few talented youth who were chosen for this award. FPAC (Forest Products Association of Canada) has provided many opportunities for other Indigenous youth in the past, and I am so grateful that my work has gotten recognized,” said Hunter, who is of the M’Chigeeng First Nation on Manitoulin Island. “From this award, I have made more connections with other talented people in the industry. I am so thankful for this opportunity, in such unprecedented times!”

Hunter decided to pursue a career in forestry because she wanted to work outdoors while making a positive difference with forests. She also wanted to learn how forests are managed for wildlife and how Indigenous values could be impacted.

To explore the industry and gain knowledge and hands-on experience, Hunter decided to attend Fleming’s Forestry Technician program. “I knew someone who went to Fleming a few years before I attended and said that the hands-on skills you are taught are what make Fleming such a great place to learn,” Hunter explains.

The graduate describes her Fleming College experience as amazing thanks to incredible faculty, new friendships, and hands-on experience to prepare for her career.

“The professors are passionate about what they are teaching, which makes learning exciting. I was excited to go to class every day!” said Hunter. “I loved the fact that I was learning hands-on skills I will be using for the rest of my life, such as forest navigation, and I got to be outside while doing so. Where else and what other programs do you get to say you had your exam or test outside in the middle of the forest?”

Now that Hunter has completed her Fleming College studies, she plans to earn her Bachelor of Science in Forestry, specializing in Forest Management, at Lakehead University. Her ultimate career goal is to be a Registered Professional Forester/Indigenous Forest Liaison.

“Becoming an Indigenous Liaison in the forest industry is very important to me. As Indigenous peoples, we were once the guardians of these forests and it’s important that we continue to do so and continue to teach,” explains Hunter. “I have always had the interest and passion to teach others, and one day I hope to teach those about Indigenous Values within forestry and other environmental aspects.”