A playground at Queen Elizabeth Territorial Park in Fort Smith. Sarah Pruys/Cabin Radio
The Gahcho Kué diamond mine says it will donate $24,000 annually to support the top 12 NWT graduates from Aurora College’s part-time distance early learning and childcare program.
The inaugural recipients, many already working in NWT schools or childcare facilities, each received $2,000. The program will run until at least 2030, the mine said in a press release.
This year, the recipients are:
Farahnaz Abdollarhifar, Amelia Garcia, Aida Inman, Kandaporn Proulx and Diana Reed from Yellowknife;
Sheri Coxford and Marlo Kiasuk from Inuvik;
Darine Berro and Alex Jones from Fort Smith;
Nicole Antoine from Fort Simpson;
Nicole Klause from Hay River; and
Natasha Kasook from Tuktoyaktuk.
“We are grateful to Gahcho Kué mine for their recognition of the critical role played by early childhood professionals in the development of healthy outcomes for children and families,” said Aurora College’s president, Glenda Vardy Dell, in a statement.
“Providing this financial support is an example of the way partnerships can be created to enhance the quality of life for northern residents and communities.”
Due to the part-time nature of the course, its NWT students do not qualify for government funding or support, Monday’s press release stated.
The funding commitment from Gahcho Kué Mine does, however, coincide with a multi-year federal and territorial plan to invest in early childhood learning and care.
“We want to congratulate the graduates for completing the program and recognize that each of them plays a critical role in supporting parents and children in their communities,” stated Lyndon Clark, Gahcho Kué’s general manager.