One of the largest independent crude oil and natural gas producers globally is putting its heartfelt energy behind a Portage College project.
Canadian Natural Resources Limited (Canadian Natural) is donating $20,000 towards the College’s Truth and Reconciliation Project of Heart, Portage College said in a press release on Friday.
The initiative is a hands-on, artistic journey of seeking the truth about the history of First Nation, Métis, and Inuit People in Canada.
Project of Heart focuses on truth and reconciliation and honours those lost or harmed by having students create a tile for commemorative exhibits to be displayed at Portage College campuses.
For example, at the Lac La Biche campus, the tiles will be placed on a full-size canoe for display in the main foyer.
“Portage College is grateful to have partners like Canadian Natural who are committed to Truth and Reconciliation,” said Nancy Broadbent, President, and CEO of Portage College, in the release. “Having the support for educational projects like this is critical as our journey to reconciliation includes improving relationships and empowering people.”
Ian Thompson, Stakeholder Relations/Indigenous Relations Advisor at Canadian Natural, explained that the project is a natural fit for the company.
“We need to honour the victims and their families, and we believe by supporting this project, we are helping the College educate the students, staff, and anyone touched by the project,“ he said. “Educating Canadian people on Truth and Reconciliation is one way to ensure that history will not repeat itself.”
Rick Flumian, Manager of Community Relations at Portage College, highlighted that the College and Canadian Natural are taking action on reconciliation efforts.
“Canadian Natural believes in developing people, and this donation will go directly towards that goal,” he said. “Reconcili-action is a way to say we are moving reconciliation forward meaningful and impactful for people in our communities.”
The donated funds will help cover the costs of Project of Heart materials, training, facilitation, and the installation of legacy art projects within the Portage College service region and at its campuses.
“What better way to develop people than by partnering with a local college to develop students’ knowledge and understanding of truth and reconciliation. By supporting Portage College, we are creating a value-added partnership that educates and develops the students both now and into the future,” said Thompson.
Those interested can contact Erline Harmse to find ways to contribute to the projects in your community.