Canada Life invests in mentorship program to support Indigenous learners | Insurance Business Canada
Canada Life invests in mentorship program to support Indigenous learners
Investment aims to strengthen business relationships with Indigenous communities
Canada Life has made a $500,000 investment in Red River College Polytechnic (RRC Polytech) to support the development of an Indigenous-led student mentorship program.
The initiative aims to foster connections between students and mentors who share similar cultural backgrounds and experiences.
To be offered across all RRC Polytech programs and campuses, the program will provide support and guidance to Indigenous learners as they navigate post-secondary education and early employment.
RRC Polytech is set to launch the program early next year. In the meantime, the college is currently working to develop and deliver training for mentors. Mentees can also give back by becoming mentors to later cohorts of Indigenous learners.
Brian Bowman, vice president of sustainability and social impact at Canada Life, highlighted the importance of supporting Indigenous learners throughout their educational journey.
“Education opens doors, but the end-to-end student journey isn’t always an easy one,” said Bowman (pictured, second from right). “This new program will help Indigenous learners leverage tools and support, anchored in Indigenous ways of knowing to better achieve their goals.”
Aside from the financial investment, Canada Life’s funding is also aimed at creating an environment conducive to Indigenous students’ success and strengthening business and economic partnerships with Indigenous communities.
RRC Polytech president and CEO Fred Meier also expressed gratitude to Canada Life for its “transformative gift” and ongoing commitment to education in Manitoba.
“For aspiring Indigenous students, this program will help instill confidence, cultivate connections on campus, and foster a two-way, mutually beneficial learning experience between students and employers,” said Meier (pictured, third from left). “We’re building the program to do more than just help shape futures. It will help shape lives, one student at a time.”
Tracy Brant, associate dean for the School of Indigenous Education at RRC Polytech, stressed that Indigenous culture will be at the heart of the mentorship program’s development.
“This mentorship program will ensure Indigenous learners have more opportunities to connect with experienced industry professionals and expand their networks by building strong relationships with mentors and other mentees along their academic journeys,” said Brant. “In turn, mentors will also benefit from engaging with and learning from professionals who are entering their field with new experience and perspectives.”
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