Feb 14, 2019


Media Contact
Leigh MacKenzie
Senior Communication Specialist
Bow Valley College
Office: 587-393-2628
Mobile: 403-888-6946

Bow Valley College gives students attending Indspire Conference a peek at their career potential

CALGARY - Bow Valley College will welcome 125 high school students from across Canada on campus while they attend the national Indspire Awards ceremony and Soaring: Indigenous Youth Empowerment Gathering taking place at Calgary’s BMO Centre February 21-22, 2019.

The students will join representatives from the College’s Iniikokaan Centre, Learner Success Services and instructors from several faculties for a fun and informative tour and activities focusing on campus life, career inspiration and community.

Indspire is a national Indigenous-led registered charity that invests in the education of Indigenous people for the long-term benefit of these individuals, their families and communities, and Canada. 

The Soaring event offers career conferences at participating post-secondary schools so that Indigenous high school students from grades 9-12 can experience a day-in-the-life on campus, learning about the range of job options available to them in an exciting way.

This is the second time that the college has hosted a group of Soaring delegates. Noella Wells, Director of the Iniikokaan (Buffalo Lodge) Centre, says the partnership with Indspire furthers our mandate to indigenize the Bow Valley College community, making learning welcoming and empowering while identifying and breaking down barriers.

“We’ve discovered that the primary challenges that students face are funding, housing, cultural, social connection and technology. Access to these aspects are critical for Indigenous students to be successful. I think that there is a great need for programs like this, and our teaching and support services here at Bow Valley College strive to provide support in several areas.

A 2016 Statistics Canada  report cites employment rates were above 80 per cent for degree holders among each of these groups, and among Métis with college diplomas or apprenticeship certificates. Employment rates were about 75 per cent among First Nations people living off reserve who had college diplomas or apprenticeship certificates. With workplace shortages and demand for skilled labour, opportunities are growing for students. The key is to set them up for success long before they arrive.

“Exposure to our people, elders and role models is important to our Indigenous students, especially if they are coming from isolated communities,” adds Wells. “Students of all ages and stages appreciate that we understand what they are going through and provide them with the supports they need so the transition into school and career are smoother.”

This year, Bow Valley College organizers have expanded the workshops and activities on campus that profile Indigenous learning services and outcomes, digital technology, health, business, and community including:

  • Day in the Life—play the part of an early childhood educator, disability support worker, addictions counsellor, police officer, social worker, or other human services professional in a collaborative effort to support a client;
  • Virtual Reality—a hands-on interactive virtual reality 3D experience for interior decorating using the newest technologies in extended reality;
  • Indigenous Creation Story Animation–-Transform Elder’s teachings and Creation stories through Indigenous Story work using digital software called “Animaker” animation.
  • Adobe Spark— Learn how to make a fun interactive and shareable web page detailing their passions and pursuits.
  • Elders’ Wisdom—Elders with The School of Foundational Learning’s Aboriginal Upgrading program’s Elder on the Land and Elder in the Classroom will help students learn about the seven sacred teachings for this innovative project.

The Bow Valley College campus experience will take place February 22. For more information about the Soaring event, visit

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For more information, please contact:

Donna Gray
Media Relations Officer
Bow Valley College
Mobile: 403-831-1150
Office: 587-393-2628
Direct: 403-770-5150


About Bow Valley College
Bow Valley College - Calgary and region's only Comprehensive Community College - with more than 15,000 full- and part-time students, is a leader in business and health career training, community studies, creative technologies, adult upgrading, and English Language Learning.

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