2021 marked the inauguration of the BC First Nations Forestry Council’s Indigenous Forestry Scholarship Awards. The Forestry Council is proud to honour all of the program’s 2021 graduates, the future caretakers of our forests.
- Brenden Mercer (MSc Environmental Bachelor’s Degree)
- Jerome Abbott (Environmental Resources Technology)
- Andrew Jack (Environmental Resources Technology)
- Kennedy Ordano (Forest Resources Technology)
- Jerrod Peterson (Environmental Resources Technology)
- Garrett Lakey (Forest Ecology and Management)
- Sadie Colter (Environmental Resources Technology)
- Travis Sterling (Bachelor’s Degree)
- Dorothy Stewart (Human Resources Assistant)
Outstanding Achievement Award
Many of the students in the 20/21 cohort excelled in their studies achieving a high GPA and/or making the Dean’s List. The following students were awarded an Outstanding Achievement Award for their efforts:
- Andrew Jack
- Kennedy Ordano
- Jenna Mckenna
- Kyla Horsting Minnabarriet
- Brenden Mercer
- Chandell Dillman
Overcoming Adversity Award
All of the IFSP students showed incredible adversity through the pandemic this year. But one student in particular overcame many obstacles and life challenges to reach their academic goals and stay on their career path. In recognition of all his hard work and dedication to his studies, Jerome Abbott was awarded this year’s Overcoming Adversity Award.
“You’ve worked hard for it, and I really appreciate having had the opportunity to work alongside you in the past couple of years. You’re very thoughtful in terms of how we use natural resources, and you’ve shown a lot of maturity in terms of the things that we’re doing on the landscape.
I really do look forward to seeing Jerome’s progression into his career. I know he’s going to achieve great things, and that he’ll serve his people very well with his education. Congratulations, Jerome!” - Tom Wilms, NVIT
Mentor of the Year Award
The IFSP program is only possible thanks to the many individuals who give their time and expertise to help Indigenous students navigate their new career. All of the IFSP mentors are deeply appreciated and valued by students and by everyone at the Forestry Council.This year’s Mentor of the Year Award went to Sydney Monteith. Sydney is an IFSP mentor at BC Timber Sales and has given countless hours of valuable time and encouragement to our students over the years.
“Syd has been a huge part of my success as a student and an employee within the forestry industry. She’s given me huge amounts of opportunities, and a lot of trust. I’d like to thank her for all of her hard work, by nominating her for mentor of the year.” - Chandell D., IFSP Student & Mentee.
Partner of the Year Award
This year’s Partner of the Year Award went to the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology (NVIT). At NVIT, programs are taught through an Indigenous
lens and by a highly qualiﬁed and passionate faculty. Their committed support staff are willing to help students throughout their educational journey
to ensure that the student’s experience at NVIT is successful.
- Tom Wilms - Environmental Natural Resources Department Head NVIT
- Ellen Simmons - Environmental Natural Resources Instructor NVIT
- Darrell Eustache - Environmental Natural Resources Instructor NVIT
- Margaret Hohner - Co-operative Education NVIT
Student of the Year Award
The first-ever CEO’s Student of the Year Award went to Brenden Mercer. Brenden works with the First Nations Emergency Services Society as a Forest Fuel Liaison. He has completed his Masters of Science Environmental Practice from Royal Roads University and is now continuing his studies with a PhD. Through his studies, Brenden works with First Nations communities to assist with fire prevention and address environmental, social, and economic aspects of community sustainability.
“I have had the pleasure to work with Brenden Mercer for the past five years. Brenden is a self-starter, and besides being a really great person to work with, he’s responsible for some leading edge initiatives. Most recently, he led the development of the most comprehensive database to support wildfire mitigation planning that I’m aware of in BC. Congratulations Brenden, on being Student of the Year award winner.” - Larry Price, Interim Manager of FNESS.