First Nations youth mining camp expands – by Scott Larson (Saskatoon Star Phoenix – August 8, 2014)

When Reneya Lemaigre arrived last year at the inaugural Mining Matters Mining Rocks Earth Sciences Camp she didn’t know anyone and didn’t know what to expect.

But it didn’t take long for the teenager from Clearwater River Dene Nation to shrug off her fears and have a great time at Christopher Lake’s The Quest camp.

“The staff were really nice and comforted me,” Reneya said. “After the first day I was fine for the rest of the week.” “She started meeting new friends and when the day came for her to go home, she didn’t want to go,” added her mother, Rana Janvier.

The pair are once again making the six-hour drive this weekend from Clearwater River to Christopher Lake to attend the mining camp that will have about 30 teens attend this year.

The camp is put on with the sponsorship of six junior mining companies – Foran Mining Corp., Masuparia Gold Corp., NexGen Energy Inc., Alpha Exploration Inc., Fission Uranium Corp. and North Arrow Minerals – and PDAC Mining Matters. “The program is expanding,” said Barbara Green Parker, PDAC’s manager of Aboriginal Education and Outreach Programs.

They had 18 kids attend last year and expect about 30 this year – from Amisk (Denare Beach), Pelican Narrows, Buffalo Narrows, Clearwater River Dene Nation and Deschambault. “They will learn about rocks and minerals, the geology of Saskatchewan, the rich natural resources that are in the province and across Canada,” said Green Parker.

Every day there will be programming that includes working with a GPS, compass, going out on the land to identify rocks, star gazing events, mineral processing, an engineering challenge plus sports and other outdoor activities like rock climbing and canoeing.

They will even explore an island on Christopher Lake.

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