Partners in the North
Over the ten-year history of the Riddell Faculty, numerous working relationships with organizations, communities, and institutions in Canada’s North have been developed. Our regular and continued presence in northern communities clearly indicates our commitment to contribute to their needs first and foremost. These are also impacted by developing issues such as climate change, Arctic sovereignty, and resource development that must be addressed strategically and with the utmost care. Two important partnerships, with the University College of the North (UCN) and the Northern Manitoba Mining Academy (NMMA), seek to provide greater access to training and educational opportunities for northern Manitobans.
UCN (formerly Keewatin Community College) has a 25-year history of delivering the Natural Resources Management Technology (NRMT) Program. This two-year diploma program has produced high quality graduates that are now found within the provincial government, private industry, First Nations, and education. Each year, a number of these graduates continue their studies by applying their diploma courses towards a baccalaureate degree. Through the efforts of the Riddell Faculty and UCN, this process has been codified in a formal articulation agreement. This provides a clear road map for a student to complete the NRMT diploma at UCN and a degree at the University of Manitoba via a 2+2 arrangement. The first graduates of this articulation agreement received degrees from the University of Manitoba in the spring of 2013.
The concept for a mining-related academy in northern Manitoba began to take shape in 2009. With the assistance of the Riddell Faculty and the Department of Geological Sciences, formal plans for the Northern Manitoba Mining Academy (NMMA) were developed to include facilities and equipment that would complement those found at the Riddell Faculty. During its first year of activity (2012-2013) the NMMA hosted more than 60 students in industry-focused training (underground mining, exploration technician, diamond drilling, etc.), 40 university students involved in field courses and research, and almost 400 secondary-school students in industry awareness activities. Plans are also underway for the NMMA to deliver 6 credits of University of Manitoba introductory geology courses in northern Manitoba.
This is and updated article that originally appeared in The Clayton H. Riddell Faculty of Environment, Earth, and resources Newsletter 10th Anniversary Special 2013 eddition.