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CN Rail Commits To UWinnipeg's Vision

Thu. Jun. 23, 2011

CN photo

photo (L- R) Dr. Phil Fontaine, UWinnipeg Master’s in Development Practice (MDP) Advisory Circle Chair, Michael Cory, CN Senior Vice President, Western Region, Elder Tobasonakwut Kinew, David Crate, Chief of Fisher River Cree Nation, Gerri Zacharias, Acting Director, UWinnipeg Model School, Dr. Lloyd Axworthy, UWinnipeg President & Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Julie Pelletier, Director, MDP, Jennifer Rattray, UWinnipeg Executive Director, Government, Indigenous & Community Affairs


WINNIPEG, MB - CN has made a significant and generous gift to The University of Winnipeg and its Indigenous Studies and Community Learning programs by committing $750,000 to the future of education, community and economic development of Indigenous communities across Canada. This will further assist UWinnipeg to work with First Nation communities through academic programming, internships and specific development projects.

This gift will support UWinnipeg's Master's in Development Practice Program (MDP) by creating the CN MDP Scholarships, a CN Indigenous Resource Centre, and by supporting community learning initiatives through the creation of the CN Model School Bursaries which will assist high school students in UWinnipeg's Model School based in the Collegiate.

“The University of Winnipeg is honoured to be partnering with CN in support of these transformational programs at The University of Winnipeg,” expressed Dr. Lloyd Axworthy, UWinnipeg President and Vice-Chancellor. “This commitment from a respected Canadian company is a significant endorsement that sends a strong message to our students, faculty, stakeholders, and community partners that we are leading the way in Community Learning, Indigenous education and Indigenous Development.”

“Investing in the communities we serve is an important priority at CN, and we are extremely pleased to be the founding partner of this innovative program for Indigenous communities across Canada,” said Michael Cory, CN Senior Vice President, Western Region. “CN applauds the University of Winnipeg and Dr. Axworthy for their leadership on this important initiative.”

CN MDP Scholarships
Recognizing outstanding full-time students enrolled in the MDP interested in furthering their academic and practical knowledge in Indigenous Development, the CN MDP Scholarships will enable 10 students to attend the program that includes tuition and field placement costs.

CN Indigenous Resource Centre (CNIRC)
Graduates of the MDP trained at the highest level in development will link to Indigenous communities in need of their skills through the CNIRC. This Centre will be a central hub for students, staff, Advisory Circle and community members and leaders.

It will house the career resource centre with special focus for Indigenous students facilitating long-term relationships with communities for MDP field placements/internships and businesses interested in internship or hiring summer students or graduates. CN has also provided funds to secure an employment placement councilor to find employment for students that have completed an Indigenous Studies program and for MDP graduates.

CNIRC will serve as a repository of ideas, experiences, case studies and best practices on social and economic development among First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities throughout Canada and other Indigenous communities around the world. The Centre will benefit MDP students as well as Indigenous organizations and communities both in Canada and around the world including the MDP global network.

CNIRC will be located in UWinnipeg's cutting-edge new Richardson College for the Environment and Science Complex a Cisco TelePresence system located on the third floor. Students, faculty and researchers in the MDP and other programs will take advantage of this advanced technology by connecting with remote communities, collaborating with community leaders and practitioners and creating solutions to a variety of development problems and issues, while saving on both energy and travel costs.

CN Model School Bursary
CN has created a unique and innovative bursary program aimed at providing renewable funding for students with financial need attending the Model School at The University of Winnipeg Collegiate awarded annually to five students with first priority given to Indigenous students.

“CN's significant contribution will continue to strengthen The University of Winnipeg's commitment to access and excellence for students,” said R.M. (Bob) Kozminski, A World of Opportunity Campaign Chair. “We are very appreciative of this generous investment in the University and the leadership they have shown in the community by making this gift.”

About CN
CN - Canadian National Railway Company and its operating railway subsidiaries - spans Canada and mid-America, from the Atlantic and Pacific oceans to the Gulf of Mexico, serving the ports of Vancouver, Prince Rupert, B.C., Montreal, Halifax, New Orleans, and Mobile, Ala., and the key metropolitan areas of Toronto, Buffalo, Chicago, Detroit, Duluth, Minn./Superior, Wis., Green Bay, Wis., Minneapolis/St. Paul, Memphis, St. Louis, and Jackson, Miss., with connections to all points in North America. For more information on CN, visit the company's website at www.cn.ca

CN has long been active in the community doing their part through charitable contributionsCN is proud to be the founding partner of the Aboriginal Awards Program, National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation, providing scholarships to aboriginal students who are in a post-secondary program in Canada that leads to a career in the transportation industry. This includes fields such as environmental studies, engineering, business, computer science, communications and technical studies.