After spending a week at Aboriginal Youth Entrepreneurship Camp in Regina, 16 high school students came away with inspiration and motivation to follow their dreams.
First Nations University invited students from across Saskatchewan and Manitoba to submit resumes and apply for the week-long camp.
Milton MacArthur from Kisby, Saskatchewan says it was a great learning experience.
“How to launch a business and keep it from going under, and that education is one of the greatest things we can have,” he said.
After spending a week attending University-style classes and staying in dorms, students teamed up on Friday teamed up to pitch their business proposals to judges.
“I think it gives the youth an opportunity that they wouldn’t normally get. Many of the youth are from First Nations communities, so this gives them an opportunity to open their minds,” said Langan Goforth, the camps coordinator.
At the camp several speeches were made by Aboriginal business people, and entrepreneurs including Kendal Netmaker, the founder of Neechie Gear. Netmaker is only a five, or six years older than many of the campers, his speech was particularly poignant.
“It really hit home with them, you know, because he calls himself a kid from the rez, and a lot of these kids will identify with that,” said Goforth.
“They had very encouraging speeches to encourage us youth,” said Josh Velloit who came from a fly-in community in northern Manitoba.
MacArthur was especially motivated by the speeches. “They started off with nothing and then you look where they are now, they actually have a great job now and they do what they love.”