June 14th, 2024

Indigenous students explore college’s wind turbine program


By Alejandra Pulido-Guzman - Lethbridge Herald on March 17, 2022.

Herald photo by Alejandra Pulido-Guzman Lethbridge College Wind Turbine Technician program instructor Coling Wynder, speaks to prospect students from the Piikani Nation about the program Wednesday, while touring the inside of a wind turbine at Lethbridge College.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDapulido@lethbridgeherald.com

High school students from the Piikani Nation had the opportunity to explore what the Lethbridge College Wind Turbine Technician program has to offer during an experiential learning day for Indigenous students.
Thanks to a partnership established between Enel Green Power and Lethbridge College, to create opportunities in renewable energy for Indigenous learners in southern Alberta, prospective students from the Piikani Nation along with a few members of the Kainai Nation were able to learn about the Wind Turbine Technician program, tour the college, explore the inside of a wind turbine and navigate the inside of a nacelle via virtual reality.
Lethbridge College Indigenous Services manager, Lowell Yellowhorn, said they are focusing on recruiting students from the Piikani Nation in particular through the partnership, but if they are unable to do so, they are open to members of other nations.
“Looking at the recruitment of a prospective student from the Piikani Nation is important because Enel operates in the traditional territory of the Piikani people and the Blackfoot people,” said Yellowhorn.
He said they felt it is an important part of their operating structure through their business to find opportunities to develop membership with the Piikani people.
A graduate from the Wind Turbine Technician program, Otys Potts, told the Piikani students in attendance they have a huge advantage by being able to explore the program before getting involved.
“I went straight to the program, it was still in its infancy then, because we were only the second class through… so these guys here have a big head start,” said Potts.
He said he was invited to the event to speak about his experience in the field and hopefully give the prospective students some advice.
A student from the Piikani Nation, Braxton Wells, said he was glad to have taken part on the experiential learning day for Indigenous students as his interest in the program increased and he hopes others will take advantage of it in the future.
“I want people, young people like my age, to have a good life because in our reserve there is a lot of people that chose the wrong path… so I want people my age to enjoy life and do things with their life,” said Wells.
He said students his age should experience this type of event, explore life and get interested in their future.

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