$1 million EnCana gift kicks off $4 million Aboriginal Student Success Initiative

Edmonton, Alberta (December 2, 2003) - Thanks to a $1 million donation from EnCana Corporation, a new Aboriginal student centre officially opened today at NAIT's Main Campus. The EnCana gift will also support the development of two mobile education units that will enable NAIT to continue providing training in Aboriginal communities when and where it is needed.

"Aboriginal communities make up the fastest growing segment of Canada's population. By 2015, the Aboriginal population will account for one in five young Albertans," says NAIT President Dr. Sam Shaw. "At the same time, Alberta and Canada are facing a major skills shortage, with 40 per cent of our workforce expected to retire over the next 10 years. Alberta's economic growth depends upon our ability to educate people from all cultures and all backgrounds. This important leadership gift from EnCana will help NAIT to maximize the success of our Aboriginal students and provide the graduates who will drive Alberta's economic future."

The EnCana gift kicks off NAIT's $4 million Aboriginal Educational Success Initiative. The campaign cabinet is led by Colleen Klein, Honourary Chair, and Mel Benson, Chair. The initiative has four components:

  • $1 million for program development.
  • $1 million for mobile education units.
  • $1 million for an Aboriginal Student Centre.
  • $1 million for student awards.

Half of EnCana's gift has been dedicated to the creation of the EnCana Aboriginal Student Centre, where NAIT staff will support Aboriginal students in meeting their post-secondary educational goals. The EnCana Aboriginal Student Centre is a gathering place with spaces for work sessions, computer access, meetings and sweetgrass ceremonies. It will also provide a base for NAIT to expand its links with elders in the community and with businesses that employ Aboriginal graduates.

"EnCana is proud to support the direction NAIT is pursuing with this initiative in meeting the needs of Alberta's industries," says EnCana Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Randy Eresman. "The Aboriginal community offers a large source of untapped manpower and we applaud NAIT in its efforts to more effectively tap into that manpower."

The remaining $500,000 of EnCana's gift will create two Mobile Education Units that will help NAIT continue to go beyond its classrooms and reach into communities, shops, offices, clinics and plants throughout the province. Each Mobile Education Unit will be equipped to support the delivery of curriculum ranging from business to trades-related programs such as electrical, pipe trades and welding.

EnCana Corporation With an enterprise value of approximately C$30 billion, EnCana is one of the world's leading independent oil and gas companies and North America's largest independent natural gas producer and gas storage operator. Ninety percent of the company's assets are in four key North American growth platforms. EnCana is the largest producer and landholder in Western Canada and is a key player in Canada's emerging offshore East Coast basins. Through its U.S. subsidiaries, EnCana is one of the largest gas explorers and producers in the Rocky Mountain states and has a strong position in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. International subsidiaries operate two key high potential international growth platforms: Ecuador, where it is the largest private sector oil producer, and the U.K. central North Sea, where it is the operator of a large oil discovery. EnCana and its subsidiaries also conduct high upside potential new ventures exploration in other parts of the world. EnCana is driven to be the industry's high performance benchmark in production cost, per-share growth and value creation for shareholders. EnCana common shares trade on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges under the symbol ECA.

NAIT is one of the largest institutes of technology in Canada with more than 17,000 full-time and apprenticeship students and 45,500 continuing education registrations. The institute offers more than 190 programs leading to certificates, diplomas and applied degrees plus 1,200 continuing education courses.

Event Schedule
Opening Ceremony for media - 10 a.m.
EnCana Aboriginal Student Centre
Room E121, NAIT Main Campus
11762 - 106 Street, Edmonton

Official Public Opening, 11 a.m.
Shaw Theatre, NAIT Main Campus
11762 - 106 Street

Reserved parking for the media is available in G-lot (the parking meters in front of the flags and pedway at 11762 - 106 Street).

For more information, please contact:
Davis Sheremata,
Corporate Communications, 471-8447 or daviss@nait.ab.ca
Barry Bailey, Corporate Communications, 471-8494 or bbailey@nait.ab.ca

Dick Wilson
Senior Advisor, Office of the President
EnCana Corporation
Bus: (403) 645-4700
Cell: (403) 860-3850

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As of 2019-07-18T16:00:00. Minimum 15 minute delay