Funds to be used to rebuild aviation program following devastating fire
Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory (26 September 2022) – Bell Textron Canada Ltd, a Textron Inc. (NYSE:TXT) company, announced on September 23 a $500,000 (CAD) contribution to the FNTI (First Nations Technical Institute). The funds will be used to support skills development and training resources for FNTI’s Indigenous flight students. It will also support uninterrupted flight training to ensure student success across FNTI’s three-year advanced diploma program, following a fire that destroyed the school’s aviation hangar, including its entire fleet of training aircraft, at the Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory Airfield in February.
“Creating meaningful opportunities for Indigenous students is key to building better outcomes”, said the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. “Through Canada’s Industrial and Technological Benefits Policy, this contribution from Bell Textron Canada will provide Indigenous students with financial support to access the training they need to pursue exciting career opportunities in the aerospace sector and will benefit the aerospace sector as a whole by helping to develop even more world-class Canadian talent.”
“We were saddened to learn of such tragic events and quickly reacted to support skills development and training resources for commercial pilots to fly in remote Indigenous communities,” said Steeve Lavoie, president of Bell Textron Canada Ltd. “Our financial support will help students continue their training off campus during this phase of rebuilding, and pay for their expenses associated with advanced training, aircraft rental, transportation, accommodations at off-campus locations and student support services. With this contribution, we hope to establish a strong relationship with the FNTI and their First Peoples’ Aviation Technology Program.”
“The loss of our hangar, Approved Maintenance Organization dispatch and planes in a fire in February was devastating for FNTI and our aviation students, who come from urban and remote communities across Canada,” said Suzanne Brant, president of FNTI. “We are fortunate to have resilient staff who pivoted to provide students with training options, ensuring minimal program interruption. Generous support from Bell will provide FNTI students with continued on-site and off-site training, and student support services. The aerospace sector stepped up and offered much-needed contributions toward maintaining uninterrupted pilot training. FNTI looks forward to continued relationship building with Bell.”
The FNTI Aviation program is the only training program of its kind in Canada, with an enrollment of 53% Indigenous women. With this financial support, Bell is investing in the economic and social livelihood of Indigenous communities addressing Canada’s critical pilot shortage and increasing Indigenous representation in the aerospace sector.
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