MNO citizen Maria Vandenbrand at the Canadian Aboriginal Minerals
Association’s 23rd Annual Conference.Submitted by Joanne Meyer, Director of Intergovernmental Relations
On November 23, Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) citizen Maria Vandenbrand spoke on the Youth Panel during the Canadian Aboriginal Minerals Association’s (CAMA) 23rd Annual Conference in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Vandenbrand went to college for heavy equipment technician training and graduated with a diploma in motive power. After graduation, she initially went west to southeastern Manitoba but came back to Ontario, where she enrolled in the eight-week surface miner operator training program through the MNO Métis Mining Strategy. She graduated in November.
During the Youth Panel, Vandenbrand sat with five other Aboriginal youths. All six of them were invited by CAMA, an Aboriginal, non-profit organization which seeks to increase the understanding of the minerals industry, Aboriginal mining and Aboriginal communities’ paramount interests in lands and resources.
“[It’s] funny because I swore I would never go into mining after hearing all my family’s old mining stories from their time underground 50-some odd years ago,” Vandenbrand said.
“But here I am! And I’m loving it more than I could have ever thought.”