Rio Tinto Renews Commitment to Indspire Partnership and Key Initiatives
November 23, 2023 – Ohsweken, ON.
Indspire is pleased to announce the renewal of a key partnership with Rio Tinto which will provide support to Indigenous students and educators in a wide variety of channels across multiple venues. This new funding commitment has three components: one which will facilitate collaboration between Indigenous educators, one which will enable Indigenous post-secondary students to fund their education, and one which will celebrate Indigenous excellence.
This partnership has existed since 2008, prior to the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation’s rebrand as Indspire in 2012. In that time, Rio Tinto has provided over $2.5M in funding for a range of Indspire initiatives, including the Building Brighter Futures: Bursaries and Scholarships (BBF) program, the Indspire Awards, the National Gathering for Indigenous Education, and Soaring, Indspire’s Indigenous Youth Empowerment Gathering.
In 2018, Rio Tinto also provided $20K to underwrite the costs of translating Indspire’s website into French, helping to remove one of the barriers Indspire encountered in reaching Québec-based students and educators. For the past four years, Rio Tinto has provided Canadian diamonds from the Diavik Mine in NWT to be used in the Indspire Award pins that Laureates receive at the annual Awards ceremony.
The first new facet of this partnership is Rio Tinto’s $350K three-year pledge with commitments to multiple Indspire initiatives. First, Rio Tinto served as the Host Sponsor of the 2023 National Gathering for Indigenous Education being held from Nov 15-17, 2023, in Montréal, QC.
Rio Tinto will also continue to support the Rio Tinto Award for Indigenous Students through Indspire’s BBF program, which enables First Nations, Inuit, and Métis students to overcome financial barriers to pursing a post-secondary education.
Finally, Rio Tinto is also a Supporting Sponsor of the Indspire Awards in 2023, 2024, and 2025.
“We are proud to renew our partnership with Indspire, furthering our commitment to finding better ways to support Indigenous communities through education,” said Claudine Gagnon, General Manager, Communities and Social Performance, Atlantic Aluminium, Rio Tinto. “This collaboration allows us to celebrate Indigenous excellence and create forums where students and educators can exchange on their challenges and their successes. We look forward to continuing our journey with Indspire and making a positive impact on the Indigenous education landscape.”
“The renewal of Rio Tinto’s partnership with Indspire marks a significant commitment to celebrating Indigenous excellence and removing barriers to Indigenous students’ success,” said Dr. Mike DeGagné, President & CEO of Indspire. “Not only will it enable Indspire to extend its reach and support even more First Nations, Inuit, and Métis post-secondary students as they pursue their educational goals, it also demonstrates Rio Tinto’s ongoing commitment to celebrating Indigenous excellence and working in partnership with Indigenous organizations.”
About Rio Tinto
Rio Tinto is Canada’s largest mining and metals company, with operations from coast-to-coast-to-coast, and more than 13,000 employees across 35 sites and operations.
Through its investments in communities across Canada, Rio Tinto aims to deliver long-term social and economic benefits to the communities where the company operates and broader society. As a result, over $10 million are invested annually to improve the quality of life of the communities and the First Nations.
Indspire is an Indigenous national charity that invests in the education of First Nations, Inuit and Métis people for the long-term benefit of these individuals, their families and communities, and Canada. With the support of its funding partners, Indspire provides financial awards, delivers programs and shares resources so that First Nations, Inuit, and Métis students will achieve their highest potential. In 2022-2023, Indspire provided more than $27.5 million through 7,500 bursaries and scholarships to First Nations, Inuit and Métis students across Canada.
Indspire is an Indigenous national charity that invests in the education of First Nations, Inuit and Métis people for the long-term benefit of these individuals, their families and communities, and Canada. With the support of its funding partners, Indspire provides financial awards, delivers programs and shares resources so that First Nations, Inuit, and Métis students will achieve their highest potential. In 2022-23, Indspire provided more than $27.5 million through 7,500 bursaries and scholarships to First Nations, Inuit and Métis students across Canada.
VP, Communications & Marketing