Mercer Peace River Provides Learning Opportunities for Local Indigenous Youth

Choosing a career path is one of the biggest decisions we make in our lifetime. At Mercer Peace River (MPR), we are committed to helping local youth get the hands-on experience they need to make the best decision for their future. MPR annually supports the Outland Youth Employment Program (OYEP), a six-week work experience program providing training and education in a supportive space that replicates various work environments. Indigenous high school students spend their summer living together at a camp where they learn a plethora of valuable life skills like First Aid, CPR, and WHMIS. They also cover chainsaw, tree planting and brush saw training, among many other valuable skills.

As part of the OYEP experience this year, 25 excited youth travelled from their camp at Lubicon Lake to MPR on July 20th. The group was led through a tour of our mill where they got to see first-hand how wood chips are manufactured into pulp products and shipped from our facility. We then brought them to our Woodlands office to hear about the many career opportunities at MPR and gave them the opportunity to speak directly with our team members who work in those careers.

Kaitlin Noskey, Human Resources Superintendent, and Jenna Strachan, Indigenous Relations Superintendent (left) with Roger Ashfield, Managing Director (right) leading the OYEP 2022 group through Mercer Peace River’s Woodlands office.


Our goal was to expose them to careers that aligned with their interests while ensuring they knew that these careers are available locally. Many local youths assume that they must move to a more densely populated area in order to follow a career path that aligns with their interests. This assumption is not true. MPR is proud to offer a wide variety of career opportunities that align with many areas of interest.

During the lunch period, MPR senior leaders and team members had the opportunity to chat with the OYEP youth one-on-one. Many of them, who are finishing high school, already know that they want a hands-on career where they can work outside. The students expressed interest in working at MPR in the future and that they enjoyed their time with us. This means our goal for the day was accomplished.

Mercer Peace River’s core values include Sustainability and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Our goal is to ensure that we can operate sustainably, and we rely on an ambitious workforce who want to build their careers at MPR. Introducing local youth to the opportunities available to them will ensure that they choose the best possible career, while hiring local talent will support MPR to operate in perpetuity. Further, we believe that the differences among our team members only make us stronger. We want to encourage all students to consider a rewarding career at our facility.

Thank you to OYEP for providing this fantastic educational opportunity for Indigenous youth. We appreciate the opportunity to positively contribute to your organization and to the lives of local youth.