Babcock Employees Support the First Nations Technical Institute

On February 20th, Babcock employees visited the First Nations Technical Institute (FNTI), on Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, to donate over $8,000 fundraised through the sale of legacy IT equipment within the business.

The First Nations Technical Institute is an Indigenous owned and operated post-secondary education centre in southern Ontario, with programs rooted in Indigenous cultures. FNTI is a registered charitable organization, accredited by the World Indigenous Nations Higher Education Consortium (WINHEC), and a member of Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan). The institute provides a unique and singular program, drawing talent from Indigenous communities across the country.

One particularly unique program that FNTI offers is their “First Peoples’ Aviation Technology – Flight” program which is the only post-secondary Indigenous aviation program of its kind in Canada and provides hands-on flight training for students interested in pursuing a pilot’s licence or working in the aviation industry. Students within the program experience a 98% employment rate after graduation, and FTNI has a 39% female participation rate. The institute focuses on a community-driven approach, coupled with an intense program delivery method to ensure students maintain their connections to family and community during their education. With responsive education that suits their students’ needs, FNTI serves 175 of 667 First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities across Canada, and 102 of 129 in Ontario.

From left to right: Kevin Deer, Mathew Crawley, and Jo-Anne Maracle Tabobandung

Babcock employees were joined by Christine McKnight and Robyn Hori, Senior Policy Analysts from Federal Economic Development for Southern Ontario, and Kevin Deer, the Scholar-in-Residence for FNTI. Upon their arrival, the group was included in a welcome ceremony, led by Kevin Deer, and were introduced by Jo-Anne Maracle Tabobandung, the Dean of Aviation.

The visiting employees received a tour of the school, led by Jo-Anne, which included visiting the teaching facilities, hangar, and runway. During the tour, they had the opportunity to speak with FNTI staff, students, and faculty who disclosed the deep rooted aviation history of the FNTI.

Established as a pilot training school in WWI, the FNTI aerodrome is one of the oldest in Canada. The facilities were also used in WWII as an advanced instrument-navigation training base for air crews of the British Commonwealth. Jo-Anne also has a deep routed history with the FNTI, having been the first female pilot to graduate from the program. After graduation, Jo-Anne returned to become a certified flight instructor at the institute, after which she went on to become the Dean of Aviation.

Matthew Crawley, Babcock’s Vice President of Commercial, also provided a brief overview of aerial firefighting in Canada and the value well-trained pilots provide to the industry. Babcock is a committed provider of top-quality flight training operations around the globe. With over 20,000 military cadets and flying trainees per year, we recognize the value of a holistic pilot training approach.

The visit concluded with the Babcock team enjoying a moose lasagna lunch with members of the school’s faculty and students.