Sep 7, 2017
By Daniel Downs
Much has been put out in the media over the past several months regarding the Integrated Resource Management (IRM) program. There have been colorful pictures detailing many Saskatchewan landscapes… from Southern Grasslands to Northern Boreal Forest; Marshlands and Wildlife; Watershed Areas and Shorelines.
What wasn’t apparent in those photos however are the stories that accompany professionals who work in Saskatchewan’s environment sector; those charged with not only protecting the province’s abundant beauty now, but ensuring that Saskatchewan remains an environmental wonder for years to come.
And while there are many stories to tell of those that work to protect and enhance Saskatchewan’s environment, I am choosing to tell a different story; a story that has not yet been put to paper. A story of 12 potential students coming together in Saskatchewan’s North to learn about Resource Management and Environmental protection.
The story of these 12 students begins as many stories did, several years ago. It begins with them hunting and fishing alongside their parents and grandparents, sledding the back country with cousins, and chopping a cord of wood with their uncle to give to a community member in need. While all these students will come from different families and communities, they share the universal love and respect for the outdoors; a respect that has brought them to the IRM program.
The Integrated Resource Management program is a Saskatchewan Polytechnic brokered program that will be delivered in partnership Dumont Technical Institute, North West Communities Management Company, Northlands College, as well as GDI Training & Employment. Year 1 of this 2-year Diploma program will be offered in Buffalo Narrows, allowing students to experience training in their own region. Being offered in Buffalo Narrows not only allows students to continue to access familial and community support for the entire first year of training, but also allows them to continue to experience one of the most unique and diverse ecosystems in the world. The students will proceed to Prince Albert for their second year of training at the Saskatchewan Polytechnic Campus while maintaining ties to the North where they will be returning often during their second year for program work and northern excursions.
There is much more I could put on paper regarding this program, but I think it would be best for the story to write itself through the 12 students that are poised to take their place in Saskatchewan’s environment sector.
A video of the IRM program is available here.