Lambton’s Enactus team wins another national award

From left to right. Former Muskoday First Nation Chief Herman Crain, with Lambton College Enactus team members Brian Little and Kyle Scott. Submitted photo.

The Lambton College Enactus team has claimed another award on the national stage.

The team has been named the 2022 Scotiabank Climate Action Challenge National Champion for its Project One Circle.

Senior Director of Community Engagement Jon Milos said the project has helped Indigenous communities in Saskatchewan establish sustainable food security.

“What makes this an especially proud moment for us is to see that the First Nations that we’re working in are being recognized for the stewardship that they have for mother earth and to see that their land based learning and principles are being used in projects that build sustainability, economic development and job creation and yet still do a lot of positive things for the climate.”

Milos said they built three greenhouses and three aquaponics facilities.

“Currently we’re working in, or developing relationships with, over 30 First Nations across the country. The work that was recognized at Enactus’ National Championships was for work specifically done in the Saskatoon area in three First Nations; Muskoday, Muskeg Lake, and Mistawasis Nehiyawak First Nations.”

Milos said everything they do is driven by the needs of the First Nations.

“A hallmark of our program is that we don’t go in with solutions to problems. We don’t know what the problems are, we don’t understand them. So, we go in and engage with communities in a rather in-depth needs assessment and once that is done, together with the nations, we develop programs that identify gaps that they have and then how to fill those gaps.”

Milos said their projects continue to grow each year.

“The greenhouses and the aquaponics facilities are demonstration size facilities. We want to ensure that the nations are comfortable operating these pieces of equipment. Once they tell us that they’ve established these businesses, then we’re going to help them expand and commercialize them. So, while this year was an important first step of getting these facilities built, the long term plan is going to take years to develop.”

He said word of Lambton’s work has spread across Canada and more First Nations have contacted the Enactus team to come and meet with them to help with their food security goals.

Project One Circle has created a new source of revenue and sustainable food source for over 7,000 people and is on track to save over 2.4 million litres of water and divert 700 metric tonnes of GHG emissions in the next 12 months.

Lambton’s Enactus team won the Regional Entrepreneurship and Climate Action Championship in March.

The group finished second in 2021, won the national competition in 2019, and won the national and global competition in 2018.