Statement by President Velshi on the first-ever Nuclear Energy Agency International Mentoring Workshop in Canada


From May 7 to 10, 2023, I was honoured to co-chair Canada’s first-ever Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) International Mentoring Workshop for Indigenous young women, organized in collaboration with the NEA and Trent University and supported by national and international mentors.

Reflecting on this event, I am reminded of the importance of fostering an environment where youth and Indigenous communities feel inspired and empowered to pursue science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers and knowledge. As President of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC), this commitment is deeply ingrained in my work.

The NEA workshop, a first of its kind in Canada, wove together both Indigenous and Western knowledge. It created a welcoming environment that allowed Indigenous students to thrive. It also marked a milestone in our country’s ongoing journey towards reconciliation and inclusivity, and served as a catalyst for participants to seek out new challenges, build meaningful connections, and pursue their passions with determination and resilience.

At the CNSC, our mission is to regulate the use of nuclear energy and materials to protect health, safety, security and the environment. If we want to continue being a world-class nuclear regulator, we must encourage people from all backgrounds to study and work in the fields of science, engineering, and nuclear regulation and safety.

By weaving diverse voices, including those of young people and Indigenous communities, into the fabric of STEM, we unlock the true potential of innovation and problem solving within our collective intelligence. These future professionals hold great potential to contribute to the future of nuclear regulation and safety. We must ensure that they have access to the education, resources, mentorship and support they need to thrive in these fields.

More work needs to be done to build and maintain a strong pipeline for women and Indigenous peoples, both in Canada and around the world. This will ensure that they are treated as equals in STEM, enhancing nuclear safety for generations to come.

Diverse voices bring a broader range of viewpoints and ideas, resulting in better safety outcomes. As we continue to champion diversity and inclusion, we shape a brighter, safer and more innovative future for Canada.

Together, let's empower the unique perspectives and experiences of individuals from all walks of life to drive the future of STEM

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