International Minerals Innovation Institute (IMII), on behalf of its member companies
and Innovation Saskatchewan, today announced the winners under IMII’s first‐ever $1 million Diversity
and Inclusion Challenge which focuses on increasing the number of women and Indigenous people in the
mining sector’s workforce. They are:

  • North Rim / RESPEC for Girls in the Classroom: Unearthing Career Opportunities in Mining
  • Women In Mining / Women in Nuclear‐SK: Mine Your Potential Mentorship Program
  • University of Saskatchewan College of Engineering: Indigenous Student Success Program
  • Saskatchewan Mining Association: Junior & Indigenous Youth First Responders Boot Camp
  • Saskatchewan Mining Association: Indigenization of Mineral Resource K‐12 Lesson Plans & Pilot Camps

Building on commitments and leading practices of its mineral member companies, IMII launched its firstever
Diversity & Inclusion Challenge program in May 2017. This $1 million open innovation challenge
attracted 26 initial applications, nine of which were invited in June to submit formal proposals in the fall
of 2017. With the selection of these first five recipients, $683,948 will be awarded to support innovative
pilot and demonstration projects with the aim to increase the number of women and Indigenous people
in the mineral sector’s workforce. The project partners will contribute an additional $206,250 in other
cash and in‐kind resources.

“The Diversity & Inclusion Challenge program has proven to be a successful model in working toward
closing diversity and inclusion gaps for women and Indigenous peoples in our sector,” says Al Shpyth,
IMII Executive Director. “Our members are making diversity and inclusion integral to their workplaces,
and because we are not where we want to be as an industry yet, the Diversity & Inclusion Challenge is
an outstanding example of how mining continues to step up as one of the province’s top employers.”

“Saskatchewan is blessed with a diverse economy and resources, but we never forget that our most
valuable asset is our people,” Minister Responsible for Innovation Steven Bonk said. “Through the
Diversity and Inclusion Challenge, we encourage the growth and participation of women and Indigenous
people in the minerals sector, improving opportunities for everyone and ultimately growing the

IMII’s mineral member companies include BHP, Cameco, K+S Potash Canada, Nutrien Ltd. (formed out of
the merger of Agrium Inc. and PotashCorp on January 2, 2018), and The Mosaic Company.

“As industry partners to the IMII, our interests lie in seeing greater access to opportunities for all people
in Saskatchewan, and to ensure that women and indigenous peoples are better represented in the
talent pipeline than we see today,” says Trevor Smith, Training Specialist, BHP. “The proposals that will
receive funding represent innovative solutions to the issues we see in attracting, retaining, and
supporting advancement for these underrepresented demographics in our industry. We already know
that when we get inclusion right we perform better. By enhancing curricula, providing industry‐relevant
skills, and delivering innovative supports for students and people already in industry, these initiatives
will positively impact our mining workforce of the future and the prosperity of our province.”

It is the intent of IMII to share the results of the selected innovative projects with others sharing its
members’ commitment to diversity and inclusion, so they may build on what is learned and further help
address the minerals industry’s diversity and inclusion needs.

The Diversity & Inclusion Challenge was featured in Canadian Mining Magazine and in Potash in our
, a special feature of the Regina Leader Post and Saskatoon Star Phoenix.

Learn more about the Challenge at


About IMII

The International Minerals Innovation Institute is a unique innovation supporting network of mining
companies, supply chain companies, government departments and agencies, post‐secondary
institutions, research institutions and other who share the industry’s commitment to innovation and
sustainability. It is jointly funded by industry and the Government of Saskatchewan, through Innovation
Saskatchewan. It exists to deliver innovations that matter to mining in Saskatchewan.

Contact Information

IMII media contact:
Al Shpyth, Executive Director
Phone: 1‐306‐668‐2057