Drax Foundation donates more than $450,000 aiding Canadian organizations focused on supporting indigenous communities

Five organizations to receive funding that will focus on STEM education, biological diversity, sustainable forest management and Indigenous education.

Renewable energy company Drax has announced that five Canadian non-profits will receive over $450,000 from the second round of Drax Foundation donations. The latest round of funding will go to programs that benefit Indigenous communities, as well as over 1,200 children in programs through STEM education, and 20,000 people through the protection of biological diversity and sustainable forest management. 100% of these grants will reach underserved groups. 

The organizations receiving the donations are Actua, Nature Trust of BC, Society for Canadian Women in Science and Technology (SCWIST), UBC Faculty of Forestry Alex Fraser Research Forest and the Williams Lake First Nation. 

“These organizations invigorate the communities they work in and have lasting impacts on the people and areas they serve,” said Sandy Sung, Community Manager for Drax Canada. “We are guided by the needs and expertise of our non-profit partners, and that’s why we prioritize funding for some of their harder-to-fundraise for areas of work.” 

The non-profits all work to better their communities through targeted programing, education, improving local greenspaces, enhancing biodiversity and supporting Indigenous communities in and around the areas where Drax has operations. 

Actua, which will receive $100,000, works with a network of colleges and universities to engage youth from across the country in transformational STEM learning experiences that build critical employability skills and confidence.

“I’d like to thank the Drax Foundation for its generous support as their focus in supporting STEM education, and advancing equity and access to STEM education resonates with Actua’s mission,” said Jennifer Flanagan, CEO of Actua. “This partnership will significantly strengthen our combined work in building a future that’s inclusive and fair for everyone.” 

The Nature Trust of BC, which will receive $100,000, conserves BC’s biodiversity through securing, restoring and managing ecologically significant lands.

“Through the generous support of the Drax Foundation, we will be able to enhance approximately 20 hectares of ingrown forest at our Hoodoos Westside Conservation Area near Fairmont Hot Springs, BC,” said Dr. Jasper Lament, CEO of The Nature Trust of British Columbia. “These funds will allow crews to open up the forest stand to improve wildlife and biodiversity habitat values, for species including the Mule deer, Rocky Mountain elk and American badger, while also increasing its resilience to wildfire and forest health issues like disease and pests.” 

SCWIST, which will receive $97,000, creates an environment where women and girls in Canada can pursue their interest, education and careers in STEM without barriers.

“STEM skills are life skills, and with access to STEM knowledge, the youth of today can shape their own futures and chart a logical path in a rapidly changing world” says JeAnn Watson, Director of SCWIST. 

The Alex Fraser Research Forest, which will receive $80,000, is improving green spaces to create opportunities for research, education and demonstration of sustainable forest management.

“UBC Forestry’s Wild & Immersive (W&I) program is honoured to be awarded a grant from the Drax Foundation that will be directed towards developing a publicly accessible trail in Williams Lake,” says Stephanie Ewen, Manager of the Alex Fraser Research Forest. “In addition, we are incredibly grateful to the Drax Foundation for contributing to establish a bursary fund that will make it possible for families with financial constraints to access our programming.”  

The Williams Lake First Nation, which will receive $80,000, works to better Indigenous communities and share the traditional knowledge of their ancestors.

“Williams Lake First Nation will utilize a grant supplied by Drax Foundation to develop environmental objectives specifically bolstering our commitment to stewardship,” says the Williams Lake First Nation Natural Resource Management Department. . “This generous contribution will assist the community in designing crucial plans and maintaining our cultural identity, as well as preserving our connection to these Secwepemc lands.” 

Launched in March 2023, the Drax Foundation funds initiatives that support education and skills development in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), as well as those that improve green spaces, enhance biodiversity and support Indigenous communities within the communities Drax operations. To learn more about the Drax Foundation and community projects that Drax has previously funded, visit https://drax.com/ca/news/.  

Previous organizations that have received funds from the Drax Foundation include Connected North, Scientists in School and The Exploration Place.  

Contact Information: 

Caroline Bleay
Communications Manager, Canada
[email protected] 

 About Drax 

Drax Group’s purpose is to enable a zero carbon, lower cost energy future and in 2019 announced a world-leading ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) technology. Drax’s around 3,000 employees operate across three principal areas of activity – electricity generation, electricity sales to business customers and compressed wood pellet production and supply to third parties. For more information, visit http://www.drax.com/ca 

Pellet production and supply: 

The Group has 18 operational pellet plants and developments with nameplate production capacity of around five million tons a year.Drax is targeting eight million tons of production capacity by 2030, which will require the development of over three million tons of new biomass pellet production capacity. The pellets are produced using materials sourced from sustainably managed working forests and are supplied to third party customers in Europe and Asia for the generation of renewable power.  

Drax’s pellet plants supply biomass used at its own power station in North Yorkshire, England to generate flexible, renewable power for the UK’s homes and businesses, and also to customers in Europe and Asia.