Celebrating the start of the school year with White Buffalo Youth Lodge

Published: Aug 30, 2023

Nutrien employees took part in the White Buffalo Youth Lodge backpack day again this year. Read on to hear about the experience of one of our Indigenous Internship Program students, Clela Byers, a Co-Op Process Engineer at Nutrien.

Since I’ve spent my entire adult life as a student, my plate seems to always be full and so I’ve never felt I’ve been able to take an opportunity to participate in an event like this before. I had a great time being a part of the Nutrien volunteers and the other staff and Volunteers that helped make this event happen. While the gym was full of volunteers and families, many of the kids were out in the parking lot where there were snacks, food, and activities to make the experience fun for all ages. Everyone seemed to understand the importance of making the day fun and treating the day as a celebration for the kids.


The experiences that stuck with me even now, days later, were the ones where parents and kids showed gratitude and excitement about having what they need when going back to school. The kids I was helping grinned from ear to ear as they realized that they got to pick not only the color of their backpack but also all their own school supplies. As a kid, the best part of back-to-school season for me was getting to pick out all new supplies myself and make it my own, and the smiles of these kids told me that they felt the same.

Before I started to work for Nutrien I didn't really realize the good that programs like these can do in our communities. Every event like this backpack day spreads growth and equity among all people, which I believe is so important since so many of my personal experiences have not been inclusive in that way.


After the day was over, even though I was extremely tired, I felt like the work we did was only a fraction of what we could do as a community for those who were there and those who couldn’t come. It felt easy to be able to do so much good that I wanted to continue even though the day was done, and we gave away almost everything we had. 

My experiences helping all these families reminded me that a person's outward appearance can never reflect who that person really is or their life situation. And that everyone deserves to be given a chance to succeed.