Training Alberta's Indigenous People for Success in the Trades
2nd Year Plumber Apprentice
February of 2018
Harland was asked to help build a fire pit by one of his superiors, for Hope Homes and Aboriginal Hope Homes Program, McMan Calgary & Area and he graciously accepted. Harland mentioned, when he first started this journey, he knew he would make it if he had just one chance. That opportunity started at Trade Winds and it continued to grow from there. He also knew he wanted to give back or help our people he just did not know how. He felt so proud to do this project and was so thankful for the opportunity.
He said, it turned out better than expected. The final fire pit is black, with the words cut out in Cree, meaning Wîcihowin. It is a Cree word for consorting together and helping each other. To highlight the fire pit, he managed to put the Cree Syllabics on it. The Cree writing is ᐁᐧᒋᐦᐅᐃᐧᐣ as shown in the picture. He went to their renaming ceremony and there he said it was looked awesome!
The most rewarding part of this experience were the staff and how they accommodated everyone to succeed. All the suggestions made to them and the experiences of past students, the general overall experience was something he will never forget. As Terance puts it, no matter what life throws at your or how unfair you think life is, never give up!
Without this program I would not have been as versatile in the beginning of my career. They not only helped me get trained but also helped give me the confidence that I needed to take the next step in my career. Being a young female minority, most definitely has had its challenges. In this industry people initially doubt me and are hesitant about my abilities but I never let that hold me back. I work hard, learn new skills, and accomplish the goals that I have set for myself as a tradeswoman. Being a part of TWTS has helped me secure these goals.
In my previous job I was a part-time cook, in a local pub. Not much opportunity and I needed change and stability…an actual career. I did not know what to expect from this experience and my family never really talked about the trades. It was intimidating at first, but it was a good kind of intimidation and tested my desire to change for the better. It was definitely worth it and I am always recommending the Trade Winds program to family and friends.
My biggest challenge was overcoming shyness. I had always seen myself as physically weak but being an ironworker has changed that for me. I have become self-confident and assertive and I cannot stress enough how that changed me for the better. As a result, I am better able to voice and project myself, which I am really happy about.
Robins expectations from this program was way better than he expected. More detailed information and hands-on with top shelf instructors both at Trade Winds and the training shop component. Since it had been +15 years since he was in school, Trade Winds and the union shop training helped him in ways he didn’t think was possible.
Logan was a dedicated and eager student and really wanted a career not just a job. He often comes in when other groups are just starting out and speaks to them about his past, his experience at Trade Winds and his life now.
Journeyman Plumber and Gasfitter, 3rd Year Apprentice Steam/Pipefitter
Oct 9th 2010
He started at TWTS, on March 01, 2010 and he completed his shop training at the PITS union training centre on Oct 9, 2010. Trade Winds helped him learn more about the trade – so he was not so green. They gave it all to him, academics, tools, PPE, safety tickets and hands-on training. In short, he was introduced to the union and got his foot in the door. He formed lifelong friends with his classmates and within the union and is now a proud union member of Local 496, United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry for the last 10 years.
I am from Kehewin Cree Nation. I found out about program in May 2018 from a friend who used to work at Trade Winds. I was a stay-at-home parent but worked with my brother when I was able too. I was motivated by my sons and my dad [to join Trade Winds]. Most of my family are carpenters. I used to labour for my older brother who is a Journeyman Carpenter contractor and I wanted to follow in his footsteps.
The experience I have and the friends and coworkers I have met have enriched my life and the world of knowledge every day that I go to work. I encourage any person to go to Trade Winds to Success and start a very rewarding employment opportunity.