Joseph Tourangeau

Third Year Scaffolder

January 2015

Hello, my name is Joseph Tourangeau and I am a Mikisew Cree First Nations member and this is my Trade Winds To Success Story.

I first heard about Trade Winds in 2014 from a radio ad in Edmonton that my father told me about. At the time I was working as a general labourer going from one dead end job to another and was wanting something different. So I went down to the office in Edmonton and applied for the carpentry part of the program and was accepted shortly after. I later then moved into an apartment in Edmonton prior to my journey through Trade Winds to Success.

I was young and unsure of what to expect. My biggest challenge there was trying to stay awake though class because I had gotten a job and by the time I left my door until the time I got back was a 16-hour day with only 4 hours of sleep, Monday to Friday. But I persevered and got the one of the highest marks in class.

The most rewarding part was being able to school with such nice people of all ages and just knowing that there was such an awesome program out there to help native people make a positive change in their life.

When I completed the program in 2015, I was a proud union member with local 1325 but at the time there was no carpentry jobs with the union, so I got a job as a scaffold erector with the union. As of 2018 I am now a 3rd year scaffold apprentice with plans to get my journeyman in both scaffolding and carpentry.

If I were do it all over again, I would; and I highly recommend it to anyone seeking change in their life as this opportunity has boosted my self-confidence and has always kept me employed. I am now a contributing member of society where I take care of my sick father and my younger brother on an acreage outside of Bonnyville and I owe it all to Trade Winds. Thank you to everyone at Trade Winds for making this possible, I cannot express in words how grateful I am and how life changing this experience is.

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