Photo: Taryn Glancy, Senior Project Manager and Melodie Hurtubise, Project Coordinator
For Melodie Hurtubise, an Algonquin woman from Timiskaming First Nation, working as an apprentice carpenter in a male-dominated industry was physically and mentally challenging, but the skills she was learning as a carpenter seemed worth it. Until she found another path.
“While working as an apprentice I found myself traveling to Kitigan Zibi almost every weekend to visit my sister who lives there with her husband and children,” said Hurtubise. “I heard about Decontie Construction and I was very inspired to learn that it was co-owned by an Algonquin woman. I decided that it would be worthwhile to bring my resume to Wanda Thusky and asked her if she had any positions available.”
Wanda immediately put Melodie in touch with Taryn Glancy, a Senior Project Manager at Zibi. Having worked on Zibi land’s decontamination through Decontie, Wanda knew there was a genuine interest at Dream in developing Indigenous capacity in the construction industry. After a few meetings that same week, Taryn offered Melodie a 1-year internship position at Dream.
“Wanda and I had been sharing ideas about how to promote mentorship for Indigenous women in the construction industry,” says Glancy. “This was a perfect opportunity to put this thought in practice.”
Through the internship, Melodie has shadowed Taryn and has had the opportunity to delve deeper into aspects of interest to her.
“I am very grateful for being given the opportunity to work on such a complex and innovative project alongside strong female leaders in the industry,” continued Hurtubise. “Because of this, I have even been able to work on initiatives that allow me to feel engaged in ways I have never been able to at work before.”
Since starting her internship, Melodie has supported the delivery of public art pieces featuring Indigenous artists, and has been following the construction of the sanitary pump station. She has also been able to improve a number of soft skills such as time and task management.
“I am confident that at the end of my internship, I will have gained much in terms of my professional development, and I will be better equipped to take on new challenges.”
Melodie hopes to use her new skills and experience to work directly with or for First Nations people and to give back to the land and Indigenous community.
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