Métis woman making inroads into the field of engineering

Chennoa Tracey on the job in Saskatchewan.

Chennoa Tracey is a young Métis woman who graduated from the University of Saskatchewan with a mechanical engineering degree. Today she is a proud STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) professional working as an assistant engineer with the Saskatchewan Research Council.

Tracey worked hard to achieve her goals but also attributes her career success to the Gabriel Dumont Institute (GDI). The GDI is an Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training Strategy (ASETS) delivery organization that develops and delivers Métis-specific educational programs and services.

Through the GDI Training and Employment summer student program, Tracey was connected to the Saskatchewan Research Council's Aboriginal Mentorship Program, where she met her mentor, Sheldon. Over two summer placements, Sheldon worked alongside Tracey to provide advice and support that pushed her education and work experience to the next level.

Tracey encourages others to get in touch with the GDI because, "they help keep Métis people connected to our history and with each other like a community should. They also helped me build my résumé, get interviews and obtain a permanent job in my field of study. And I'm doing better than expected. I consider myself very lucky."

According to Tracey's colleagues, she is an asset to the Saskatchewan Research Council because she demonstrates a willingness and interest to learn and apply new engineering analysis skills.

Her advice to young women who are thinking of careers in STEM is to "always seek out opportunities, don't get discouraged, and find a way to reach your goal."

In May 2019, after engagements with Indigenous groups, ASETS was replaced by the new Indigenous Skills and Employment Training (ISET) program. The new program has 4 distinct labour market strategies: First Nations, Inuit, Métis and Urban/Non-affiliated. The Government of Canada and Indigenous partners are working together to reduce the skills gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people by 50%, and the employment gap by 25%. Since it began, ASETS has served 481,000 clients, with more than 159,000 finding jobs.

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