Destiney Michelle of the Skin Tyee Nation shares about her role as a CWAA and how Coastal GasLink is helping her community move forward.

Destiney Michelle of the Skin Tyee Nation shares about her role as a CWAA and how Coastal GasLink is helping her community move forward.

Collaborating on a shared legacy for the next generation

Coastal GasLink creating economic opportunity for Indigenous communities, chance to share culture

At Coastal GasLink’s 7 Mile Lodge, Destiney Michelle is seeing the benefits that the project brings to her Nation. “I really hope that every project going forward gives these opportunities,” shares Destiney Michelle, Skin Tyee Nation member and Community Workforce Accommodation Advisor, “we’re being pioneers here and I’m absolutely loving it — I think it should be in every industry.”

As a Community Workforce Accommodation Advisor (CWAA), Destiney spends her days creating a healthier working environment through cultural events, recreational activities, and mental health support. Her work helps build an environment of respect, inclusivity and transparency at her lodge—something she is deeply proud of.

“I’m really happy with my work,” she says, “a lot of people are getting really familiar with me at the lodge and seeing how I’m just trying to spark the positivity out of a long day.”

The CWAA program is just one of ways Coastal GasLink is providing opportunities for Indigenous and local communities to directly benefit from the project. Through these partnerships, community members have access to jobs, skills training and other valuable economic opportunities.

For Destiney and her mother, Hereditary Chief Ludooks (Helen Michelle) from the Skin Tyee Nation, these opportunities have been long awaited.

“We’ve dealt with companies in the past; we were never given anything in return,” recalls Chief Ludooks, “this is the first time in my life, that I know of, that Skin Tyee Nation is going to benefit.”

Hereditary Chief Ludooks (Helen Michelle) of the Skin Tyee Nation speaks at a National Indigenous Peoples Day event hosted by her daughter Destiney at 7 Mile Lodge on July 12, 2021.

Hereditary Chief Ludooks (Helen Michelle) of the Skin Tyee Nation speaks at a National Indigenous Peoples Day event hosted by her daughter Destiney at 7 Mile Lodge on July 12, 2021.

To date, Coastal GasLink has released over $1-billion in contract awards to Indigenous and non-Indigenous local businesses; over $620-million of which has gone to Indigenous communities and their business partners.

These investments help Nations like Skin Tyee to provide good, well-paying jobs for their members, build their community and grow their capacity to respond to future opportunities.

“With the education, the training, the profits — I feel that our young generation will really benefit,” states Chief Ludooks. “As a small band, I feel that it will help us move forward.”

More than just economic benefits, these opportunities are giving people like Destiney the chance to promote a deeper understanding of the rich culture and traditions of her community, all while providing a valuable perspective to the project.

“I feel honoured to have the opportunity to share my culture, because it wasn’t always an option,” adds Destiney.

“It shows how we’re coming together as Nations and communities […] how we’ve learned to work together and help each other. We’re given the opportunity to be heard.

To learn more about how Coastal GasLink is committed to supporting local communities, please visit CoastalGaslink.com.

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