‘It’s great to see someone grow and excel in their new job when you're still working with them’
Foundation for success: ‘I always wanted to be a pipeliner’
With trailer in tow, Manitoba First Nations woman thrilled to hit the road as an inspector
In their late fifties, most people are winding down their careers and beginning to look ahead to retirement. At age 58, Elaine Dowan is just getting started.
“I always wanted to be a pipeliner, right where I am now,” says the resident of Canupawakpa Dakota Nation (CDN), about 30 kilometres south of Virden in western Manitoba. “My dream is to be an inspector, go on the road. I bought a trailer and I’m ready to go.”
Elaine’s been a welder and she worked at Maple Leaf Foods in Brandon for 10 years. Then she landed a job doing security and even did a stint as an Enbridge community liaison for CDN.
Then came an opportunity she’d be wanting for many years – a chance to work in pipeline construction. And none better than the large project near her home base—Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline replacement.
“Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d be where I am now,” Elaine says. “Never—I always thought I’d always just be working security.”
Here’s a photographic look at how Elaine’s career journey has progressed since the opportunity first arose . . .
Image gallery: First Nations pipeline inspector Elaine Dowan
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At Enbridge, we see our relationships with Indigenous communities as mutually beneficial—economically, socially and culturally.
Enbridge’s Line 3 replacement provided thousands of jobs for Indigenous workers; some are capitalizing on the opportunity to build a career