Indigenous advisors promote safe and inclusive workforce lodges
Coastal GasLink’s approach to workforce accommodations has always been to provide a healthy and safe home-away-from-home for its workers. But equally important has been the relationship between the project, its workers and neighbouring communities. That is why Coastal GasLink recently implemented a unique program within its workforce lodges.
Known as the Community Workforce Accommodation Advisor (CWAA) Program, the program is being rolled out in Coastal GasLink’s workforce lodges, and is employing members from neighbouring Indigenous communities to lead programming that promotes inclusion and fosters a deeper understanding of the rich cultures and traditions of Indigenous communities.
Denine Gosselin, one of the program’s coordinators, knows firsthand the opportunities and challenges that come with large-scale projects like Coastal GasLink. For her, she sees the program as a way to leave a positive legacy by fostering respectful and inclusive relationships between workers and the communities along the project route.
“I've been in this industry for over 20 years,” says Denine, “and it is important to me that we make sure that anyone who wants a job in this industry has a safe and inclusive experience. We have an opportunity to leave a positive legacy for all and I am proud to be working with Coastal GasLink to make sure everybody feels safe and to foster transparent communication with our neighbours,” says Denine.
Whether it’s through jam sessions, trivia, traditional food, or nature walks, program advisors are implementing creative ways for workers to develop a stronger understanding and relationship with the land and people around them.
“With the COVID-19 measures in place, we are looking at opportunities to support not only physical health, but the mental health of our workers. We know that by providing opportunities for people to come together, share their time together, and participate in activities, we are contributing to a healthy workforce,” shared Denine.
Brianna Adolph is working on the Coastal GasLink project today, staying at 7 Mile Lodge near Burns Lake.