Meet Rocky & Lorisha, a dynamic husband & wife duo who have been integral members of two innovative programs launched on the Coastal GasLink project.
While Rocky & Lorisha are both busy at work on the project, the two will occasionally cross paths between stops at work sites and workforce accommodation lodges, but always find time to reconnect at the end of the day with their sons over dinner, a walk or going fishing at local rivers & lakes in their traditional territory.
Rocky is a West Moberly First Nations member and has been a Construction Monitoring and Community Liaison (CMCL) Program coordinator working on Coastal GasLink for over two years. The role of CMCL coordinators and their team members is to observe, record and report back to their communities on construction activities and how the project is meeting our commitments. The role has in some cases led to enhanced environmental and cultural preservation as well as cross-cultural education and understanding, including about wild plants that play a role in traditional healing.
Lorisha is a Saulteau First Nations member and has been a Community Workforce Accommodation (CWAA) Program coordinator for Coastal GasLink for over a year. The CWAA program is a first-of-its-kind program to enhance the experience of workers – one that places respect for workers, communities and the surrounding environment as a fundamental way of life. The program employs members from neighboring Indigenous communities to lead programming that promotes inclusion and fosters a deeper understanding of the rich cultures and traditions of Indigenous communities. 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.
Get a glimpse into a day in the life of Rocky & Lorisha, and find out how they work, together and individually, to bring their Indigenous culture and traditional knowledge to their daily work, all while balancing family time and enjoying life in beautiful northern B.C.
Lorisha: My dad would call me lazybones for being up at 6 AM but it’s what works for me!
One COVID blessing is being able to see my husband, Rocky, in the morning; pre-COVID he was out the door by 5:30 AM to attend the morning safety meeting but now he joins virtually, meaning we have some time for us in the AM to connect and start the day in a good way.
Rocky: I’m getting ready for my work day, dialing into Teams for the morning safety meeting, checking emails, checking the weather and having breakfast!
Lorisha: The bus comes for our youngest son (Grade 8) at 7:42 AM and we are touching base with our second oldest son (Grade 10) who billets in Vernon and wishing them a good day!
Rocky: I pick up my morning crew and we head to the project route. The Construction Monitoring and Community Liaison (CMCL) program gets to visit a lot of different work fronts daily which keeps it interesting.
Lorisha: A lot of my job has me on the road mobilizing and demobilizing our Community Workforce Accommodation (CWA) advisors from workforce accommodations. It’s never a straight drive anywhere, my work vehicle is my mobile office and I’m often on the side of roads taking calls or sending emails. Sometimes I’m able to see my husband on the project as we pass each other on the road and connect on a break; that’s been really neat.
Rocky: I pick up the afternoon crew and head out to project route. We will load up into the UTV and travel into a more remote worksite.
Lorisha: If I’m not transporting advisors, then I’m likely travelling to touch base with them and see how they are doing. The CWA advisors do an awesome job, they are innovative and knowledgeable and a super great asset to the project.
Lorisha: Our CWAA market is @ www.cwaamarket.com and features local and Indigenous artisans near the project. I check in to see if there were online sales that we need to ship or need to update stock of items that sold at Sukunka Lodge. Super excited about this ongoing initiative!
Lorisha: Thank goodness my husband loves to cook. We live in rural NE BC so there isn’t Skip the Dishes or a multitude of places to eat at or from, so it’s always a home cooked meal. Wouldn’t doubt the reason our oldest son went to culinary school because I only probably cook 3 things without the fire department needing to check on the smoke in our kitchen!
My favorite dinner is one we cook out in the bush; it’s a five-minute UTV ride from our home to the bush so we go for UTV rides lots.
Rocky: I enjoy going for walks my wife in the evening. Also, me and my boys love going fishing in the evening. We try and head to some local rivers or little lakes in our traditional territory.
Lorisha: Much of our work is in Microsoft Teams and this helps the email deluge that can happen! The advisors are hosting evening activities in workforce accommodations when the workforce is not on the project route so I’m checking in to see how their day went and what support I can provide.
Lorisha: I would say that COVID really made me evaluate how I take care of myself and how could I improve? I start to wind down by 9 pm and do a good night routine with our boys. I didn’t realize how valuable sleep was really until COVID and I started getting better sleeps because social life came to a standstill. Now, I’m not willing to give up good sleep, that’s a priority!