By Breanne Massey
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
A 20-year-old member of the Akisqnuk First Nation has recently joined the band’s Housing Department for an internship.
Bobby Morgan started working with Akisqnuk First Nation manager Dale Shudra and team in late-September after hearing about the experience from his father.
“I’m working for the nation and we’re trying to get more and more workers involved to become self-sufficient to a degree,” explained Morgan. “I think my favourite part was putting up the different types of homes that we’re starting to build to see how the walls are going up on each of them. It’s been the most fun part of my time.”
With the temperatures getting colder with each passing month of autumn, slipping into winter, Morgan has graduated from landscaping into entry-level construction with the support of his peers.
However, Morgan’s passion remains with landscaping — the sector he worked in for about a year before joining the band for an internship.
“We have two projects going on and I’m working mainly at the six-plex,” said Morgan, adding he’s been landscaping around the six-plex building and rebuilding the deck that was recently taken down on the lands of the Akisqnuk First Nation.
While the administrative tasks of the internship have been the most challenging part of the opportunity, Morgan feels strongly that the opportunity has helped him to gain confidence and take on more responsibilities at work than some of his previous experiences had.
“I would recommend (the internship) to other young people on the reserve,” he said. “It’s a really good opportunity to get out and help the community, and to see what we’re trying to do and get on-board.”
Morgan is proud to serve the Akisqnuk First Nation as an intern and praised the community for working together to achieve its goals.
The internship with the Housing Department is expected to run until March, but Morgan remains optimistic about staying on with his team and the community at the Akisqnuk First Nation afterwards.
“It’s helpful in gaining more confidence and working with others,” said Morgan. “If I do find a trade throughout this internship that I like, I would definitely like the opportunity to follow it.”
Akisqnuk First Nation’s Housing Department’s manager Dale Shudra is grateful for funding from the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation to create two internships for youths from the community in 2020.
“As Housing Manager, I am thankful for the interns’ attitudes and assistance,” said Shudra. “Bobby wants and is getting hands-on experience. He has primarily been working on a major landscaping project and construction of the elder three-plex. Working with crews, tools and equipment is building a solid base for continued housing involvement.”