CaDCR staff writer
As the construction faces a labour crisis, Honour the Work is a national “one-stop-shop” connecting Canadians to skilled trades careers.
Resources on the site include a series of videos showcasing tradespeople, apprentices and construction leaders. Canadian Design and Construction Report supports Honour the Work and each week we share a video from the website.
In this week’s video Shylah Nokusis, a Red Seal Carpenter and Owner of Osihcikewin Trades Exploratory Training, talks about barriers Indigenous Peoples face in the skilled trades.
Shylah Nokusis is a mother of one son and comes from the Peepeekisis Cree Nation situated in Treaty #4 near the town of Fort Qu’Appelle, Saskatchewan. As a young Indigenous person, Shylah was taught the value of hard work and perseverance which has served her well in the trades industry for the past fourteen years.
She represents the carpentry and scaffolding trades, but was also an Ironworker working across Canada from British Columbia to Nunavut. In 2016, she achieved the status of Red Seal Journeyman Carpenter and was the recipient of the Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technology’s Outstanding Journeyperson Award.
While working with the Office to Advance Women Apprentices (OAWA) in 2020, she saw obstacles for not only women, but Indigenous Peoples, that prevented them from entering into the trades. In 2021, she left OAWA and created Osihcikewin, to build an Indigenous owned and operated company that offers exploratory trades programs for men and women in Indigenous communities and as well, Summer Trades Camps for Indigenous youth.
Osihcikewin also works with Indigenous communities in meeting the demands of their housing portfolio. Shylah is also a Trades and Apprenticeship Consultant working with Indigenous Communities across Saskatchewan.