Empowering Young Indigenous Talent

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In the ever-evolving landscape of the oil and gas industry, partnerships that foster community development and empower the next generation are vital. A shining example of such collaboration is Indigenous-owned APE Maintenance, which is making waves with its commitment to supporting Indigenous initiatives and young talents while partnering with industry leaders like Pembina Pipeline.

APE Maintenance, deeply rooted in Indigenous values, has been an active participant in community development for years. The company goes beyond its primary role in supporting the oil and gas sector; it actively engages in philanthropy, volunteer work, and apprenticeship opportunities, contributing significantly to education and healthcare. However, one of its standout initiatives is the Summer Student program, aimed at creating lasting partnerships with industry giants like Pembina.

Nathan Whiteknife, Operations Manager of APE, proudly champions this program, which not only provides valuable work experience but also fosters relationships with industry leaders.

One shining example of the program’s success is the story of Tanner Antoine and Jenna MacKenzie, Indigenous summer students who were hired by APE Maintenance and contracted to work with Pembina Pipeline.

Tanner and Jenna were initially brought on as general laborers responsible for site cleanup and vegetation management around pipelines—a physically demanding but incredibly rewarding job. Their journey speaks to the potential of partnership-driven programs like APE’s Summer Student initiative.

Kevin Mosich, Maintenance Supervisor at Pembina Pipeline with over 25 years of industry experience, speaks highly of Tanner and Jenna. He commends their strong work ethic and describes them as self-starters who seamlessly fit into the team dynamics. Notably, Kevin highlights their attention to detail and respectfulness, traits that are highly valued in the industry.

Jenna, a third-generation resident of Fort McMurray, aspires to a career in Marketing or Human Resources after completing her education at Keyano College. Her decision to participate in the APE Summer Student Program was driven by her desire for new experiences. She found the laborer role both physically demanding and challenging but also incredibly rewarding. She appreciated the camaraderie, the support from her team, and the opportunity to work in a unique environment, including thrilling helicopter operations.

For Tanner, the Summer Student program was more than just a job; it was an opportunity to learn and grow. He described it as the best summer job he’d ever had, thanks to the friendly atmosphere and the warm welcome he received. With a strong focus on safety due to potential hazards on-site and the presence of wildlife, Tanner gained valuable insights into teamwork, leadership, and environmental stewardship.

One crucial aspect of the oil and gas industry is Health, Safety, and Environment (HSE). Both Tanner and Jenna noted the importance of HSE practices and how well-organized Pembina Pipeline is in this regard. Daily toolbox meetings to review operations, transparent communication, and an open-door policy for input make the work environment safer and more productive.

In closing, the partnership between APE Maintenance and industry leaders like Pembina Pipeline is a testament to the positive impact that collaboration can have on Indigenous communities and young talents. As APE continues to create opportunities and foster growth, the industry stands to benefit from the skills, work ethic, and fresh perspectives of these promising individuals. It’s a win-win scenario that paves the way for a brighter future in the oil and gas sector.

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