Member Profile: Lyle Daniels, Build Together Saskatchewan

18 Jun, 2019

The Indigenous population is the youngest and fastest growing in Canada. Lyle Daniels has made it his personal mission to work with young people to create pathways to long, and valuable careers in the skilled trades. Through his work with Build Together Saskatchewan, Lyle is the first Inclusion Manager tasked with creating a Build Together, Indigenous Peoples of the Building Trades Prairie Chapter. Lyle is from George Gordon First Nation and lives in the City of Regina, Saskatchewan in Treaty 4 Territory. He is committed to helping young people strive to be the best they can be and develop a strong plan for a career.

“Apprenticeship programs offer young, Indigenous People one of the best opportunities to advance and find success,” said Lyle.

For over eight years, Lyle has been working with the Saskatchewan Building Trades Council to develop and pursue opportunities with Indigenous communities. Lyle has created and delivered a variety of training to prepare people to enter the trades and successfully move through an apprenticeship to achieve journeyperson status.

“There has always been a focus on the path to university of college, and nobody has been focusing enough on giving our young people the opportunity to pursue a career in the skilled trades,” said Lyle. “There is also a lack of understanding of the unionized skilled trades within Indigenous communities, so we need to do better with our outreach and education. We need to have an inclusive work environment, we need to get the Indigenous community ready and we need union halls/contractors to view Indigenous communities as a viable resource to fill the skills shortage.”

And that is where Indigenous Awareness and Inclusion Training comes into play. A trained facilitator, Lyle provides Indigenous Cultural Awareness training to both local union leaders and contractors, which includes training on Indigenous history in Canada, proper terminology, myth and misconceptions and Reconciliation.

“It sets the foundation for understanding. When you have a good knowledge base and understanding of where people come from and their experiences, then you are in a better position to not only recruit, but to retain Indigenous Peoples. From a place of understanding, leaders are better able to ensure their workplace or jobsite reflects the core values that create an inclusive space, for everyone.”

Looking ahead, what does success look like for the Build Together Indigenous Peoples of the Building Trades Chapter and Build Together Inclusion Manager?

“Having a way to reach out and connect with Indigenous Peoples ready to go to work, so we can react quickly to job opportunities and supply the demands of the industry; and having the time to spend on the human resource side to work with people and bring them to where they need to be.”