Chief Bruce Underwood (second from left) checks out the booth of his alma mater Stelly’s secondary school during the second annual job fair at Pauquachin.

Chief Bruce Underwood (second from left) checks out the booth of his alma mater Stelly’s secondary school during the second annual job fair at Pauquachin.

Pauquachin builds bridges

Making connections and creating opportunity are the key goals behind any workforce gathering but for the Pauquachin, it’s also about breaking down barriers. 

“It comes back to stepping out of the walls of our community … creating opportunities for each and every one of us,” said Pauquachin Chief Bruce Underwood. “We’re trying to create opportunities but also get our community members to realize it’s okay to step outside of their comfort zone.”

Pauquachin First Nation hosted its second annual one-stop employment shop for those wanting to hand out resumes or talk to local businesses who might be hiring. About 17 organizations were represented, including companies recruiting for employment, educational organizations with information about courses and programs, government assistance and funding programs, and support organizations. 

“This is what we’ve been needing for a long time,” said community member Rosalie James. “I’m just hoping more people from the other bands come and see.”

A proud grandmother, for James it was another opportunity to push her family members, and take pride in those she’s already aided. At the University of Victoria table, her granddaughter Renee Sampson was literally the poster child of pushing forward and gaining an education. 

“She graduates in June,” James said with pride.