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Insights Honoring Indigenous Voices: Stories of Impact at AtkinsRéalis

As we approach Indigenous Peoples' Day 2024, AtkinsRéalis is proud to shine a spotlight on the incredible journeys and contributions of our Indigenous colleagues. From coast to coast, their stories inspire us and remind us of the importance of inclusion and respect for Indigenous perspectives.

team sitting around lunch table

Meet Ruby Littlechild, National Director – Indigenous Relations

Ruby Littlechild, a proud member of Treaty 6 from Maskwacis, Alberta, and descending from the Plains Cree, embodies a legacy of strength, wisdom, and spiritual connection. Her upbringing, a blend of urban life in Edmonton and the rich cultural environment of her First Nation's community, has shaped her worldview and career immensely. Ruby's lineage traces back to Wandering Spirit, a revered spiritual warrior, and Big Bear, signatories to Treaty No. 6 in 1876, underscoring her deep-rooted connection to her heritage and the land.

Championing Indigenous initiatives

As a driving force behind projects like the Reconciliation Plan, Ruby celebrates AtkinsRéalis' efforts to uplift Indigenous voices. The company's Indigenous Employee Resource Group provides a platform for Indigenous speakers to share experiences and fosters close collaboration with First Nations communities.

Memorable milestones

“…the official launch of our Reconciliation Plan was huge for me and our

company, I have never felt so proud to work for a company til that day, truly a memorable

moment for our Indigenous colleagues, allies and leaders here at AtkinsRealis.” - Ruby Littlechild

team sitting around lunch table

Empowering Indigenous leadership: Sheldon Chamberlain's journey at AtkinsRéalis

Sheldon Chamberlain, a proud member of the Algonquin Anishinàbe from the Antoine Nation, brings a wealth of experience and a deep-rooted connection to his role as Senior HSE Manager at AtkinsRéalis. With over 12 years of service, Sheldon has been instrumental in driving Indigenous perspectives and opinions into the heart of the company's projects and developments across Turtle Island.

A founding member of Indigenous employee resources

As a founding member of the Indigenous Employee Resources Group at AtkinsRéalis, Sheldon has played a vital role in shaping the company's approach to Indigenous engagement and empowerment. His contributions, from reviewing and commenting on the Reconciliation Plan to assisting in the selection of Indigenous art for display, underscore his commitment to fostering a culture of inclusion and respect.

“I have assisted in campaigns, presentations, and company events to raise awareness of National Indigenous Peoples Day & Month, National Indigenous Truth and Reconciliation Day, Orange Shirts/Every Child matters activities, National Day of Action for Missing and Murder Indigenous Women (MMIWG), Moose Hide Campaign, selection of Indigenous art for display and others activities.” - Sheldon Chamberlain

A vision for the future

Sheldon's journey at AtkinsRéalis exemplifies the company's dedication to Indigenous leadership and empowerment. Moving forward, he envisions a future where Indigenous voices are not only heard but valued and respected across all facets of the company's operations.

team sitting around lunch table

Celebrating Indigenous journeys: Kyla McQuabbie impact at AtkinsRéalis

Kyla's involvement spans across six key projects, including Northern Road Link, Webequie Supply Road, Manitoba Water Strategy, Mississagi to Hanmer, and Mississagi to Thirdline. Through partnerships with Indigenous Community Engagement (ICE) and the IndigenousE3 (IE3) initiative, a majority Indigenous-owned partnership, AtkinsRéalis demonstrates its dedication to celebrating Indigenous Peoples and their contributions.

Memorable moments and future visions

A standout moment for Kyla was the launch of the Reconciliation plan, which symbolized AtkinsRéalis' deep commitment to recognizing Indigenous communities. Kyla envisions a future where Indigenous engagement and partnerships empower Nations to assert their titles and proper mitigations in projects impacting their lands. She hopes to be a voice for these partnerships, advocating for necessary changes within industries that benefit not only AtkinsRéalis but all of Canada.

“Aanii Boozhoo,

Kyla miinwa Giiwedinoahnung Ogitchidaakwe ndizhnikaaz (My English name is Kyla, and my spirit name is Northern Star Warrior woman). Amik Ndoodem (I come from the beaver clan), Chictigaaniing Ndoonjibaa (My home is the big gardens, also known as French River #13/Henvey Inlet First Nation). Born and raised on reserve, Kyla's upbringing was steeped in the teachings of her elders and ancestors, fostering a deep connection to her community, ceremonies, and the land.” - Kyla McQuabbie

team sitting around lunch table

Highlighting Indigenous engagement: Jennifer Ashawasegai-Pereira's experience

Jennifer Ashawasegai-Pereira has been with AtkinsRéalis for a year, and her experience has been nothing short of fulfilling. Equipped with the tools necessary for her role from the very start, Jennifer was particularly excited about the company's procurement of Indigenous businesses. With over 1,400 Indigenous businesses involved, she was impressed by the opportunity to refer Anishinabek highway construction company, Shwe Miikaan, from her region. The collaboration between AtkinsRéalis and Shwe Miikaan on transportation projects in the Robinson Huron Treaty territory is a testament to the company's commitment to Indigenous procurement and illustrates the importance of employee voices.

Commitment to Indigenous Relations

One of the reasons Jennifer joined AtkinsRéalis was the company's unwavering commitment to Indigenous Relations. She is particularly excited about the Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), which supports her personal commitment towards Nation building as an Anishinabek kwe (Ojibway Woman). The Indigenous Circle, All My Relations, is one of the many Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) aimed at educating and creating awareness within the company. These groups have produced engaging webinars and hosted esteemed guests to discuss historical and contemporary issues faced by Indigenous Peoples north of the medicine line.

Join us at AtkinsRéalis and make an impact

The stories of Kyla McQuabbie, Sheldon Chamberlain, Ruby Littlechild, and Jennifer Ashawasegai-Pereira highlight the rich tapestry of Indigenous engagement and inclusion at AtkinsRéalis. Each of these individuals brings unique perspectives, deep connections to their heritage, and a passionate commitment to fostering positive change within their communities and our company.

At AtkinsRéalis, we are proud of the progress we've made in Indigenous Relations and are committed to continuing this journey. We invite you to be a part of our diverse and inclusive team, where your voice matters and your contributions can help shape a better future.

 Apply for jobs today and be a part of our mission to create meaningful change.