Whitney Whitedeer is a fourth-year carpenter from the Fond Du Lac Denesuline First Nation. She brings determination and strength to her chosen career in construction. “I am motivated by a good challenge, hence being a woman in a male dominated field,” she says.
Before entering the construction industry, Whitney worked a desk job in a casino for five and a half years, handling currency and a lot of paperwork. However, she always had an interest in the trades, inspired by her father who worked in the construction industry. “One day I got tired of my old job as I felt I wasn’t able to grow any more than I had, and decided it was time for a change. A Women In Trades course popped up at that exact time. I applied, got in, landed a job and haven’t looked back,” Whitney recalls.
Whitney’s cousin Robin, who was a journeyman carpenter, was an early role model. Sadly, Robin has since passed away, but her legacy in the trades continues through Whitney. “She always encouraged me with the trades to keep going, even when things got tough in the field,” Whitney remembers fondly.
Whitney finds excitement every day in her career: “I enjoy learning new things; it seems in this industry there is always something to learn. I like being able to build and see my work put into things. I love seeing my skills and abilities grow, the work scope is never the same week after week.”
Her supervisor, Tyrone Acevedo, has watched Whitney develop her skills since she started working on his project. “The skill set she brings to the table has grown immensely and she has become a key member on our team,” he says. “Whitney conducts herself in a professional and respectful manner, always task-oriented, and willing to help in everything she can,” Tyrone adds.
Whitney’s experience in the construction industry has not only strengthened her physically but also mentally. “There were times some of the work I was doing was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life, and being able to complete it without quitting has made me feel like I can take on anything.” Whitney’s resilience and commitment to the job at hand has unquestionably benefited the projects she’s contributed to.