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Jack of all trades finds what suits her

Focus lands on environmental issues.

SASKATOON — Erica Anaquod always knew a typical office job was not in the cards for her, so she gambled on a career in the trades and it's paying off.

The Muscowpetung Saulteaux Nation member is the founder and CEO of Moyeyihtamowin Consulting Ltd.

“I provide information and processes in regards to environmental issues such as contamination of the water, soils, and any types of assessment that needs to be done [such as] wildlife assessments and things of that nature,” said Anaquod.

The mother of three has no regrets about how her career path unfolded.

Anaquod was a dental hygienist, a scaffolder and a carpenter before she found her passion as an environmental consultant.

She was part owner of a residential house-framing company in Regina from 2007 to 2013 where she gained experience in bookkeeping, accounting and project management. Also during this same period, she trained for and became a dental hygienist.

“As a dental assistant, I just felt I topped out and there wasn’t anything more to learn,” said Anaquod

That's when she decided to explore other interests.

“Not many women were in the trades when I joined," said Anaquod. "I was one of the very few. I think we were at two per cent back then, but it was something I wanted to do.”

She was often the only woman on some job sites and it was tough because she faced a lot of discrimination.

“I was so quick to anger because I hadn’t experienced that before,” she said about her early days in the trades. “Now I pick my battles.”

Anaquod’s career trajectory changed after she joined Prairie Arctic Regional Council Local 1985.

“I worked on the Line 3 replacement with Enbridge and on my downtime I ended up linking with an environmental engineer on sites and I did a site assessment with him,” said Anaquod. “I just found that what he provided to the company was of interest to me.”

Fate intervened and she once again changed careers.

“The factor was COVID-19 actually and I was pregnant with my last child, so I needed to do something [different] because working in the trades and being pregnant wasn’t something I wanted to do,” said Anaquod. “All the classes were online so it was perfect.”

She graduated from Saskatchewan Polytechnic on Thursday with a diploma in environmental engineering technology along with a business certificate.

But she’s not done.

Anaquod plans to pursue a Bachelor of Science in environmental practice at the Royal Roads University in 2025 and is also in the process of challenging the National Construction Safety Officer certification.

She knows there are not many women in the trades or the environmental industry, but she remains driven.

“Entering male-dominated fields is scary, but that’s who I am,” said Anaquod. “I push the limits to set that stage not only for myself but for my children and my family.”

As she continues down her path, she knows it’s where she’s meant to be. Anaquod believes Indigenous people need to be involved in the environmental and energy sector.

“Not only are our people the stewards of the land, but we have a voice and we need that voice to bridge Indigenous Knowledge with Western science,” she said. “We need to have a say on renewable energy for our lands, for our people and Turtle Island as a whole.”

Information on Moyeyihtamowin Consulting Ltd. is available online at https://mcenviro.ca/.