Community

Committed,
engaged,
local

At Gwaii, we are committed to being engaged and involved with our local community.

This year, we have chosen to focus our efforts on an environmental initiative- volunteering our physical efforts to local organizations, donating money to support environmental causes, and speaking at events where our knowledge and expertise can help to spread awareness.

Gwaii is also committed to engaging with local First Nations communities, not only through engineering work but also supporting and educating young members on career and education possibilities and training Indigenous staff on our projects.

Read more about our recent community engagement below!

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WORLD OCEAN DAY BEACH CLEAN

We partnered with Open Ocean Robotics and Pacific Seaweed Industry Association to host a Beach Clean event at Clover Point Park in June 2023.

The afternoon included educational talks on conservation & biology, kids activities and games, and a social networking event afterwards.

Thank you to the community for such a great turn out. Together we collected 3 large garbage bags of waste!

Go eng girl at uvic

We had a great time at the UVic GO ENG GIRL event, offering girls & non-binary youths from grades 7-12 with hands-on activities and encouragement to those interested in exploring engineering as an academic path and career! ⁠

It was wonderful to see and engage with so many bright, young faces. ⁠

Well done Julia & Melina – thank you for representing Gwaii!  We love to see more & more young women getting into Engineering. ⁠

shíshálh Nation's annual career fair

Julia & Corey attended the shíshálh Nation’s annual career fair, organized by the Nation’s Education Training and Post-Secondary Department in November with local Indigenous High School students.

We are excited to be offering job shadowing & mentee experiences to participants in the near future!

Volunteering with the CRD

Every few weeks, we spend Sunday with the CRD to remove invasive species from a different location across Southern Vancouver Island. Most recently, Mike, Melina, and Corey joined CRD team members Myles and Jake at the Elk/Beaver Lake Regional Park!

Tsawout Bighouse Field Trip

Late last year the Gwaii Team was given a tour of the TSAWOUT BIGHOUSE by Tsawout Councillor John Etzel, and Special Projects Manager Wayne Helgason.

This was a very special opportunity to learn about the history of the site, as well as the many events & ceremonies that will be held in this incredible new building.

Thank you to John & Wayne for so graciously hosting us and we look forward to the official opening!

making a difference -

Indigenous Mentorship Program

We are excited to be kicking off our Indigenous Mentorship Program for Environmental Monitoring & Surveying here at Gwaii. Our vision is to provide a space for Indigenous people to explore different aspects of engineering to inform their future careers.

This mentorship program is aimed at Indigenous professionals seeking to gain work experience & new skills within our two program streams: Environmental Monitoring and Surveying. The program will help build resume experience and provide a jumping off point for people seeking jobs in the field of engineering. Mentees will be provided a comprehensive list of competencies that they can expect to achieve by the end of their time with Gwaii, with regular check-ins and feedback from mentors.

Environmental Monitoring: Mentees will learn how to monitor construction and provide informed feedback to contractors to minimize environmental impact. They will also learn the basics of contaminated sites investigation with a mix of field and office work.

Surveying: Mentees will learn to use survey equipment and conduct a site survey from the initial set-up to the final import of survey points into AutoCAD. They will spend most of their time in the field in a diversity of communities across BC.

Indigenous student interns Kyle & Zeb on site at Tsawout Nation

CORPORATE SUSTAINABILITY -

We are excited to announce we have received a GREEN CERTIFICATION from BC Green Business  for our efforts in reducing our environmental impact as part of our continued commitment to corporate sustainability.

As a BCGB member, we undergo annual evaluations to track our sustainability progress and make continuous improvements towards our green goals. Through the program, we work alongside over 160 like-minded businesses across British Columbia who are taking climate action for the planet, the people, and the community.

Certifying that Gwaii Engineering is BC Green Business GREEN CERTIFIED as of 2024.

Specific action steps were taken over this past year to meet the criteria for this certification, including:

  • Establishing a Sustainable Purchasing Policy and Corporate Sustainability Strategy to guide company actions.
  • Conducting a waste, water, and sustainability audit to identify gaps and areas of improvement.
  • Hosting and participating in community beach clean-ups.
  • Committing to social sustainability via the 4-day work week.
  • Through the adoption of TRC action #92, embracing sustainability through a cultural lens within corporate policy and core operational activities involving Indigenous peoples and their lands and resources.

Our participation in the program was covered by the Indigenous Business Bursary – thank you to the several organizations that have contributed this year! ⁠

Learn more about how BC Green Business is helping businesses take climate action.

ḴEL,ḴELOŦEN ȻE S,ISTEW̱ Education Fund Award

In June of 2021 we created the ḴEL,ḴELOŦEN ȻE S,ISTEW̱ Education Fund Award with our partners AME Group, Diamond Schmitt, Number TEN Architectural group, RJC Engineers, AES Engineering, and the Victoria Native Friendship Centre.⁠

There are very few Indigenous, First Nations, Inuit, and Métis professionals working in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Many engineering and architecture firms work with Indigenous communities, but few have Indigenous people working within their organizations. We recognize this and want to help Indigenous people pursue careers in our industry.

The Fund supports Indigenous persons residing in BC and pursuing post-secondary studies. The fund provides both financial support with an annual $5,000 award and career mentorship for all applicants.

To honour the local Nations, the team worked with the SENĆOŦEN Language-Revitalization Group to name the fund. What emerged through conversation was this phrase:⁠ ḴEL,ḴELOŦEN ȻE S,ISTEW̱. The English translation is “a dream for what becomes of you”.⁠

Pictured here is the first ever recipient of the fund, Kennedy Rolston, with Kear Porttris of Quantum Murray (left) and Rob Walter from AME (right). ⁠
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