ARCHIVED - Nations Construction Consulting

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Deanna Johnson, an Aboriginal woman living in Chilliwack, British Columbia, has proven that women can succeed in the construction world. Through her business Nations Construction & Consulting, she helps building quality homes for First Nations people and inspires her community.

Transcript: Nations Construction

Hello, my name is Deanna Johnson and I own Nations Construction Consulting in Chilliwack. Nations got started about 11 years ago. We were living on the Chehalis Band at the time and there was a real need for quality homes for First Nations people, which is, you know they just don't have it. A lot of people were coming and asking like "could you tell me what I should do with this" or "how can I fix this" and etcetera. So, I just thought there was a real need. So, I told my husband I'm starting a construction company, I think it's needed right now, so we did, and it just took off. There are challenges, especially when you first start out because a lot of people just don't think that women can do construction. And it's not hard really, if you really enjoy doing construction to learn all of the stuff there because women are very detail-oriented and so details are really something that you can work really good with, especially finishing and stuff like that. It's a challenge in getting into the field but it's exciting. I think it's really really helped a lot of the First Nations people that I find, at least from the Chehalis area are starting to go out and get the education they need to move on. So, I feel that I've helped in that respect. And being able to say "Hey, you know if I just go and take just a little bit more education, I can do more and maybe start my own business". I'm just proud to be where I'm at. It's exciting to know that people can do a lot with their lives if they just do it. Don't be afraid. You know, one day I came in and just said "This is what I'm going to do. I'm starting a business", and I started it. And just ran with it to see where it would take me. I didn't expect it to grow where it is today in such a short time, but it has come a long way. Well, we just finished the Kwe Project, which is a three point, just about 6 billion dollar job with the federal government and it's in a federal institution. You know, I go to work and you enjoy your work it's not work, it's like play. As long as you pick the field that you want to go into, that's what you should do.

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