Millie Thunder
Millie Thunder

Millie Thunder

Band: Little Pine First Nation, SK
Hometown: Hinton, AB
Program: Steamfitting-Pipefitting apprenticeship training

If there’s one thing Millie’s learned in her life, it’s to be open to new opportunities. So when opportunity knocked to apprentice in the steamfitting pipefitting trade, Millie opened the door.

“I heard about the program through the Saskatoon Tribal Council. They had an initiative for an apprenticeship program, so I applied and got accepted,” Millie says. “I’m hoping to have my level four by 2022. Thank you to my family and significant other for always believing I could do it!” 

At first, Millie worried about barriers to employment because she is a First Nation woman in a predominately male trade. Turns out, she’s had plenty of training opportunities. “I’ve gained valuable experience at various mines and construction jobs to gain apprenticeship hours and I will be qualified to work at mines,” she says.

Millie likes attending Sask Polytech during the theory portion of her training. “They have a great shop where you can learn hands-on and get experience with tools and equipment. I really enjoyed the welding portion of the program,” she says. “The instructors are down-to-earth, and the counsellors at the Indigenous Students’ Centre are really caring.”

If she had a career do-over, Millie says she would take math and science in high school, “I encourage all young people to take science and math in high school. It helps open so many doors in the trades and post-secondary,” she says.