Nicole Bourque-Bouchier, Chief Executive Officer of the Bouchier Group of Fort McMurray

Indigenous women are really stepping up and taking a lead in business, said Nicole Bourque-Bouchier of the Bouchier Group.

“For myself, especially in business areas that are a little bit more non-traditional.”

She grew up in the oil sands in Fort McMurray and originally became involved in the corporate end, getting into the industry as an entrepreneur.

“Then I got quite focused on the contracting end.”

Fifteen years ago it was nothing for Bourque-Bouchier to be the only female in the room with a bunch of construction-type workers. Things have evolved for women in leadership roles over those 15 years.

“Now you go to many meetings were there are several females in the room, and there are many female business owners in the Wood Buffalo region in the same type of field.”

Resiliency and perseverance are a couple of words that come to her mind that have meant a lot to Bourque-Bouchier.

“Because of our background and where we come from, resiliency is the big one.” There is a lot of crisis in the Indigenous community, whether from residential schools or crisis that people have grown up with.

It takes resiliency to move beyond that to move toward a successful career. 

“We have a lot to handle as Indigenous women who are in business,” she said.

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