Shorelines: Stories from our guides and guardians
shoreLINES is a quarterly newsletter intended to keep our partners and stakeholders informed about Parks Canada's activities and heritage places in Northern Ontario.
The gathering of ice and snow on the shores of Lake Superior marks the holiday season in northern Ontario. It’s also a time when we gather together to celebrate the past year, and begin to plan for the next. The Parks Canada places in Northern Ontario have many achievements to celebrate from 2018—achievements that would not have been possible without the continued support from people like you.
Earlier this year, a new colleague asked me what it is like being a woman in such a traditionally male-dominated field, and if there were many women working in wildland fire within Parks Canada. In answering the question, I looked around and realised there are women represented at nearly every level within Parks Canada’s fire program and in most positions within the Incident Management Teams that manage large fires.
Parks Canada employs approximately 4000 people across CanadaDepending on the time of year, between 50 and 100 of these jobs are located in Northern Ontario, and include positions such as fire crews, labourers, interpreters, and wardens. In addition to these frontline positions, Parks Canada also employs staff to manage, advise and conduct more administrative functions such as human resources, finances, research, and planning. Over the coming year we hope to profile some of the unique or less obvious jobs found at the Parks Canada Agency.
From a young age, I knew there was something profoundly different about Lake Superior. I was warned this vast, frigid lake that surrounds my community of Fort William First Nation requires respect and care. Although I knew any body of water has the potential to be dangerous, it was my work as a primary vessel operator with Parks Canada that taught me what preparedness means.
Now don’t get me wrong, the word “superior” can be applied to much of Canada; I can attest to that thanks in large part to my career with Parks Canada. But the title seems fitting, since my first Parks Canada job was on Lake Superior, and I have recently returned to work at Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area.