Pandemic creates welcome job in the north
- Judith Iron | March 11, 2021
Staffing security check points in the north has turned out to be a new source of employment for some young people, who often have few job opportunities in remote communities.
Raven Security owner Duane Iron employs and manages gate staff from Cole Bay, Jans Bay and Canoe Lake. The majority of its employees are young adults from the three communities and often need to travel to get to the job.
Iron feels that providing young people employment helps them learn to be self-sufficient, keeps them productive and builds their self-confidence. They are expected to enforce the health guidelines without conflict. As a result of their employment and being in the public eye, they are now more involved in their communities. Iron hopes to encourage a strong sense of purpose and belonging.
“Working here allows me to socialize more with people.. which used to be tough,” said Neil Morin of Cole Bay.
Marie Maurice, an employee from Canoe Lake, hopes that everyone continues to do their part to lessen the spread of the virus.
“I like knowing that I make a difference in flattening the curve. I try to give out information and have pleasant interactions because some gates are hard to deal with. People enjoy passing by our gate knowing they will be greeted and treated with respect by our staff,” she said.
Tyson Kyplain of Cole Bay is happy to have secured employment with Raven Security.
“I thank Duane for giving me a chance by hiring me. Not often do we young people get a chance to work. I look forward to my shifts all the time and meeting the different travelers,” Kyplain said.
Iron says his company has been successful mainly because of the staff.
“I am proud to have these young people as employees. Their work ethic amazes me. They arrive early, they are organized, and they are very responsible,” he said.
As gate staff, they have to speak with many people about COVID-19. They are expected to collect information from the public about their travel plans for contact tracing and do it with respect and professionalism.
Even with the recent cold warnings, the employees agree what they most enjoy is being outdoors and speaking with travelers. Safety tips, information, and smiles are given freely every day by the staff of Raven Security on the corner of the 903 and 965.
The check stop at the junction of highway 903 and 965 has been in operation sporadically since the spring of 2020. It is sponsored by the Metis Nation-Saskatchewan and implements the regulations and recommendations of the Saskatchewan Health Authority.