Foundation for success: ‘I always wanted to be a pipeliner’

With trailer in tow, Manitoba First Nations woman thrilled to hit the road as an inspector

In their late fifties, most people are winding down their careers and beginning to look ahead to retirement. At age 58, Elaine Dowan is just getting started.

“I always wanted to be a pipeliner, right where I am now,” says the resident of Canupawakpa Dakota Nation (CDN), about 30 kilometres south of Virden in western Manitoba. “My dream is to be an inspector, go on the road. I bought a trailer and I’m ready to go.”

Elaine’s been a welder and she worked at Maple Leaf Foods in Brandon for 10 years. Then she landed a job doing security and even did a stint as an Enbridge community liaison for CDN.

Then came an opportunity she’d be wanting for many years – a chance to work in pipeline construction. And none better than the large project near her home baseEnbridge’s Line 3 pipeline replacement.

“Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d be where I am now,” Elaine says. “NeverI always thought I’d always just be working security.”

Here’s a photographic look at how Elaine’s career journey has progressed since the opportunity first arose . . .

(TOP PHOTO: Manitoba First Nations woman Elaine Dowan, left, presented a star blanket to Enbridge senior construction specialist Brian Rowher in December 2018, during her time as an inspector on the Line 3 Replacment Program. Please see associated photo gallery to learn more about Elaine's recent career journey.)